Orbit, Nov 1 2009, $7.99
Rockabill, Maine is a small town that is home to the local pariah Jane True. The townsfolk hold her culpable for the death of her lover Jason, but not as much as she blames herself. She never told him that she can swim in the icy water and not feel the cold. During one of her nocturnal swims, Jason saw her and tried to rescue her but died in the whirlpool Old Saw.
One night while swimming, she rescues a body from Old Saw. When she brings the body out of the water she realizes the dead victim is Peter who came to town to write a book. When she goes back to her place on the beach she meets Nell the gnome, a talking dog Anyan and a kelpie. They explain to Jane that her mom is a Selkie who after six years on land returned to the sea and her seal form. An outside investigator arrives in Rockabil to inquire into the drowning death of Peter, a halfling like Jane. When she meets Ryu the vampire, they fall into instant lust. His assignment gets complicated when a goblin arrives to take over his mission but the goblin is killed as is her superior. Peter apparently was working on a halfling project; which Ryu feels is tied to the Alfar elves who rule the supernatural world, but Jane never expected to be thrust into the center of an eerie schism that could kill her and tear asunder the supernatural realm.
Readers who enjoy the Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine and the Sookie saga by Charlaine Harris will want to read the misadventures of Jane True. The two decades or so heroine copes with an inner strength with one tragedy after another, but the serial murders of halflings frighten her like nothing before. Although perhaps too much paranormal is introduced in this fun first urban fantasy whodunit, fans will enjoy the terrific TEMPEST RISING in the Pine Tree State.