Title: Murder Between the Worlds (A Between the Worlds novel)
Publisher/Author: Morgan Daimler
Pages: 266pp
Price: $12.99 / $1.99

It has been one hundred years since the Sundering, when the mortal realm and the elven realm unexpectedly collided. There was war for a time, but an uneasy peace has been reached. Unfortunately, that peace is threatened when someone begins to ritually murder young women in the small border town of Ashwood. At a loss, the human police and Elven Guard turn to empathic witch and bookstore owner Aliaine “Allie” McCarthy for assistance. A long lost book is at the center of the mystery and everyone seems to think that Allie knows the location of the book, or that she can find it. Allie isn’t so sure. But with time running out, the bodies piling up, and the lives of Allie and her friends in danger, she has no choice ….

I’m a big fan of Daimler’s nonfiction works, especially their books on the Fae. When I discovered that they had written an urban fantasy series, I knew that I had to try it. Overall, I quite enjoyed the book, and I look forward to reading the next eight(!) books that have been written (with more no doubt in the planning stage).

First, I really like Allie. She’s middle-aged and curvy. Not at all the typical skinny young thing that populates most urban fantasy novels. She’s also uncertain and frightened. She’s not some badass, makes-no-mistakes uber-witch. She’s out of her depth and she knows it, but she is also determined to help. She is inspiring.

I also really like the supporting cast. They represent a variety of ethnicities and sexual orientations, as well as attitudes towards the Sundering and the worlds it created. Some have accepted the way things other, while others have not. Prejudices and hatreds can die hard.

The world (or worlds) that Allie and her friends inhabit is an interesting mash-up of modern and antique. Cell phones exist, but gasoline can be difficult to acquire. Large cities still stand, but many areas along the border have been reclaimed by nature, resulting in greenbelts filled with ruins and abandoned buildings.

A word of warning, however: the ritual murders are graphic. We get inside the heads of the victims and feel their pain and fear. There are also multiple references to sexual assault, and one near assault. For those who find such content upsetting, it might be best to either skip these scenes or even find a different urban fantasy series to read.

Murder Between the Worlds is an engaging occult mystery filled with appealing characters. Recommended to fans of the San Amaro Investigations series by Kai Butler, the A Witch in Wolf Wood series by Lindsay Buroker, Wild Knight by Annabel Chase, and the Valkyrie Bestiary series by Kim McDougall.

[Reviewed by Rebecca Buchanan.]

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