A decidedly female Canadian shift to today’s Waiting on Wednesday as we profile new books by Teresa Toten and Kristi Charish, both well-loved authors here on the blog. As a long-time fan of Theresa’s wicked sense of humour, it’s been a revelation to see what she can do with a more adult-style mystery. Charish’ Owl series is one of favourite reads, so a new series with voodoo and a snarky yet mysterious protagonist is to be relished with glee.
For starters, she’s only twenty-seven. Then there’s the fact that she lives in rain-soaked Seattle, which is not exactly Haiti. And she’s broke. With raising zombies outlawed throughout the continental USA, Kincaid has to eke out a living running seances for university students with more money than brains who are desperate for guitar lessons with the ghost of a Seattle grunge rocker–who happens to be Kincaid’s on-again, off-again roommate.
Then a stray zombie turns up outside her neighbourhood bar: Cameron Wight, an up-and-coming visual artist with no recollection of how he died or who raised him. Not only is it dangerous for Kincaid to be caught with an unauthorized zombie, she soon realizes he’s tied to a spate of murders: someone is targeting the zombies and voodoo practitioners in Seattle’s infamous Underground City, a paranormal hub. When the police refuse to investigate, the City’s oldest and foremost zombie asks Kincaid to help. Raising ghosts and zombies is one thing, but finding a murderer? She’s broke, but she’s not stupid.
And then she becomes the target… As the saying goes, when it rains it pours, especially in Seattle.
Deliciously shivery voodoo and zombies and mayhem abound in Charish’ newest series, fittingly set in Seattle, a city of fog and mist. Kincaid is an enigma at first – experienced far beyond her years and carrying a secret that she doesn’t really want to let you know about – but she’s also a character that you’ll really grow to love.
There’s shades of Darynda Jones’ “Charlie Davidson” series, and even some of Charish’s own “Owl” in this, but with a fresh twist. I’m looking foward to seeing how the series grows and the characters begin to develop.
The Voodoo Killings: A Kincaid Strange Novel by Kristi Charish is published by Vintage Canada, a division of Penguin Random House of Canada. ISBN: 9780345815880, 352 pages. It will be published May 10, 2016, and may be pre-ordered here, here and here.
The Haves. The Have Nots. Kate O’Brien appears to be a Have Not. Her whole life has been a series of setbacks she’s had to snake her way out of–some more sinister than others. But she’s determined to change that. She’s book smart. She’s street-smart. And she’s also a masterful liar.
As the scholarship student at the elite Waverly School in NYC, Kate has her work cut out for her: her plan is to climb the social ranks and land a spot at Yale. She’s already found her “people” among the senior class “it” girls–specifically in the cosseted, mega-wealthy yet deeply damaged Olivia Sumner. As for Olivia, she considers Kate the best friend she’s always needed, the sister she never had.
When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration as head of fundraising, he immediately charms his way into the faculty and students’ lives–especially Olivia’s, although she doesn’t share what’s going on. It becomes increasingly obvious that Redkin poses a threat to Kate, too, in a way she can’t reveal and can’t afford to ignore. Mark has his own plan for a bright future and never doubts that he can pull it off. How close can Kate and Olivia get with Mark without having to share their dark pasts?
Fresh off her Governor General’s aware, Toten takes us into a darker world of intrigue, “it” girls and con artists. While this is most definitely a book that teens will adore, it’s also a great adult read, and shouldn’t be dismissed for it’s “14+” description.
The story is familiar in a lot of ways (part We Were Liars, part Mr. Ripley, part Gossip Girl) but also fresh and unusual. With a dual point of view to give us alternate perspectives, you aren’t quite sure what is true and what is open to interpretation, but you’ll definitely be interested in seeing where it all ends up.
Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten is published by Doubleday Canada, a division of Penguin Random House of Canada. ISBN: 9780385678360, 336 pages. It will be published May 31st, 2016 and may be pre-ordered here, here and here.