Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse

Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse

I hate to tell you to go back and read Black Sun before starting Fevered Star, but you really should. And the good news is the "to be continued" ending won't bother you nearly as much as it did me if you can head straight into this one. Not that this one has a very satisfying ending either, but it's at least not quite as cliffhanger. As before, the world (a weaving of pre-Colombian influences) is strongly engaging and well developed, with fascinating characters and culture. We have several viewpoints in Fevered Star, some more compelling than others. We learn more about our avatar's powers and about their own interior struggles. We see the people that surround them, those who love them, hate them, or want to use them. Heroes and villains are very much a matter of perspective. There's a war coming and the book is all about forming alliances and putting people in the right places, which can...
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A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark

A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark

I thoroughly enjoyed A Master of Djinn and my library had "A Dead Djinn in Cairo" on audio, so I picked it up. The setting is a steampunk 1912 Cairo in a world where magic has been discovered/released. With the help of the djinn, Egypt has pretty much thrown England out. Fatma is sent out to investigate the apparent suicide of a strong djinn, but nothing's ever that simple is it. I enjoyed meeting Fatma again and seeing how her relationship with Siti started. The plot was fun, full of djinn and clockwork angels and ghouls. The main problem, the thing Fatma has to stop, becomes a problem again in the first full-length novel in the series, so I'm not sure if I'm glad to see how it originated or disappointed that the same "machine" is used in both. ...
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A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

There are several short stories set in the same world as A Master of Djinn and I do wish I had read them first. A Master of Djinn does a fabulous showing us this Cairo and introducing the character, but the events from at least two of the stories are mentioned and I think reading them would have given me a better background. I may actually go back and read them now - I did love the world. A Master of Djinn is more or less a murder mystery set in a steampunk alternate 1912 Cairo where djinn live and work among mortals. Our investigator is Fatma from the Egyptian Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities. The dead men and woman are members of an Al-Jahiz Secret Brotherhood, all found murdered, their bodies, but not their clothes, burned to a crisp. Turns out an imposter claimant to be Al-Jahiz returned is running around town causing all kinds of havoc. Clark...
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Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies is not your typical cozy mystery. Yes, we have an amateur sleuth who is a baker; she has a dog and a couple of potential love interests. But we know who the killer is - Daisy herself. She kills men with magic and pies - but they deserve it. The mystery is who is threatening to expose her. I liked Daisy - but she does kill people. She's a fabulous baker and a statewide pie contest has some of her attention during the book. She has an adorable trailer she lives in and she wears vintage dresses. For someone in her line of business, she can be a bit trusting. We learn about halfway through who the blackmailer is, but by then we're invested in seeing how Daisy will solve the problem without crossing any of her lines. The book has the lightheartedness I expect from a cozy, but it does talk about serious issues...
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The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

The Book of Cold Cases is atmospheric, suspenseful, and a bit spooky. Shea Collins works as a receptionist in a medical office, but her true passion is her website, the Book of Cold Cases. She writes about unsolved murders, a project inspired by her own abduction as a child. Divorced and alone, she has few friends aside from her sister, Esther, and an ex-cop, Michael, who helps her with research. Then a client comes into the office: Beth Greer, who was charged and acquitted for the murders of two men in 1977. When Shea asks rich and aloof Beth for an interview, Beth surprisingly agrees. Shea gets sucked into the case, talking to Beth, Beth's lawyer, the police officer who was assigned to the case back then, anyone she can find with a connection. But the closer Shea gets to the truth, the more troubling and threatening the past becomes. We've got two timelines, 2017 when the book is set and forty...
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What the Cat Knew by P.D. Workman

What the Cat Knew by P.D. Workman

What the Cat Knew is a paranormal cozy mystery that totally hooked me. Reg is tough, smart, and can run a good con, but is caring and loyal underneath it. She's setting up as a medium "for entertainment purposes only" in Black Sands, Florida. She has a couple of problems. First, turns out she actually is a medium and can contact the dead. Second, the man she contacts isn't actually dead. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. We've got our eccentric characters, this time witches and probably other magical creatures. Our amateur sleuth has a legitimate reason for investigating, apparently she's the only one who knows the man is still alive, but since he's in a coma she can still make contact. We've got a touch of romance, maybe, but I'm hoping that fades away. And there's Reg's cat, who I loved. The plot moves along quickly and it was a lot of fun. I'm not quite clear on what kind...
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