Alex Fairfax has been the friend of werewolves, vampires and other paranormal beings for most of her life. She lives in the north-east of England and is going to be in big trouble for letting the cat out of the bag and letting everyone know that werewolves, zombies and vampires really do exist. Devlin is going to be mad ….
The Zombie's Inheritance
by Alex Fairfax
Approx. 15,330 words.
Published on March 28, 2013.
Private investigator Devlin has a very furry secret; she’s a werewolf. When she's called in to find a missing woman, she discovers the woman has been turned into a zombie and is out for revenge on the man who turned her. Devlin has to untangle not one murder plot but two – oh, and avoid those nasty silver bullets…
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- Sweet Masterpiece - The First Samantha Sweet Mystery
on April 30, 2013
WARNING: Do not read this book if you are on a diet! Samantha Sweet, the heroine of this entertaining tale, is a baker by trade and inclination, and the book is full of loving descriptions of her creations, starting with a triple-chocolate cupcake with chocolate butter cream on the very first page of chapter one. But Sam also looks after empty houses and checking out one of those leads her into investigating a suspicious death, with the help of a mysterious box she has been left by an elderly lady …
This is a gentle book, softly-paced and involving very real people. Sam, her daughter Kelly, and her is-he-is-he-not? love interest, Deputy Sheriff Beau Cardwell, are the sort of people you might meet and like everyday. Perhaps the villains of the piece are slightly less well-imagined than the sympathetic characters, and occasionally the gentle pace dips too much causing a lapse in tension, but overall this is a delightful read and the supernatural element is very delicately and convincingly done.
I’m just off to get the next one in the series …
- Lethal Blossom
on May 01, 2013
Lena has a problem. Not that she’s a widow – she’s beginning to come to terms with that. Just. She’s accepted that her late husband shouldn’t have been playing golf on the upper floors of a half-built building with an open drop to a river below – just asking for trouble if you overbalance when playing a shot. She’s philosophical about where she is going to find the money to pay her next utility bill. What she really can’t face is putting her husband’s ashes in some hollow golf balls, and going out to play a last game with him.
In order to avoid fulfilling her husband’s last wish, Lena gets involved in investigating the mysterious death of her next door neighbour. Of course, it isn’t mysterious according to the police – the neighbour was allergic to nuts and died after eating a walnut brownie. Lena doesn’t believe it.
It’s refreshing to find a book that features no less than four really great women: Lena’s twelve year old niece, Val, Lena and her best friend, Suzette, and Lena’s grandmother, Mimi, known as Granimi. Proactive, capable, assertive women all, and all very individually drawn. The men are equally convincing. If I have any complaint about the book, it is that the banter between the women sometimes takes over and detracts from the mystery – but with dialogue and characters as great as this, that’s not much of a sacrifice.
Read it and giggle all night.
- Playing With The Bad Boys - A Mia Ferrari Mystery #1
on May 08, 2013
Sorry - but I'm going to have to go against the trend on this one. There are a lot of good things about this mystery. It is competently written, some of the minor characters are good (though there are a few cardboard ones as well), the end of chapters are intriguing and make you want to turn the page, the setting – in a high-class hotel – is convincing, and the identity of the murderer was a genuine, and well-contrived, surprise.
Unfortunately, the main character, Mia Ferrari, is just about the most unsympathetic character I have ever come across. I suspect the author meant her as an assertive independent woman, but she comes across as petulant, out of control and highly unpleasant. Her immediate reaction to anyone saying or doing something she doesn’t like is to contemplate hitting, slapping, strangling, throttling or pouring her coke over them; she boasts that her martial arts are good enough to do some serious damage to someone. She has a violent antipathy to the investigating police office simply because she suspects (but has no proof) that he blocked her application to be a police officer some years previously. This leads her to keep facts from the police and even to get angry because the police have walked off with the evidence. (Isn’t that what they are supposed to do?) She prides herself on being admired by everyone – even the police officer she hates.
