A Date With Death

Title: A Date with Death (Conjuring a Coroner Book Zero)

Publisher/Author: S.C. Stokes

Pages: 159pp

Price: 99 cents (ebook)

Kasey Chase is a rising star in the Medical Examiner’s Office in New York City. She is also a descendant of Welsh Druids. Unfortunately, her magical talents are unusual. Kasey is prescient, with a particular skill for “seeing” death. She can not only see past events with a touch (especially those that tie directly to a murder), but also future, potential deaths. Ostracized and hunted, she fled the magical community, changed her name, and quietly set about using her talents to do some good in the world. … When she is summoned to the massive Harrington family estate, she is quickly caught up in a multi-billion dollar murder conspiracy. Her secret exposed, Kasey finds herself being hunted once again … this time by a killer determined to destroy an entire family ….

The premise behind A Date with Death sounded interesting, and I enjoyed the sample enough to purchase and download the rest of the book. Overall, it was an enjoyable and highly entertaining read. A Date with Death definitely held my attention. Kasey is an appealing protagonist: she has no patience for bullies or those who try to buy their way out of trouble. While she may occasionally feel some sympathy for those who resort to killing, she never condones murder, and will do whatever it takes to see that justice is done.

Which, of course, is how she ends up in the middle of an impressive mess at the Harrington estate.

After the first few chapters, I thought that I had A Date with Death figured out. I thought that I could predict where it would go and why. Wow, was I way off. The story took a hard left, with more twists following. While I was correct in my guess as to the identity of the murderer, I was completely wrong about who would be a friend to Kasey, who would be an enemy, why, who would live, and who would die.

All of which made for an exciting read.

Unfortunately, the book is marred by some serious typographical errors. There are missing quotation marks, missing periods, missing commas, broken paragraphs, and abrupt cut-offs in descriptions and dialogue. I found myself taking a mental red pen to the errors, which interrupted the flow of the story. I had to keep rebuilding scenes in my head to get back into the narrative.

That being said, A Date with Death is a fun urban fantasy/mystery with an unusual and appealing protagonist. Recommended to fans of The Arcane Casebook series by Dan Willis, A Grave Calling by Wendy Roberts, The Sonoma Witches series by Gretchen Galway, and The Dark Yule by R.M. Callahan.

[Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of the Pagan literary ezine, Eternal Haunted Summer. A complete list of her published works can be found there.]