Fire in Her Blood by Rachel Graves

Fire in Her Blood by Rachel Graves
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (402 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Daisy

Death witch and Detective Mallory Mors arrives at the scene of an out of control arson called by a victim who desperately wants to die. Using her powers, Mallory battles the strongest fire witch in town to help the woman cross over.

When she’s forced to work with the angry fire witch, she discovers their lives are linked in complicated ways. As all the other fire witches in the city mysteriously lose their powers, the heat is on to solve the case. Saddled with a vampire assault at the local supernatural brothel, a missing person who doesn’t want to be found, and a mess of vampire politics, Mallory struggles to put together the pieces before the city burns.

This book has all the elements of what I would call a riveting read. Despite being the second book in a series, it’s still a fully contained tale. Mallory Mors is a rookie detective in a magical world with numerous bad guys capable of burning people to a crisp, and her home life is steamy, with a head vampire beneath the sheets. Her latest story is full of fire witches and a tangled mystery of arson and death by fire, plus a bonus mystery surrounding the fire witches in her friendship circle.

As a protagonist, Mallory is spontaneous without being stupid, but she is naïve and green in her job, her powers and her beliefs, something I sense will change as the series progresses. I found the intricacies of her love life politics to be played well, most of the time, though occasionally she let a fight go too quickly, as did her partner. Their frequent time in bed, or heading towards it, vividly goes through the play by play of the event and is full of screams, primitive and primal alike. For me, this went too far and ended up sounding unrealistic, a caricature of the event. However, this may have been because I was far more interested in the mystery playing out within the book and found the romance to be a relatively boring interruption in this part of the narrative.

The mystery running through this story was what kept me hooked through the conflictless love scenes and the occasional typo. With fire after fire killing, maiming, and destroying buildings, the culprits were known but not their motives, or their location. The manhunt to find them, bouncing through many seedy establishments along the way, was riveting and gave me a wonderfully thorough introduction to the society and world Graves is building in this series. The payoff to this mystery was a little predictable and I had guessed the outcome from maybe halfway through the book, but there was a twist or two in there which made me smile.

This series is sure to appeal to people who like sex with their mysteries. Some readers may recognise it as a more mainstream version of what Laurell K Hamilton creates in her Anita Blake series. What draws me to the series above all else, are the potential conflicts to come. Mallory has embedded herself into a life with a vampire who keeps his professional life as head vampire of the city secret. Since an old friend of his has reappeared on the scene and become central to Mallory’s work, there’s much for her to learn and, I suspect, much she would not like. I’m eager to find out how those mysteries reveal themselves in later books. I imagine Mallory is in for a rough ride!

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