Select one of the keywords
Black Dust Mambo    by Adrian Phoenix order for
Black Dust Mambo
by Adrian Phoenix
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2010 (2010)
Paperback, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Black Dust Mambo starts off running and never stops. Adrian Phoenix has written one heck of a hoodoo thrill ride that will have readers clamoring for the next in her new series.

Kallie Rivière is having one hell of a day, and her troubles have just started. After a long night of partying at the Hecatean Alliance's annual carnival (kind of like spring break for magic workers), Kallie awakens in her bathroom, hung over. Her headache, though, is nothing compared to what Gage, the sexy nomad in her bed, is feeling ... or rather, not feeling, as he is dead. Before she can even comprehend what happened, Gage's best friend Layne shows up at her door. Naturally, Layne thinks Kallie is responsible for Gage's death, which actually is true in a roundabout way: the spell that killed Gage and stole his soul was meant for her.

Shortly thereafter, Kallie's friend Dallas is almost killed by a spell, supposedly sent by her aunt Gabrielle. Kallie is quickly taken for questioning by the head of the Hecatean Alliance, Lord Augustine Basil, who learns of her innocence when he is the next victim of the murderous maid who is not acting on her own. Lucky for Augustine, but unlucky for Layne, Layne is a vessel for dead souls. Augustine's spirit wastes no time commandeering Layne's body. Now Kallie and her friends must find out who wants her dead before the person succeeds in his or her quest.

Most urban fantasies are packed with action, but I never read one as brimming with it as Black Dust Mambo. There is not a single slow spot within the 368 pages. Even the short but plentiful exposition-filled flashbacks are teeming with forward momentum. The action is helped along by all of Phoenix's likeable characters. Kallie is hot-tempered yet approachable (at least to the reader). Her best friend Belladonna is a hoot. Dallas may be a little pesky, but it is easy to see his good true intentions. Layne is a hottie. His ex-wife McKenna is a feisty bundle of energy, and Augustine, despite what he does to Layne, really grows on the reader. Phoenix shows a talent for crafting unique and memorable characters within an action-packed mystery.

Black Dust Mambo is a must read for any urban fantasy fan. Once you pick it up, you will not want to put it down and will be eagerly anticipating Adrian Phoenix's next Hoodoo novel.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Fantasy books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews