Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Infernal Detective: Kirsten Weiss


Book description from the author's website:
When Riga Hayworth finds a dead body in her bedroom a week before her wedding, it’s par for the course. When the corpse drives off with her fiancée… That’s a problem.

Riga knows dead. More intimately than she’d like. So when a murdered photographer gets up and walks away, she’s believes there’s necromancy afoot. And when she discovers that several of her wedding guests are under the influence of dark magic, she’s certain. But how can she catch a killer and stop a necromancer when even her nearest and dearest are lying to her?

Murder. The undead. Irritating relatives. The Infernal Detective is a fast-paced, paranormal mystery, based in Lake Tahoe.
This is a humorous, light mystery, laced with paranormal elements. Riga Hayworth looks a lot like Rita Hayworth and people are always telling her this. So from that point, you know this is not a totally serious, hard hitting mystery. Some of the characters are a little bit over the top. There are two ditsy aunts and a mobster who is stalking her. Riga has a niece who is pretty normal; a teenager who wants to learn to use her powers.

I don't really want to tell much more about the plot than the overview above... so as not to spoil the fun of reading the book. I will say that Riga is 44 and thus has some maturity. She has a Private Investigator's license, but it is for California and she is living in Nevada. Thus I did find that it was believable for her to investigate a crime on her own.

I did not read the first three books in this series, and this is a departure for me. I am usually rigid about reading in order. Luckily, in this case, I was able to enter into the spirit of the book with the background that is provided. The author did a pretty good job of providing just enough information without spending a lot of exposition on her past.  I did have questions about how Riga got to her present situation, and that will send me back to the earlier books to see.

As I noted, this is a light mystery and it is clearly in the fantasy genre. So not a typical read for me. I would call this a cozy, also not typical for me. But I was entertained by the story and Riga's predicaments. She is a take-charge person and not timid at all. My prejudice in the past has been that paranormal gifts give the detective an unfair advantage, thus taking the tension out of the story. Not in this case, however.

I would recommend this for readers of paranormal mysteries or urban fantasy. Although this is not a Young Adult novel, I think it would work well for young adults.

This book was provided for review by the author.

This book is submitted for the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VIII event, hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings. That event celebrates reading of books of mystery, suspense, and horror. The event continues through October 31, 2013. Reviews for that event are here.


20 comments:

  1. Sounds like fun TracyK, thanks for the review because I would normally have passed it up (not keen on in-jokes like the character's name for instance as they usually wear out their welcome very quickly) - glad to hear this is better than average.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sergio, it was fun and a nice break from the more serious reading I usually do. As usual, a lot of the humor just went right by me, but it was nice to slip into another world for a while.

      Delete
  2. Tracy - This does sound interesting. I'm usually not one for the paranormal element in crime fiction. But this does sound like a nice, light, enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same for me, Margot. I usually avoid paranormal. But I am finding I like that better than some other forms of fantasy.

      Delete
  3. TracyK: I am feeling like an old fogey. A mystery featuring the paranormal and reaching into fantasy does not interest me at all. I like crime fiction to feel real even though it is fiction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No need to feel like an old fogey, Bill, plenty of mystery readers feel the same way. I used to feel that way, and I still want the majority of my fiction to be realistic. I don't even like cozy mysteries all that much. Depends on the author and how they handle it.

      However I ran into at least one fantasy / mystery series, Rivers of London, that I just love. So that convinced me to try more. Occasionally.

      Delete
  4. I feel as some of your other readers do, that this wouldn't automatically appeal to me because of the paranormal element. But you do a good job of making it sound intriguing - perhaps one day when I'm looking to read something different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Moira, this is a light mystery, and I really have more problems with the "light" aspect than the paranormal elements. But I really do want to go back to the first one at least and figure out some elements of the story, so I guess that means the author pulled me into the book, and I like that.

      Delete
  5. Not something I would normally read but you've made it sound like a fun quick read so I might!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peggy, I think you might enjoy it as a change of pace.

      Delete
  6. "When the corpse drives off with her fiancée…" Tracy, that's a first, I'm sure, and I can see a lot of humour behind that line. I read a couple of paranormal short stories recently. I read fantasy more regularly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prashant, I am enjoying reading a bit of fiction with paranormal elements. I like the humor in this one, I am not sure I could take it seriously.

      Delete
  7. Paranormal probably puts me off to be honest. Ditto fantasy....I'll pass this time around!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Col, I know what you mean. I have gotten more into fantasy because it is my son's favorite genre. Paranormal, I don't know how that happened. My husband likes ghost stories, but he likes to be scared. Not me.

      Delete
  8. I think if I were to know ahead of time a mystery contained paranormal elements, I wouldn't bother with it. If these elements were discovered as I read it and enjoyed the novel, then that's a different story. That's how I felt about Colin Cotterill's novels which do feature ghosts, exorcisms, etc. Loved it so I guess it depends on the writing. But like everyone else though, a book labeled paranormal mystery has me running for the hills.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keishon, I am glad you reminded me about Cotterill's novels. It is funny, when I read after I had bought the first one, that it had supernaturals elements, I was put off by that. But I had read on your blog that you like his books, so that encourages me. I will read one soon... I hope.

      Delete
    2. The Coroner's Lunch, which is the first book in the series is great Tracy. I thought the supernatural elements were done well. Over the course of the series the supernatural elements didn't take up a lot of the story line like they did at the beginning of the series. I hope you like him. I think he's an underrated writer.

      Delete
    3. Keishon, thanks for the info on Cotterill's books. I do have that first one and one more I think. Looking forward to trying the first one.

      Delete
  9. I fancy the paranormal aspect of this but not the humour. Thanks for the review of an unusual book though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah, humor (in mysteries) isn't really my thing. I do plan to try some Terry Pratchett books which are supposed to be funny. We will see. And I was taken back by the name similarity, Riga Hayworth (which maybe is explained earlier?). But I do love Rita Hayworth and it helped me picture the heroine so I went with it...

      Delete