Published by Ace on March 8, 2022
Genres: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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In this engrossing and gripping fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, an inn owner and her friends must find a killer—before it’s too late.…
Crowbones will gitcha if you don’t watch out!
Deep in the territory controlled by the Others—shape-shifters, vampires, and even deadlier paranormal beings—Vicki DeVine has made a new life for herself running The Jumble, a rustic resort. When she decides to host a gathering of friends and guests for Trickster Night, at first everything is going well between the humans and the Others.
But then someone arrives dressed as Crowbones, the Crowgard bogeyman. When the impostor is killed along with a shape-shifting Crow, and the deaths are clearly connected, everyone fears that the real Crowbones may have come to The Jumble—and that could mean serious trouble.
To “encourage” humans to help them find some answers, the Elders and Elementals close all the roads, locking in suspects and victims alike. Now Vicki, human police chief Grimshaw, vampire lawyer Ilya Sanguinati, and the rest of their friends have to figure out who is manipulating events designed to pit humans against Others—and who may have put Vicki DeVine in the crosshairs of a powerful hunter.
This is one of my favorite non-romance series and I was so excited that Anne Bishop took us back to Lake Silence.
This latest novel in The Others series takes us back to Lake Silence and Vicki DeVine in the Jumble. The Jumble is a rustic lakeside resort which was originally created to allow the terre indigene, or earth natives, to observe and learn from humans on how to blend into human society. Vicki DeVine was given what was thought of as this worthless property in her divorce settlement and during the past summer, her ex-husband and his cronies tried to take it back, to their detriment.
Since then, Chief Wayne Grimshaw calls Vicki a trouble magnet, but like Meg in the Lakeside Courtyard, Vicki is simply the linchpin that connects the terre indigene, the Elementals and Elders and the humans in the Village of Sproing. Without Vicki, who has been given the very important title of Reader, the terre indigene would have little interest in the health or safety of the humans surrounding Lake Silence. The earth natives, Elders and even the local Elementals have an interest in Vicki DeVine and have protected the human who they consider one of theirs.
So of course when someone wants to court trouble with the terre indigene around in this part of Thesia, they go to The Jumble where they know many terre indigene hang out. Vicki just happened to mention Trickster night to the Crowguard who are very excited to be a part of the festivities and even those terre indigene who can’t completely pass as human come to the door to get the special treats of mouse bits being given out besides the hard candy for human children. Then someone shows up dressed as Crowbones, the Crow bogeyman, which freaks the Crows out. But messing with the terre indigene in the Wild Country isn’t good for your health and something takes care of the troublemaker.
A Hunter has been following a contagion around the Finger Lakes for awhile now and has tracked it down to the Village of Sproing. The Elders have cut off the roads leading out of Sproing until the Hunter can locate and eliminate this contagion. The humans are worried about what is about to happen to their Village after the Great Predation decimated the human population, and the humans aren’t the only ones who are concerned since the terre indigene like the shifters and the vampire are trapped in the Village too. The contagion needs to be found fast but the question is will Grimshaw or the Hunter get there first? And if this contagion is human created, will the Elders allow Grimshaw to deal with it by human law or will they take care of the threat which has touched their own and how far will their purge go this time?
The best part of this story, which you might not catch right away, is the fact that the Crows have been so busy crowing about how they helped Grimshaw bring down the bad guys over the summer and now it seems all of the terre indigene want in on a police investigation. Vicki and the Crows watch a lot of cop & crime shows and they obviously share these stories with the other terre indigene who live around the lake and this seemed to have influenced all of the terre indgene who live near The Jumble, including the Elders and the local Elementals. As Grimshaw, Julian Farrow and Ilya Sanguinati investigate the crime scenes and interrogate suspects, everyone wants to be part of the investigation from the Elemental pony Fog hiding a crime scene from the locals, to one of the Coyotes sniffing a body to identify who has been there, to Aiden, the fire elemental sticking around for the questioning of suspects and asking “Are you playing bad cop, Chief Grimshaw?” Generally, terre indigene have no interest in human stuff but now they all coming out and asking “This is investigating? Like in the human stories?” and they all want to be able to tell their friends they were part of police investigating just like in the stories. It is hilarious!
I just love this series and have re-read it several times. In fact, I immediately re-read Crowbones and caught some things I missed the first time. I wish there were more stories. I was so excited to head back to The Jumble and spend time with Vicki, Julian, Grimshaw and Ilya again. Lake Silence was book 6, or the first in The World of The Others spinoff arc. But then Book 7, Wild Country, took us to the Town of Bennett which was talked about in Book 4. Since we left, Lake Silence and the Village of Sproing behind, I thought we were done with the Jumble which was disappointing because these were such a great group of characters and I wanted more.
This world of The Others is so creative and the characters that Anne Bishop writes for us are so fleshed-out that I want to spend more time with them. I can’t even tell you where I would want to go in the next book because I want to catch up with all our old favorites but maybe there are new friends just waiting to be found.
And he thought about how he and Ilya had talked about police procedure while something Ilya didn’t recognize had watched them from the dark.
Not a taunt or a threat. Someone had left evidence where he would find it.
Grimshaw recognized Julian’s car and gave his friend a nod as the car slowed, then turned into the narrow driveway that led to the parking area behind Lettuce Reed. A minute later, Julian and Natasha Sanguinati were standing next to him.
“Gods,” Julian said softly.
“Maybe we can rig a tarp or block the space with cars until the CIU team arrives,” Grimshaw said. “We’ve got too many tourists in town, and we need to keep people from seeing this.”
“Ah,” Natasha said at the same time Grimshaw spotted the black luxury sedan heading toward them.
Then a sudden gust of wind lifted Natasha’s hair–and a dense fog obscured the parking space. Just that space.
“Air says you owe Fog a carrot,” Natasha said before she stepped away from them to meet Ilya as he got out of the car.
“I have a couple of carrots at the bookstore,” Julian said. “I’ll be back in a minute.”
Julian returned with a small bowl of carrot chunks. Seconds after that, a chubby, misty gray pony with clompy feet stood next to Grimshaw, clearly expecting his payment. Grimshaw fed him the carrots, thanked Fog for his assistance, and watched the pony wander down Main Street, covering other parking spaces–and wondered how the pony had learned to fog between the lines.