Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin
Cassidy Kincaide owns Trifles & Folly, an antique/curio store and high-end pawn shop in Charleston, South Carolina that is more than what it seems. Dangerous magical and supernatural items sometimes find their way into mortal hands or onto the market, and Cassidy is part of a shadowy Alliance of mortals and mages whose job it is to take those deadly curiosities out of circulation.
Welcome to Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670—acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It’s the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500 year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. When mundane antiques suddenly become magically malicious, it’s time for Cassidy and Sorren to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up.
Cassidy Kincaide and her associate Teag run an antique store by day and investigate strange occurrences caused by haunted items in their down time. But the latest happenings at a local B&B lead them to believe something much more dark and sinister is behind it. Cassidy’s silent partner is a vampire named Sorren, who is old, wise and has the knowledge they need to combat a deadly enemy.
Deadly Curiosities is an urban fantasy centered in historic Charleston, South Carolina. In fact, Charleston and its hauntings become a sort of character in itself. Martin has done some fascinating research and it shows. She mixes history with quite a bit of magic and lore with an irresistible effect. There is plenty of mystery, magic, suspense, and eerie hauntings. And the climactic ending doesn’t disappoint. I’m hoping this is just the first in a series as there is plenty of potential here.