Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Spells for the Dead

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Spells for the Dead (2020) Faith Hunter (Soulwood)

Spells for the DeadThe fifth Nell book begins with Nell trying to sort out her life. She hopes to soon become the guardian of her younger sister Mud, and has to work all that involves into her schedule.

Also, her very pregnant older sister Esther is having marital problems, and has come to stay with Nell as well, where she seems to fight constantly with Mud.

And then there is the case Unit 18 has taken on. The star country singer Stella Mae has been found dead–her body and the bodies of those around her decomposed to a state that should have taken months rather than hours, the magic affecting not just humans, but even the furniture in the room.

Nell has become an integral part of Unit 18, but she is still adjusting to living in the modern world.

“Which is why you’re down here with us,” T. Laine said cheerfully. “Among your many talents is the ability to use old-fashioned equipment. Competency comes with repercussions.”

“Do not ask me to milk a cow or darn your socks.”

“You know how to do that?”

“No,” I lied, stern faced.

One of the things I particularly like about Nell is that she is well aware of her limitations, and likes working within the framework of Unit 18. She follows protocols and procedures, and you see the REASON for these things.

I pressed my cell to autocall HQ.

JoJo answered with my last name, telling me that FireWind was close by. “Ingram.”

“Yeah. I’m possibly being tailed. A blue short-bed Chevy pickup, older model.”

There is a large component of mystery to this story, but not the kind of mystery where you quickly figure out whodunnit. Instead it’s the slow uncovering of evidence and discovery of links and ties between people.

Unlike the most recent Jane books, the story arc here is self-contained. There are things happening elsewhere, but the case they are investigating is closed by the end of the book.

To be honest, fear it would not be was one of the reasons I put off reading this book, even though I had pre-ordered it. Every Jane book has been building upon the previous, and so many big problems come to light and aren’t resolved. It’s not a bad thing per se, but it’s not something I have wanted to read this year. I need resolution, and thank goodness I got it with this story.

Publisher : Ace
Rating: 8/10


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