book reviews by Althea

A Murder of Mages – Marshall Ryan Maresca ***

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A Murder of Mages
A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lately, Satrine Rainey has been a stay-at-home mom. However, life has catapulted her into an untenable situation. Her husband, a police officer of the city of Maradaine’s Constabulary, has suffered an on-the-job injury leaving him severely disabled. Unfortunately, while Maradaine offers something like life insurance, disability insurance isn’t a thing.

The force has offered Satrine a ‘minimum-wage’ clerk’s position – but that won’t pay for the family’s rent and grocery bills, let alone the full-time caretaker her husband now needs, or her two daughters’ tuition fees. Satrine comes up with an audacious solution: she’ll lie and bluff her way into a full-time Inspector’s position on the force. Satrine’s former career as a spy aids her in this endeavor.

Just as she takes her new desk, and meets her new partner – a man ominously nicknamed ‘The Jinx’ – a new case comes across their messy desk. A mage has been murdered, in a particularly gruesome way which hints at magical ritual. And soon, it looks like they have a serial killer on their hands.

Solving the case may be the only hope Satrine has at proving herself and making it past her probationary period. It also may be the only way to save a great many lives.

The book is very much a genre mystery with a fantasy setting. It’s more of a ‘follow-the-action’ than a ‘keep track and figure out the clues’ mystery, but I’m fine with that. It moves along quickly, has likable and appealing characters, and is overall, great fun. I’d definitely read the sequels!

Many thanks to NetGalley and DAW for the opportunity to read this book, which I’d heard good things about. As always, my opinion is solely my own.

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