[Review] THE COLD KISS OF DEATH by Suzanne McLeod

Suzanne McLeod

Cover Copy: Genny Taylor works for Spellcrackers.com ± Making Magic Safe.
But her own life is anything but safe!

‘The ghost grasped her shift and ripped it open. The three interlacing crescents carved red-raw and bleeding into her thin chest didn’t look any better than the last dozen times I’d seen them. The wounds weren’t lethal – they weren’t even recent; she’d been dead for at least a hundred and fifty years – but my gut still twisted with anger that someone would do that to a child.’

Being haunted by a ghost is the least of Genny’s problems: she’s also trying to deal with the witch neighbour who wants her evicted. Finn, her sort-of-Ex – and now her new boss – can’t quite decide whether he wants their relationship to be business or pleasure. And then there’s the queue of vamps inviting her to paint the town red; how long before they stop taking no for an answer?

Just when it seems things can’t get any worse a human friend is murdered using sidhe magic. Determined to hunt down the killer and needing help, she turns to one of London’s most capricious wylde fae and the seductive vampire Malik al-Khan.

But all too soon she realises she doesn’t know who she can trust – and now Genny’s the one being hunted, not just by the police, but by some of London’s most powerful and dangerous supernaturals.

My Thoughts: Ah, Genny. In trouble with the vampires again!

THE COLD KISS OF DEATH took everything introduced in book 1, THE SWEET SCENT OF BLOOD, and went deeper and darker, making for more trouble for our poor protagonist, Genny Taylor.

Genny is a half-vampire, half-sidhe. She works for Spellcrackers.com, a business that fixes magical problems. Genny is being haunted by a ghost that she can’t communicate with. Finn, the satyr Genny thought was getting romantic with her, has become her boss and gone cold in the romance department. Things get crazy when a vampire’s human attendant shows up at Genny’s place to demand the Faberge egg in Genny’s possession, and then Genny is framed for the murder of a human friend. Suddenly she’s on the run from a growing number of humans and supernaturals.

The overarching mystery is wonderfully woven around supernatural incidents. Genny finds herself in an awkward situation– asking for help from an ex-boyfriend while Finn is there and the boys literally bash their fae heads together. She’s chased by dryads when the fae community get upset because they think she killed that human. Then Genny’s vampire disguise– the spell that enables her to change into the vampire Rosa so she can manage the disease she’d contracted– stops working. In fact, the spell may have Genny connected more tightly to Rosa than she’d like. This is a particular problem because the other vampires don’t like Rosa and want her dead.

I would have liked seeing more of Genny at work doing the spellcracking thing. I always think that’s neat. But, you know, being on the run when she’s wanted for murder, I guess she’s not going to stop to help a few clients. It was great that the murder was tied directly to her spellcracking, though. It was the magical equivalent of being caught with the smoking gun or the blood-covered knife.

In all, THE COLD KISS OF DEATH makes for some high-octane reading. I loved getting more time with the fae in this book. The vampires are still a large part of the plot and they’re great, but they’re less of a novelty item this time around and more of the political-positioning vampires. The mystery kept me reading right to the end– twisty and unpredictable. Just the way I like it.

Rating: A
Series: Spellcrackers.com, #2
Publisher: Gollancz, 2009
Acquired: Purchased

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