by Kat Richardson
Recommended Ages: 14+
In case your education has been sadly neglected, Puget Sound is the Pacific Ocean inlet that makes the map of Washington state look like somebody tried to rip it in half. Full of treacherous currents, rocks, sandbars, islands, and inlets, it has become home to fleets of ghosts—victims of shipwrecks caused by bad weather, navigation error, and sometimes more sinister things. Harper's latest case seems to belong in this last category. When a 90-foot yacht called Seawitch sails itself back into Seattle harbor, twenty-seven years after vanishing with all hands aboard, she gets hired by the insurance company to determine whether fraud is involved. Police detective Rey Solis, who has often observed that Harper gets all the weird cases, comes along to look for evidence of foul play. What they find out shakes Solis's beliefs about the nature of reality, and blows Harper's cover as far as he is concerned.
First of all, blood magic is involved—the evidence is splattered all over the cabin of the boat. Then there's the hint that someone was on board who was not listed among those lost when the Seawitch went missing, and a woman now living at the marina looks suspiciously like this mystery passenger. A survivor dies in mysterious circumstances... A bell belonging to another shipwreck turns up in the Seawitch's bilge... A boatload of ghosts and the guardian beast of the Grey both want Harper to do something... And both mermaids and shape-changing otter-men turn out to be dangerously real. A magical door is about to close for another 27 years, and hundreds of lost souls are counting on Harper to set them free before it's too late, and a rapist and/or murderer may still be at large, and... well, I think that's enough seriousness to go on with. Don't you?
Welcome again to the mysterious world of one hardboiled hottie, served with a side of magic. Unlike some ongoing series about detectives, wizards, etc., the scenery in this series constantly changes. Something spooky is going on in the life of Harper's soulmate Quinton. Her friends the Danzigers have moved on with their lives. Harper is rethinking old relationships and establishing new ones—including the unexpectedly interesting family of Detective Sergeant Solis. Not only has he gone up in rank, but his stake in things weird and woolly has increased as well. It will be interesting to see what comes of it. Perhaps we will find out in the next book, to-date the latest in the series, titled Possession.