Jennifer Estep’s first book in her Elemental Assassin’s series, Spider‘s Bite, has all the “elements” anyone would want in a book—a tough smart woman protagonist who is a skilled assassin, a mystery regarding who is the bad guy (or girl), characters with magical abilities and individual runes, a sexy policeman with the hots for the woman he wants to put behind bars or kill, and dwarves. What more could you ask for?!
Still, at times I needed or wanted a little bit more. It was not until I was at least halfway through the book that I felt invested in the characters and really wanted to find out who was behind their troubles and learn more about Gin Blanco’s childhood.
On the plus side, once you do get that far into the world Jennifer Estep has created, you recognize the uniqueness of her characters. My favorites included Gin Blanco’s “brother” Finn who has a good sense of humor, and is more of a lover than a fighter and the wacky Devereux sisters- Jo-Jo and Sofia, dwarves with magical abilities who assist Gin in her professional endeavors. Forget Merry Maids, call a dwarf if you need a dead body cleaned up!
Another unique feature of the book that worked well was the author’s development of Gin Blanco’s culinary abilities. If you are good with knives generally, why not use them in the kitchen too?
I give the book three chocolate dipped strawberries and look forward to more revelations about Gin’s powers and her past, and a few more recipes….