Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I'm giving this story 3.5 stars (sorry - Goodreads and NetGalley don't show half stars). For me, the story fared much better than the writing. Cassidy owns an antiques store in Charleston, SC, with a cute name - Trifles and Folly; however most people don't realize that she and her store also serve to neutralize haunted and possessed objects. Cassidy is a psychometric, so she can read the history of objects by touching them, and she works along side a vampire/benefactor named Sorren and a young man named Teag, who has magical talents as a Weaver. To be honest, I read through the book and I am still not sure what that means. Teag seems to be good at research and hacking online, and somehow this also translates to tying knots, needlework, and actual weaving. I feel like Martin missed out on some exposition (or perhaps I just missed out on where the origin and usefulness of his abilities were explained). Dead bodies start piling up, and previously calm or non-haunted objects all of a sudden start turning malevolent, so Cassidy and team are called in to find out what was going on. The story drags down from there. Cassidy and Teag are not romantically involved, but they go out for meals or coffee 3-4 times, and every coffee shop and restaurant they go to has people working there with complete backstories of their own. I found myself reading and thinking, "Is this person relevant? Is there a reason why Martin is going into such detail?" But they weren't - and afterward it just seemed like a lot of unnecessary niceties. To me, this book was urban fantasy lite. Given the cover (and I know you are not to judge books by the cover), I expected something grittier. Deadly Curiosities was a fun book - the action scenes were quite good, and I was very amused that Cassidy's weapons included a wooden spoon and a dog collar. This book seems to be setting itself up to be the first book in a series; I am interested in reading what comes next - but I also hope that the writing tightens up a bit and perhaps a little romance is thrown in.
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