All right, I admit it. I’ve watched Buffy, Charmed, Supernatural, the Twilight Zone, The X Files, Alfred Hitchcock, Haven, The Dead Zone, Medium, American Horror Story (all the seasons), Doctor Who, and Bewitched. It Seems I Have a Thing. I have a thing for witches, occult creatures, the paranormal, and things that cannot be explained. And my reading list is almost (but not quite) entirely mysteries. Take this information and put it together, and you’ll see why I was so pleased to receive a review copy of the first season of Whiskey Witches. (Actually, I got it in installments, because the complete season 1 you can download now for .99 was not available until the last “episode” came out.)
Let me start by saying that I don’t normally enjoy short fiction unless it’s part of a larger narrative. An example would be the novellas and other short fiction done by Diana Gabaldon that weaves into her (epically long and incredibly good) Outlander series. (There I go again with the unexplainable… but only some of her fiction are mysteries.) I enjoy the short fiction because it is supported by longer term character development. But, as a mom, the reality of my life is that I am frequently interrupted. I don’t have time to suck down an 800 page book in a sitting or three. (Ok, I do it anyway, but not as often as I’d like.) This series of shorts by S.M. Blooding are written in serial style, each one picking up the threads left hanging by the previous one. They are self contained, which is perfect for those of us whose attention and schedule are in high demand, but they also provide scope for deeper character development.
Where Blooding excels is in building suspense, writing action, and integrating the occult into her plot and character development. She is not as strong in some other areas. Notably, I felt that her male characters lacked depth and dimension. Interestingly, this is almost always a criticism I have in reverse- men tend to write female characters very, very poorly, while the way women write men tends to read realistically to me. Consequently, the romantic tension between the two main characters suffers a bit. The series is a fast paced, light read. Like many indie efforts, this could be criticized as being “unpolished” prose. I mention this because if you are looking for the next Diana Gabaldon, you won’t find her here. What you will find is a fast paced, easy read with plenty of the occult. If profanity and explicit sex bother you, I have good news- there is little of either. There is a good deal of violence, but it’s not horribly explicit. Although the theme of the story is dark, the writing is not gritty. If “light horror” is a thing, then this is it.
I give it two thumbs up. I hope you’ll come back when you’ve finished it, and let me know what you thought!
Detective Paige Whiskey comes from a long line of witches. They may not all be the most powerful, but they are outspoken and supportive of their community. She alone has no gifts. She can’t summon fire, can’t read minds. She knows the arcane. She’s studied it. That, along with her connection to the Whiskey Witches, lands her some pretty strange cases.
Like the sacrificial murders of St. Francisville, Louisiana. There’s a killer on the loose, choosing people in a vain attempt to raise a demon. Not just any demon, though. A man born long ago, made a demon in order to protect the Gate to Hell.
Together with demon hunter, Dexx Colt, her kitchen-witch grandmother, and her paranormal investigator brother-in-law, they unravel a conspiracy far bigger than a few simple murders, and re-discover Paige’s gift.
She’s a demon summoner and she’s key to the killer’s plan.
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Meet the Author:
SM “Frankie” Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, and Jack the Bird. Jack has refused to let her to take up the piano again, but is warming to the guitar. It might help that Frankie has learned more than two strings. She’s added a few more Arabic words to her vocabulary, but don’t invite her into conversation yet—unless, of course, you’re willing to have a very . . . slow . . . conversation.
She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.
She’s also an investigator with a local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!