Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Book 6 in the Offbeat Crimes series, this book focuses on Carrington Loveless III, the skim blood vampire and his human boyfriend, Erasmus Graham, the rare books librarian he met in book 3 of the series, Skim Blood and Savage Verse. Carrington has long suspected the 77th Precinct has been a target with the number of strange things they have been dealing with, but when a walking corpse spouting Oscar Wilde attacks one of his officers, his suspicion seems to be confirmed. The investigation has worlds colliding again for Carr and Ras (much to Carr’s chagrin) as rare books are missing and the ones missing are making connections with the case. If they could only determine the who and why to stop it and keep everyone safe!
Review: This is one of my all time favorite series by one of my favorite authors. We have only done reviews for the first two books of the series (for the original publisher as well as the Pride rereleases which were extended and got gorgeous new covers), and I hope we can eventually get the rest of the series on here with reviews for people to reference. It is labelled as comedy as well as paranormal, and while there is definitely aspects of that in there, the members of the precinct have some unusual paranormal capabilities and what has been great for this series is how the characters have grown from people who barely tolerated one another to a tight knit family. And how those odd or broken abilities, have ended up helping them solve their cases and much to some outsiders chagrin, helped them succeed!
This time around, they have animated corpses, dubbed “zorpses”, speaking lines from various plays (rather badly) being encountered directly by the officers, and one officer in particular seems to be their main target. While trying to sort out who could be the suspect behind it all, they are once again required to work with the state paranormal group, which irritates Carr to no end, but turns out, this may be the exact ingredient they need to solve this case.
I have a deep and abiding love for this series, and highly recommend it to readers who enjoy an unusual perspective of writing paranormal, with the addition of the humor. For me though, the heart and the relationship of the characters is what brings me back each time – the lead characters as well as all the supporting characters and how those characters have grown into a team and a family, I care about them all. Vance started out as an angry man who frequently spouted homophobic slurs and was a jerk to almost everyone, to now being a key player in this story as well as finding some peace and happiness; Krisk, who, like Carrington, has not liked the coincidences of events they have dealt with but few seemed able to communicate with him, however, he seems best able to communicate with their unusual collection of familiars and animated outerwear! Jeff and Greg, who were once pretty quiet about sharing their opinions, now sharing theories and being an integral part of the story. The plot and all the characters make these stories progress, and the city of Philadelphia is one of those characters, as the locations were as important as the story itself. While the series is also labelled a romance and oh yes, that is part of all the stories – Kyle and Vikash, Alex and Jason, Carr and Erasmus, they are absolutely part of these stories, but they also become part of this wonderfully woven story and unconventional work family (like one of Pecca’s creations!). I could clearly go on about this, but I just hope people will read the series because, as always, Angel’s imagination is a wonder to me and takes you on a journey that pushes all boundaries of reality but you want to be a part of it! I’d happily be part of the 77th family, if only I could climb in there to do so and hang out with Audacity, LJ, Hunter, Tim…
Yes, I have my first favorite of 2018!