The princess is back to her L.A. private eye roots in this 8th installment in the Meredith Gentry series. Less faerie politics and more detective horror mystery is what you’ll find in Divine Misdemeanors. Merry has finally settled down in L.A. (sort of) with her 6 baby daddies… and assorted other guards and entourage… to await the birth of their twins and to take a few detective consults on the side. The band is back together and the inter-personal drama is as rich as the crime mystery. This is a great read and a good return to the Merry Gentry detective series after its recent departure into deep faerie politics and the pregnancy race.
- Title: Divine Misdemeanors
- Series: Meredith Gentry – book #8
- Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
- Recommended reader age: 18+
- Sexual content level: Heavy
- Related authors: Karen Chance, Charlaine Harris, Jeaniene Frost
- Similar series: Cassie Palmer, Dorina Basarab, Sookie Stackhouse, Anita Blake
Meredith Gentry, recently crowned queen of the slaugh and of the Unseelie Court by faerie itself, has sacrificed her crown to bring back her lost love Frost and to settle down in Los Angeles with her men to await the birth of their twins. With 6 fathers for the 2 babies, the inter-personal drama is lively and definitely has potential for exciting future scuffles, while Merry’s entourage continues to grow (even her list of lovers, if you can believe it!) to over 100 fey living with her in exile! No, they aren’t ALL lovers (although it is easy to lose count at times) and luckily LKH does not try to juggle all 100+ of these personalities in the story, but we do get to see some past characters brought more into the spotlight and we get some updates on some of our old friends.
A nasty string of fey murders is the central plotline for this book, while some personal drama and some political maneuvering are starting to brew in the background. It’s back to her horror & detective roots for Laurell K. Hamilton with this one, with less emphasis on sex and more (respective to the past 3 novels in this series) on solving the crimes.
You might be thinking… ‘Hey, you missed some books!’. I skipped reviewing books 5-7 in this series because they all felt like one massive story split into 3 covers. I don’t want to give away too much of the story in these reviews, so it was safer to just skip them. They’re good, so if you were debating on finishing the series and you’ve made it happily through book 4, the next 3 are a quick & fun read.
This book, #8, reminds me a lot of the early Anita Blake novels. Actually, the first half reminds me of those and the second half reminds me of the later Anita Blake novels. It’s all crime-solving, crime-solving, crime-solving, then sex, sex, sex, then the book wraps up neatly (and predictably). Considering the extremely heavy sexual content of the past several novels in this series, this one is a breath of fresh air and a fun read all around. I would not recommend reading this unless you’ve read the rest of the series though… way too much history and too many characters to keep you confused!
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If you’ve read the rest of the books in the Meredith Gentry series and liked them, you should check out the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. The Cassandra Palmer series by Karen Chance is similar in adventure style (and by the fact that someone is ALWAYS trying to kill the main character!), but the charged sexual atmosphere now resembles Anita Blake more than Cassie Palmer.
The first crime scene…
The spicy smell of Eucalyptus could almost hide the scent of blood. If it had been this many adult human-sized bodies the Eucalyptus wouldn’t have had a chance, but they weren’t adult-sized. They were tiny by human standards, so tiny, the size of dolls; none of the corpses were even a foot tall, and some were less than five inches. They lay on the ground with their bright butterfly wings frozen as if in mid-movement. Their dead hands were wrapped around wilted flowers like a cheerful game gone horribly wrong. They looked like so many broken Barbie dolls, except Barbie dolls never lay so lifelike, or so perfectly poised. No matter how hard I’d tried as a little girl, their limbs remained stiff and unyielding. The bodies on the ground were stiff with rigor mortis, but they’d been laid out carefully, so they had stiffened in strangely graceful, almost dancing poses.
LKH has stated that the crime scenes she writes about are all based on true crime. That made it tough for me to read some of the early Anita Blake novels, due not just to the level of violence and gore, but to the mental knowlege that somewhere these terrible things (or something similar to them) actually happened to someone. There are scenes in this book that are serial killer spooky, but luckily the gore is toned WAY down. Maybe I’m desensitized from the ABVH books, but these scenes really didn’t bother me much at all.
|4.5 fangs: BITE IT!|