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Jinx High: A Diana Tregarde Investigation    by Mercedes Lackey order for
Jinx High
by Mercedes Lackey
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2006 (1991)
Softcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Though I've long been a fan of Mercedes Lackey, this was my first encounter with Guardian Diana Tregarde, an attractive romance writer, witch, and martial artist. Jinx High left me wanting to read more of her adventures.

Fay Harper is the high school Queen Bee - and has been playing that role for centuries. She enjoys the adulation of all around her, and uses sorcery to magnify it, and against anyone who annoys her. She picks out a suitable mate in high school, marries for long enough to have a daughter, when she divests herself (permanently) of husband and in-laws, raises the child and takes over her body. But Fay picks the wrong young man to enspell this time. Though Deke Kestrell's powerful mother is out of the country, his dad is a clairvoyant who senses trouble around his son, and calls on an old friend and colleague for help - Diana Tregarde.

Diana is enlisted to give writing classes to the Honors English class (it's worth reading the book for these tips on the writing life alone). She begins to mentor a new girl in school, Monica Carlin, who wants to be a writer, is attracted to Deke, and disliked by Fay - who does something about it. That catches Diana's attention, but she's looking in all the wrong places, as such a powerful sorceror cannot be young. Complicating matters is an ancient power in the area - one that mustn't be awakened. And while Diana seeks the identity of the sorceress, Fay makes big plans to gain more power, culminating at a school dance, where the music will be truly demonic, and Diana is to chaperone.

Of course, this 'one-woman UXB squad' foils the evil (with a little help from surprising sources), but then the author inserts a sneaky twist in the ending, a great setup for a sequel. Don't miss Jinx High.

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