July 5, 2014

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Charleston’s Trifles & Follies may look like your average antique shop, but in reality it’s so much more. Cassidy Kincaide is just the latest descendant to inherit the shop. They cater to the many antique hounds and interior decorators of the area but their prime focus is handling magical and supernatural items.

Cassidy has the ability to experience an item’s past, something that frequently opens her up to strange and even dangerous visions. But it seems Charleston has lately had an influx of items causing even the most psychically challenged locals to see and experience things that are beyond ordinary.

It soon becomes clear that there’s something strange at work in the historic city. It also seems the strange happenings may be connected to a recent spate of murders and could possibly trace back to the deaths of an underwater salvage team just six months ago. Cassidy and her partners, Sorren (a centuries-old vampire who helped start Trifles & Follies) and Teag (a man gifted with spell weaving) know they’re up against something big but just how big – and how dangerous – is the real question at hand.

Gail Z. Martin has made a name for herself with her epic fantasy series but now she turns an eye to urban fantasy as well. In actuality, the Deadly Curiosities series began with a number of short stories penned by the author. There are a few references to those adventures in the novel but no need to have read the shorts prior to Deadly Curiosities.

Charleston makes for the perfect setting here. The author plays off the city’s history and landmarks but has also cleverly invented people, places, and events unique to the story.

The premise of the series is quite fun but there are a few rocky moments in this first installment. Nonetheless, this is a series that I will be looking forward to more of in the future.

7/14 Becky Lejeune

DEADLY CURIOSITIES by Gail Z. Martin. Solaris (June 24, 2014). ISBN 978-1781082331. 464p.