But, soft: behold! lo where it comes again!
I’ll cross it, though it blast me. – Stay, illusion!
If thou hast any sound, or use a voice.
Speak to me. – Hamlet 1.1
Why, what care I ? If thou canst nod, speak too, –
If charnel-houses, and our graves, must send
Those that we bury, back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites. – (Macbeth, 3.4)
There is no ghost clause in that lease. – David Simmons
I know it is silly, but when I find an author I wasn’t previously aware of who really catches my interest and makes me go Ooh! I always feel smug. Like I am the first person who has found this particular author and deserve a pat on the back. Ha! As If!!
Anyway, when I found Linda Welch and Along Came A Demon I got that same feeling. A giggly, bubbly feeling as I read an Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Mystery that is just enough different than the norm, and just far enough along the curve of creativity to make me sit up and take notice. And spend way too many of my sleeping hours reading to be healthy when I have a bad cold and need my rest. Ah well! It was worth it…
Tiff Banks (don’t ever call her “Tiffany” if you know what is good for you – hey, she is 6’4″ – does that sound like a Tiffany to you?) Got a short, sharp shock a few years ago, when she realized the woman she was passing in the doorway of a cafe in San Francisco was covered in blood, apparently shot. Screaming for someone to call 9-1-1 and trying to talk the woman into sitting down until the ambulance arrived, she was horrified that everyone around her just stared at her and turned away. Well, that is how crazy people screaming about ambulances and dying women get looked at when there is obviously nobody standing there with blood all over them, right?
Since that time, Tiff has moved back to her old home town of Clarion, in the Utah mountains. Well, it has to be better than dealing with the massive number of dead people that surround her in San Francisco, right? Humm…. well, there may not be as many, but they are still there. Wow, look at that. She even has two of them living in her house. Jack and Mel were murdered there, though it wasn’t in the realtor’s disclosure forms. Well, no wonder, since the guy who owned the house before didn’t really advertise the fact that he had kidnapped and murdered two people and buried them in the basement. Well, it’s done now, and Tiff is stuck with her ‘roomies’ – even though their murderer has moved on, which should allow them to do so as well, neither intends on being reasonable. Although, with her roll as ‘speaker to the dead’ for the Clarion PD their assistance is often useful as she helps the PD track down murderers. And then again, sometimes they can just be a huge pain in the backside.
“There’s a naked woman in the garden,” Jack said.
Huh? Will you look at that? The dead aren’t supposed to wander from where they died, but Coralinda Marchant certainly has. And what happens next is one of the more creative takes on the supernatural I have found for a while – a take I am certainly enjoying! In this first book of the series Tiff is drawn into the murder of Coralinda and the search for her missing son into a world she knew was there, but really, really didn’t want to get into. For there are demons in the world, and those demons want the boy. And they aren’t hesitant to come after Tiff to get him. The concepts and ideas in play are fun, creative and at times kept my right on the edge of my seat as I held my breath, wondering why demons would want a little boy born on November 9, 2002 – or why so many little boys born on that date are now dead, murdered in unspeakable ways.
The second book of the series, The Demon Hunters, is just as good. Now partnered with a demon ex-cop from the first book, Tiff and Royal have opened their own detective agency. With Royal’s preternatural connections, strength and speed, and Tiff’s ability to talk to the dead, they make a good team – and the ‘bad guy’ demons still being after the two of them, working together gives them an edge. But now, they have new clients. And these clients could be even more deadly than the monsters they are chasing. The Dark Cousins of Royals people, the Gelpha, the good old DC are scary beyond all reason, and not afraid to mind bind, or murder, to reach their goals.
Townsman #1: Hey, Pacha, you just missed your relatives.
Pacha: My relatives?
Townsman #1: Yeah, we just sent them up to your house.
Pacha: What’d they look like?
Townsman #1: Well there was this big guy, and this older woman who was… well, how would you describe her?
Townsman #2: Ah, scary beyond all reason?
Townsman #1: Yeah, that’s it.
They have Royal’s mind locked up tight, and now Tiff is more on her own than not in trying to help Daven Clare and Gia Sabato, a monster in her own right, find her lover, Alissario Arellano (Rio) Borrego, who has been captured by an unknown party for an unknown reason. Well, not totally unknown. For both Dark Cousins and Gelpha are being burned and beheaded, just like a human would think to kill a vampire . . . but how is the murderer finding his victims all over the world? How are they being recognized, when no one other than Tiff seems to be able to recognize them under their glamour?
Welch as a way with a turn of phrase, a strong streak of humour, and a way of looking at life and relationships that is highly appealing. This isn’t your typical “vampires and werewolves” urban fantasy. Instead, Welch has gone in another, more creative direction that I am tickled to have found!
I know, I have to put down the Linda Welch and get my work done. Lots of books to read and review, edits to do. I know, I know . . . but these things are like potato chips – I can’t just eat one and walk away! Well, I read two, one after the other, but you know what I mean. And I don’t even know how Along Came A Demon wound up on my reader! Maybe she did a giveaway at some point and I grabbed it them? Anyway, I am just glad it did. And I will absolutely be reading more of this series. I just have to not . . . do . . . it . . . now . . .