Welcome to my tour stop for Descendants of the Rose by Juliette Harper! This is the first book in the Selby Jensen Paranormal Mysteries series and the tour runs July 20-31. Check out the tour page for more information.
“You want to know what I do for a living? I rip souls out. Cut heads off. Put silver bullets where silver bullets need putting. You think there aren’t any monsters? . . . I have some disturbing news for you. You might want to sit down. Monsters walk among us. I’m looking for one in particular. In the meantime? I’m keeping the rest of them from eating people like you.”
In this debut novel of her new paranormal mystery series, Juliette Harper, author of The Lockwood Legacy books and The Study Club Mysteries creates a cast of characters, most of whom have one thing in common; they don’t have a pulse. The dead are doing just fine by Selby, who is determined never to lose someone she loves again, but then a force of love more powerful than her grief changes that plan.
Join Selby Jensen as she and her team track down a shadowy figure tied to a murder at a girls’ school. What none of them realize, however, is that in solving this case, they will enter a longer battle against a larger evil.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wow, what a blast!
Although initially I was a bit put off by the blatant info dump at the start (the whole first chapter is the central character, Selby, filling you in on everything you should know about her world) I found Selby’s voice and character – tough-as-nails, yet vulnerable beneath – to be highly engaging.
Selby is a private investigator – or at least, that’s how her business card reads. She and her small team – best (dead) friend Helen, a ghost, and Johnny, a wealthy vampire with a passion for tech – peruse the internet for cases that might require their specialist attention. Thus begins what appears at first to be a ‘simple’ case of a demon invasion of a Fundamentalist Christian girl’s school, and rapidly becomes more complicated than they could ever have envisaged.
Lurking in the background throughout is Selby’s personal pain following the death of her cop husband, Dex, at the fangs of a spectacularly vicious werewolf, and with a murdered schoolgirl, a cheeky poltergeist (or is he?), the Virgin Mary, a Cajun bruja, reincarnation, and an evil shadow so powerful they have no idea how to stop it, it’s a miracle the author succeeded in wrapping this story line up successfully before the end of the book, but she pulled it off.
The secondary characters are all well developed, and more of them join the team ready for the next instalment which I will most definitely be reading.
At the end of this book is a teaser chapter from the start of the next, and yet again, we get the info dump. But for this, I would have been on a five star rating, as in all other respects the book is well written, fast paced and professionally presented.
Highly recommended, unless you are uncomfortable with the idea of mixing paranormal with themes that question religion.
About the Author:
Juliette Harper is the pen name used by the writing team of Patricia Pauletti and Rana K. Williamson. Descendants of the Rose is the first installment of Harper’s debut Selby Jensen Paranormal Mystery series.
Pauletti, an Easterner of Italian descent, is an accomplished musician with an eye for art and design. Williamson, a Texan, worked as a journalist and university history instructor before becoming a full-time freelance writer in 2002.
Juliette Harper is also the author of The Lockwood Legacy, a nine-book chronicle of the lives of three sisters who inherit a ranch in Central Texas following their father’s suicide. Four of the novels are currently available: Langston’s Daughters, Baxter’s Draw, Alice’s Portrait and Mandy’s Father.
And don’t miss her hilariously funny “cozy” Study Club Mysteries, a light-hearted spinoff of The Lockwood Legacy. The books, set in the 1960s, take on the often absurd eccentricities of small town life with good-natured, droll humor. The first book, You Can’t Get Blood Out of Shag Carpet is available with the second, You Can’t Put a Corpse in a Parade, coming in Summer 2015.