Black Magic Woman, by Justin Gustainis, is first in the new Quincey Morris Supernatural Investigation series.
Quincey Morris is not exactly a detective per se, but more of a consultant on the supernatural. Have a problem with vampires, ghosts, or curses? Quincey is well-qualified with plenty of experience. And as descendant of one of the men who helped Van Helsing destroy the legendary Count Dracula, Quincey comes from a lineage of experts on the supernatural.
When a man comes to Quincey for help with something unseen that’s been attacking his family, Quincey soon realizes that the family is cursed. He, then, turns to Libby Chastain to assist him. Libby has expertise in this area, as she’s a witch. A white witch to be exact. And a black witch has it out for this family, intent on killing them all. As Quincey and Libby investigate the source of the attacks, they put themselves in danger and under the wrath of the vengeful black witch.
This was an exciting urban fantasy, comparable to Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, though a bit more explicit with darker themes. Quincey Morris is a thoroughly enjoyable character. And I’m hoping that he and Libby get fleshed-out more in the next installment. More description seemed to go into the minor character of a supernatural detective from South Africa whose story runs parallel to Quincey’s. The subplot did weave well into the main storyline of the vengeful witch. But I have to say that the ending was somewhat anti-climactic for me. I was expecting a big, action-packed showdown, which didn’t happen.
Fans of the genre will certainly enjoy this story. Gustainis doesn’t skimp on creepy zombies and demented demons. Quincey and Libby face these and more in this fun new series.
Black Witch Woman releases January 8, 2008 from bookstores everywhere. And I’ll be looking forward to the planned sequel Evil Ways in 2009!