Carole Nelson Douglas,
Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator #1: Dancing with Werewolves
(Juno, 2007)

Delilah Street has spotty recollection of her past, but knows she was named after the street where she was found. Unfortunately, there are no streets by that name in Wichita, Kansas. Described as a loner in the orphanage, her adult life is much the same -- save for a Lhasa apso anklebiter named Achilles. She's an investigative reporter working the paranormal beat at WTCH-TV in Wichita.

So, she spends a lot of time watching TV. She's stunned when CSI Vegas V comes on showing a cadaver being dissected that could be her twin -- right down to the topaz nose ring she wears.

When a date with vampire anchorman Ted goes completely sour, Del loses her dog, job and her home. It's time to go to Las Vegas and see if she can figure out who the mystery cadaver is.

When she gets there, she's got quite a shock. The town's run by werewolves. Also, she's got magical gifts with an affinity for silver. This might be enough to keep her alive long enough to find out who her "twin" was.

Dancing with Werewolves had everything going for it that makes a book good. Delilah Street is a likable and interesting character. Her nightmares and spotty memories indicate some past issues and her behavior is consistent as well. She's the kind of girl who will adopt a big dog even when her own future is in doubt.

The setting is an alternate history. In Delilah's world, instead of Y2K bringing massive technological failures, all the "unhumans" came out. All the major players are there, along with weather witches, cinema simulcrums and some other interesting talents.

Vegas is the usual neon-rainbow covering a cesspool with some even darker elements -- and the occasional noir aspect of a film character showing up to lend a helping hand -- or not. Author Carole Nelson Douglas has an amazing ability to bring readers to a place.

The plot keeps you reading as well. There are quite a few satisfying and macabre twists.

While Dancing definitely falls in the fantasy classification, paranormal romance readers should find enough action to keep them interested. Anyone who enjoys Simon R. Green's Nightside series may very well like this book as well.

review by
Becky Kyle

3 May 2008

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