Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: 5/26/10
How I got this book: NetGalley
Allegra Faitweather is the first book by debut author Janni Nell. Allegra gets a call to head over to Scotland to help solve the case of the bleeding rose. The rose usually means that some kind of large disaster is coming, and Allegra wants to try to stop whatever that disaster may be.
Fighting against the unknown, she encounters a shrieking banshee that calls out the deaths of two of the town folk. Then, an old ghost looking to take the heart of a warrior so that he and his lover can finally rest in peace attacks her. She loses two dead bodies that are mysteriously bitten to death, and then replaced with fish. She also encounters brownies, a few witches, and the selkies from the loch.
Along for the ride is Allegra’s guardian angel, whom she lovingly nicknamed Casper. Since Allegra is constantly finding herself in a bind, Casper is always there to pull her out of trouble and save her life at the last possible minute. But when Douglas, the pub owner with a huge crush, gets a glimpse at Casper, the two start a pissing match over Allegra’s affections.
When Allegra finally figures out the cause of the bleeding rose, will she be able to help save all those involved, or will this mystery stump even her?
I was not super impressed by this book. I thought that the case itself was somewhat convoluted and it wasn’t able to hold my interest. It just seemed to me that there was almost TOO much going on where the case was concerned. Was it the mysterious being from the loch, was it the coven of witches, the really old ghost trying to steal people’s hearts? There was so much other paranormal activity going on as well, that it seemed to me as if the case didn’t really start until about a quarter of the way into the book.
I did love that Nell pulled in some different mythical creatures though. A lot of the paranormal books out right now tend to feature vampires, mammal shape shifters, demons, witches, and the occasional angel. I was impressed that these more mainstream creatures didn’t get any face time. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that had selkie’s in it before, and I loved that. It was something totally different than what is currently out there and popular right now and that alone was a point that impressed me.
I did enjoy the main characters Allegra and Casper. I thought it was great that although Casper was her guardian angel and able to adapt to the times, he still got car sick every time he tried to ride with Allegra. Little details like that can really make a character totally loveable to me, and Casper was definitely a shining star in the book. I enjoyed Allegra as well, she was strong, set in her ways, and seemed to genuinely love her job, despite of what people say to her. The two of them were great interacting together, and if the series continues, I would love to see how Nell progresses their relationship.
I also want to give three cheers to this cover. Carina Press has done an incredible job with their covers so far, and this is one of my favorites. I love the colors and the way that Allegra is kept somewhat mysterious, yet beautifully featured. Bravo for that!
All in all I give Allegra Faitweather: Paranormal Investigator 2 out of 5 bleeding roses!