I am dancing all around my office today, because I am almost done with Michael Angel’s newest book in his Fantasy and Forensics series!
Grand Theft Griffin!
No cover yet, (COVER!!!!)
In case you haven’t read the first two in the series yet (And WHY Not?!?!) here is the skinny:
Dayna Chrissie is the lead Crime Scene Analyst for the LAPD, and from the perspective of a former crime scene analyst, I found myself breaking out in laughter at just how apt our first introduction to Dayna is. Michael Angel really “gets it.” CSI may be “sexy” to the television watching public – but it really isn’t sexy in real life!
As Dayna arrives at the crime scene where we first meet her, she cracked me up right away. First, we have the idiotic politico, Deputy Chief McClatchy, whose response to the murder in question is to send beat cops swarming all over the crime scene, stomping any possible evidence into the ground, and telling the “scene techies” to “Hurry up, we’ve got real work to do,” is spot on, and her response to him, which has him running for a puke bucket, is hysterical. Then there is her description of her crime scene wear; ‘the overall which assures that her hips stay slim and the cottage cheese stays off her thighs,’ because, damn those things are hot, and her “Stompy Gothic Boots of Doom” (They wouldn’t win any awards on the fashion runway. But they would keep corpse juices out of my socks.) Angel caught my attention right away. If you can make me laugh and identify with the main character that quickly, you have my attention. And Angel never lost it.
This particular scene is an odd case, to say the least. Peculiar clothing is only the start. Besides bullet wounds, there is a huge, charcoaled hole in the middle of his chest and Dayna has no idea how it was caused. Add that to “python-like” patterning all over his face and upper body, well, he is a puzzle wrapped inside a riddle, forensics wise.
Oh, but this isn’t the oddest thing. Oh, no. For Dayna finds an odd gold coin inside the body – a gold coin that transports her to another world. Oh, and what a world! I was tempted to say that Centaur of the Crime could be described as Alice in Wonderland Meets CSI but that is doing Dayna a disservice. She is a strong, competent, take-no-crap woman (hey – if you are a woman in a police position, you have to be all those things – just breathing the testosterone in air can cause unwarranted beard growth!) But she is also kind, understanding and very, very intelligent. A balanced character that I couldn’t help but admire.
Pulled into another world to solve the murder of a king, Dayna takes the transition well. She doesn’t go hysterical and flighty when she realizes she is surrounded by centaurs and “The Parliament” (wait till you meet these creatures – they are wonderfully written) and tasked with an investigation that no one here thinks can be done. Especially not by a woman from another world.
I loved this book. The fantasy aspects, the world building, as well as the creative development of the species and their various aspects. I have read what I would call “modern-day day fairy tales” before, and this one is at the top of my list of favorites. Enough so that I am dying to see the second volume, The Deer Prince’s Murder, come out on Audible. I am also adding some of his other works, especially The Detective and the Unicorn, to my Audible library.
The Deer Prince’s Murder
‘Hello, nice to meet you, you certainly look delicious this morning. I wonder if you are chewy or crunchy’.”
You have us four. And sometimes, you need to find a sense of family with people who are good, rather than to try and find good in one’s own family.
Dayna Chrissie is at it again. Our intrepid Los Angeles CSI’s whole life changed in Centaur of the Crime. Pulled into an alternate world to solve the murder of Good King Benedict, Dayna finds herself in a world of hurt as she tries to find the guilty parties in a conspiracy to start a war. As she uses her scientific knowledge in a world locked into a medieval mindset, she finds herself magically bouncing between the world of Andeluvia and Earth as she uses her forensic skills, and the LAPD labs, to solve the murder and locate the guilty parties. Of course, she finds herself in trouble not only in Andeluvia as she puts herself in danger searching for the killer, but on Earth as well as her whacked-out Deputy Chief, Robert McClatchy, does everything in his power to destroy her career. Sheesh! Can a girl not get a break? Well, actually she can get a bit of one, as she makes some wonderful new friends who help her solve the crime, at risk of their own lives.
The Deer Prince’s Murder is book two of the Fantasy and Forensics series, and Dayna’s life isn’t getting any easier. Not. One. Little. Bit. Still on probation after going missing from her job as a consultant for the Los Angeles Crime Lab during Centaur (when people are snatching you back and forth across dimensions, it is a bit hard to keep up), she slips off to Andeluvia to spend time with her friends. Liam is a Fayleene, a magical white-tail deer, Grimshaw, better known as Shaw, a Griffin, and Galen, a Centaur Master Wizard are the wonderful friends Dayna made in Centaur. All rejected in one way or the other by their families, Liam for his lack of magical luck, Shaw for standing up for Dayna and offering to help against his rider’s wishes, and Galen, rejected by his war-obsessed father for being intelligent instead of brutal. Now, their little family faces an even more dangerous situation when the Fayleene Protector of the Forest, Quinval, is murdered, pulling Dayna into the most dangerous investigation of her life – and her friends right along with her. For here there be dragons . . . well, one dragon, Sirrahon the Stone Dragon, ancient, cruel and released from his three-thousand year prison. Who set him free? Why? And how will this all end?
When Captain Vazura of the Kings Air Cavalry, Shaw’s former Rider, is murdered by a shadowy figure, things become even more tense, and much more dangerous. With the help of a surprising new member of their little group, Dayna and her friends must work harder, smarter and faster than ever before to save this beautiful world. Oh, and to save Dayna’s job as a consultant to the LAPD Crime Lab as well. That McClatchy? Whew! He’s got some real issues in his tissues!
As always, Michael Angel has his criminal procedure down pat, which is always a joy. His wicked sense of humour is still as strong as ever, and his character and world building are exceptional as well. Not surprising, of course – he is always exceptional. If you like Urban Fantasy, mythology, and criminal procedure with a large dose of comedy, you can’t miss out on Michael Angel’s work. I am dancing on my toes as I wait for Grand Theft Griffin, scheduled for 2015! Until then, The Detective and the Unicorn is next on my Michael Angel list!
I received my copy from Michael Angel in return for a realistic review, and in thanks for my previous reviews. However, all thoughts are my own. I just really like his writing!
(Just a few of) Michael’s Other Works
These, and a lot more, can be found on Michael’s Goodreads Site. Enjoy!!