I don’t insist on the central character in a book being sympathetic but not only did I not warm to Mia, I positively hated her by the end.
- Mated (Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy: Blood Lust, Novella 3)
on July 02, 2013
Jane Tanner is 24 years old and the plaything of a vampire called Paul but is rescued by werewolf Cole Riley, and – after a number of trials and tribulations – comes to realise she is Cole’s mate.
So far so ordinary. And there are other problems with the book. I hadn’t realised when I bought it that this is the third in a series, which wouldn’t be a problem if the author fully explained any previous events – as she does not, there are places where I was considerably confused. In addition, some events are treated with ridiculous and totally unconvincing brevity: near the end, for instance, Cole suspects another werewolf of being the villain but changes his mind simply because the werewolf assures him he’s innocent.
But this novella is rescued by the author’s vision of the world her characters inhabit, and by the main characters who are strong and interesting. I found myself in the odd position of getting annoyed by individual aspects of the book yet being interested enough to keep reading and find out what happened to the characters. In short, this is a flawed book but is yet worth reading – though I’m not sure I shall look at another in the series.
- Sacrifice (Vampire Hunters: Blood Ties - Book 1)
on July 02, 2013
This is not a book. I would have realised that there were problems with it if I’d looked more closely at the title, which seems to be three titles in one. It’s more complex than the story.
It’s usual in a review to briefly summarise the title but all you need to know is the bit of the title that says ‘Vampire Hunters’. This is a fight sequence between vampires and vampire hunters. Nothing more. And it’s preposterously short. According to my Kindle, the cover, disclaimers and table of contents take up 11% of the whole; given that there’s also an excerpt from another ‘book’ at the end and the usual information about the author, you can see how short the story is.
So here are the problems with the ‘book’. It isn’t a story, it’s a fight. There are lots and lots of characters, none of which have any character at all. There are only three lines of dialogue in the entire story. The unlucky – and quickly dead – vampires are not characterised and are nothing more than big game animals. The emotion in the book is only skin deep, and not convincing.
I should say that the author writes quite well, although the paragraphs are tediously long for the most part. The world is also thoroughly imagined. But it’s not a story, and it’s not value for even the cheap price.
- Ghost Lovers - Paranormal Mystery Novella
on July 02, 2013
Catherine is a realtor (estate agent for British readers) who has a haunted house on her hands. This doesn’t alarm her, as she is used to seeing ghosts, although the unpleasant state of the recently deceased spirits (they died nasty deaths) freaks her out. Usefully, she has a homicide detective, Jake, for a boyfriend and together they uncover the murderer.
This is froth, but it is delightful froth. The author skilfully combines a light-hearted touch with serious moments, and produces a convincing little mystery, choc a bloc full of convincing characters and interesting incidents, although there are perhaps one or two sections which are told rather than dramatized. The ending was totally unexpected and almost unbearably sweet and poignant.
I shall definitely read more.
- Wolf Song
on July 02, 2013
Olivia lives quietly alone in a kind of penance. A year ago, she was the driver in an accident that put her sister in a vegetative state in hospital, and she has never ceased to blame herself. But odd things are happening: she starts to ‘see’ an Indian called Wolf Shadow who can materialise and dematerialise at will, and when her friend Ginni drags her into an investigation of who is trying to exterminate the local wolves. She is introduced to a man called Singer whom she suspects of being involved in the killings, but to whom she is strongly attracted. And things start to get dangerous …
The central character is really absorbing. Initially, I suspected that I might get tired of her voice which is slightly flippant, but the author does a marvellous job of developing her – this is definitely a character who becomes wiser throughout the book. The tension in the book is well done too, and the climax is nail-bitingly tense. If I have one quibble, it is that the sex element is not always convincing – some of the earlier references are embarrassingly laughable – but full credit to the author for trying something a little different.
Well worth reading, and I’ll look for more books by the same author.