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The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison
Review by Gayle Surrette
HarperTorch Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 0060572973
Date: 01 February, 2005 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Dead Witch Walking introduced Rachel Morgan and her world to readers, and in The Good, the Bad, and the Undead we get more of a feel for the characters and the world they live in. There?s a lot to like: vampires all dangerous, sexy and controlling; pixies with attitude; witches, including our heroine; demons with a sense of humor; warlocks with little humor or common sense; humans and their fear of tomatoes; and the problems they all have living together.

In book time, three months have passed since the incidents in Dead Witch Walking. Rachel, Ivy, and Jenks have been picking up jobs for their detective agency, Vampiric Charms, and settling into the church and garden. Rachel has learned not to set off Ivy?s vampiric hunting instincts and things are starting to look up. Then Rachel gets a job working for the Howlers, a werewolf sports team, to recover their team mascot. After getting the fish back and nearly getting caught she?s picked up not by Ivy but by a Federal Inderland Bureau officer, Glenn Glade. Captain Edden wants her to consult on a missing person case.

The missing person is the Dan Smather, a ley line witch and the boyfriend of Sara Jane Gradenko, Trent Kalamack?s secretary. Kalamack and Rachel have history and Rachel wants to see him rot in prison. Cincinnati is currently having a problem with ley line witches turning up tortured and very, very dead. Rachel naturally thinks Kalamack is involved. The FIB thinks the killer may be Dr. Anders who taught every one of the victims. Rachel has been enrolled in Dr. Anders ley line class at FIB expense ? a class Rachel flunked when she was in school.

But, worse is yet to come, since the FIB doesn?t trust her not to go after Kalamack, they partner her with a human, Detective Glenn Glade. So she has to not only find the killer but also baby-sit a human searching for a killer in the Hollows. When Ivy finds out she goes into full vamp mode and attacks Rachel. Ivy?s scared, and Rachel has never seen her scared before. Rachel is walking a thin line trying to find a killer, keep Ivy from vamping out, keep Glenn from getting himself killed, and keep her boyfriend from calling up the demon who marked them both in the first book.

Again, Rachel lets her instincts rule her. As she gets into the case she finds that it has connections to her past and her father. Rachel learns some family secrets about her childhood, her father, and their Kalamack connection. Things will never be the same as her world shifts and new perspectives open before her. I?m really looking forward to the next Rachel Morgan book to see what happens. There are lots of loose ends at the end of this mystery and anticipating the answers can keep you busy while you wait for the next installment.

Recommended for those who like mysteries that don?t come in a neat package.

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