Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Sweet Scent of Blood-Suzanne McLeod

The Sweet Scent of Blood
Suzanne McLeod
Ace, Apr 23 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780441018710

In London, the only known Sidhe fae in the city Genevieve “Genny” Taylor works for whose vision is “Making Magic Safe!” Genny is a spellcracker, who hunts for magic in order to remove spells before they cause trouble though she ironically cannot cast a spell.

Her boss at Stella Raynham sends Mr. Hinkley to meet with Genny in order to hire her to conduct a murder investigation. His celebrity vampire son Roberto (known as Mr. October due to a popular calendar) is accused of killing his human girlfriend Melissa; the media has convicted him of murdering his “Juliet” as they have dubbed the victim. Mr. Hinkley wants Genny to find the real culprit. Genny explains that the Witch Council, of which her firm belongs, taboos vampiric cases. However, she reluctantly agrees as the fee will pay off a major debt. Her inquiry soon has Genny moving inside vampire society and a few other paranormal subcultures, but each clue she finds seems to either hang her client’s son or push her further away from the truth.

The first urban fantasy is a terrific paranormal whodunit starring a likable heroine who is a sort of a British female Dresden (early books) in London where the supernatural have legal rights. The atmosphere is deftly established to enable the reader to believe in vampires, fae, and trolls, etc while also lampooning western society, which makes the tone lighter than Simon R. Green’s vision of the city, but also somewhat slows down the inquiry. The Sweet Scent of Blood is a wonderful opening act that will have the sub-genre audience wanting more of Genny’s London

Harriet Klausner

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