Plot: After a slow start, Dean’s novel moves quickly, with “answers” to various plot questions revealed at an engaging pace. The characters and the supernatural world are compelling and unique.
Prose: The mid 1900’s setting calls for a slightly different language than today, yet still some modern terms are used and jar the reader’s attention to the story. Frequent mentions of historical people and places do lend themselves well to the unique world Dean has built. Witty banter between the hero and heroine match both the time period and give the main mystery narrative fun jolts of romance and humor.
Originality: A number of genres—mystery, romance, and paranormal—mix to create a truly distinct narrative. An overabundance of characters and supernatural goings-on do threaten to overwhelm the story near the end, yet things do resolve in a fun and exciting way, while teasing further stories.
Character/Execution: The lead hero and heroine crackle with chemistry as their relationship grows with humor, attraction, and emotional connection. The supporting characters, especially the ones who populate the main team, are very entertaining. Unfortunately the main antagonists show up in the latter half the novel and don’t get as much time to form fully fleshed out personalities.
Date Submitted: August 10, 2020