Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Blackburn and Scarletti Mysteries II-Karen Koehler

The Blackburn and Scarletti Mysteries II
Karen Koehler
Black Death, Nov 2007, $14.99
ISBN: 9780979988103
KHp Industries, PoBox 558, Effort,Pa. 18330

“Legion”. January Blackburn is a ghoul made that way by the vampire the Jackal whose acolyte is Father Dorien Scarletti a dhampire. Her FBI boss asks Blackburn to go to New Orleans to investigate what looks like otherworldly activities. Fairy Boudreau was last seen by the priest of St. Catherine’s Cathedral floating in the air. The priest spoke in a strange language to the police officer called to the scene, but the cop vanished. Blackburn and Scarletti find him and he collapses into the arms of the dhampire. Something evil enters Scarletti and no one knows how to exorcise it, which means certain death for the host.

“The Phantom of the Soap Opera”. Scarletti has spent months in the Vatican Gardens when he receives a call from soap opera star Canary in the States. Someone or something otherworldly is causing accidents on the set and if it continues the show will close. Scarletti calls his partner Blackburn; they meet up in Los Angeles where lethal scorpions not native to the area appear on both of them. A pack of Dobermans run amok on the set injuring people and causing much damage. When Scarletti contacts his superiors in Rome, he learns from them that a witch might be on the set. Now they need to find out who and why and especially how a ghoul and dhampire fit in the picture.

Karen Koehler always provides great horror tales as these two mystery novellas affirm. Her protagonists are flawed especially mentally as each has a ton of emotional issues, but they are tough fighters and make an excellent team always there for one another. Both tales are thrilling frightening chillers filled with action and a strong support cast, who make the paranormal, seem normal. Ms. Koehler has a fantastic knack for creating sympathetic monsters and vile villains.

Harriet Klausner

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