Iron & Velvet by Alexis Hall is a paranormal F/F romance mystery. I’m always up for anything paranormal with a broody detective, so this was right up my alley. Kate Kane is a private investigator for the supernatural underworld of London. Even though she has a fairy mother, she lives her life as a human, only calling on her untested powers for emergencies. The book opens with a werewolf’s murder outside an elite vampire club. Kate’s called onto the case by her ex-boyfriend Patrick who basically a vampire fixer. The vampires would like her to wrap up the case quickly and quietly lest a vampire-werewolf war breaks out. Because of course, the victim just has to be related to the werewolf ruling family. A case wrought with supernatural politics, but she is up to the challenge. Even when her ex-boyfriend tells her to walk away.
In the course of the investigation, she crosses path with the club’s owner, Julian, a former nun now turned vampire prince. Talk about dating someone with a ton of baggage. Kate simply can’t resist getting to closer to this deadly femme fatale. Kate’s last girlfriend moved out over a year ago, so she is a bit lonely. Before she can even regret going on a first date, the vampire and she are attacked by an assassin. Proving this killer isn’t only targeting werewolves. Kate has to follow the trail wherever it leads, even if that’s right into a werewolf funeral and their magical hunting rite that follows.
I enjoyed reading this story on my Kindle whenever I had time. It took me a while to finish because I simply because I would forget about it. I decided to finish it when I realized I had inadvertently purchased the second book. I buy so many books and sometimes it’s hard to keep track. And now it turns out both are out of print and a copy is going for $65-466 online, which is nuts. I liked this story, but I can’t imagine anyone spending that much for it. Hopefully, Hall is simply in between publishers and the digital versions will be available again soon. His other contemporary novels seem to have digital and print distribution. There are a few similarities to the Kate Daniels series, but I don’t think it’s as criminal as some of the goodreads reviewers did. Yes, the main character is named Kate and has a rough exterior with a mysterious supernatural background. But the London setting and nuances of the supernatural politics are enough differentiation for me. Not to mention the lesbian romance plot. If you’re looking for a standard urban fantasy with a romantic b story, this is a great read. I’ll be reading the second book for CBR11 and wouldn’t mind reading other books from Hall.
Read more of my musings on my blog, Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict.