Carole Nelson Douglas, Dancing with Werewolves

Posted January 13, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Dancing With Werewolves (Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator, #1)Dancing With Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas
Series: Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator, 1
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First in the Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator urban fantasy series based in Las Vegas and revolving around an intrepid reporter turned investigator.

My Take

Douglas sets up the series in this story and I’m torn. Part of me is irritated with her uneven writing but a larger part of me [no pun intended!] is intrigued with her cast of characters and where Douglas intends to take it.

Douglas has so much going on: Delilah discovering her psychic side along with the mirror abilities as well as her odd, almost hysterical naiveté; Ric seems to be hiding something; all the bad guys in Vegas want her for something; her dog…I don’t think her dog is a dog…; and, Hector Nightwine has some kind of hidden agenda—certainly his food choices are *ahem* interesting.

Oh, gimme a break! Douglas needed to spend more time working up the kidnapping that leads to the eventual hunt. It’s a lazy excuse to have Delilah refuse to tell anyone where she’s going in order to create some tension. All it did was piss me off. Although, I do enjoy the morphing jewelry.

Still for all the gag-worthy lines, Douglas has a unique take on the supernatural world and the effects of Y2K as well as her introduction of the CinSims and I’m anxious to read on and see what happens.

The Story

Between seeing her “twin” on a CSI episode and Ted’s sabotage that results in Achilles’ death, Delilah is fed up and heads to Vegas to discover who that woman was. The most likely resource being Nightwine Productions, the producers of CSI.

As part of her reconnaissance, Delilah explores Sunset Park across the street from Nightwine’s building where she meets Ric Montoya and experiences a mutually electric and erotic moment. A moment that leads to a wide array of experiences: an offer from Hector Nightwine of a job and a place to live; the [unwanted] attention of the police, Detective Haskell in particular; and, increased problems for Ric, although, it does lead to some very sensual salsa for the two of them when Ric introduces her to the other side of life in Vegas.

It’s Delilah’s first negative encounter with a Maggie-lovin’ public that encourages her to replace Achilles with Quicksilver. A good thing since the negative attention continues to mount and Quicksilver proves his worth. The investigation she pursues regarding the bodies she and Ric discover in Sunset Park simply adds more parties interested in the sexy Delilah. And, no, it’s not in a good way.

The Characters

Delilah Street embraces a whole new life in Las Vegas when the vampire newscaster she’s seeing sabotages her Kansas life. Delilah has a passion for vintage clothing and classic movies with a crazy reporter’s need to know. Dolly is her ’56 black Cadillac with a red leather interior and a white ragtop. Quicksilver is part wolfhound and newly adopted from the Las Vegas ASPCA. And very jealous of her burgeoning relationship with Ric. Irma is her subconscious girlfriend.

Ric Montoya, a.k.a., the Cadaver Kid, is a former FBI agent with a Gift. A gift for discovering the dead. Hector Nightwine is the producer of CSI and a seriously odd man. He’s agoraphobic and experiences the outside through an extensive audio/video system; most useful when Haskell gets too physical with Delilah. He has a butler, Godfrey, who is a CinSim. CinSims, Cinema Simulacrums, are a result of a merging of zombies with classic film stars brought back to “life” to serve whoever purchases their bodies. Perry Mason shows up as Delilah’s defense attorney when she’s taken in by Haskell for questioning.

Detective Haskell is one of the old-school, obnoxious, and prejudiced policemen with a corrupt outlook. Captain Kennedy Malloy is a friend of Ric’s. Vilma Brazil is a really old B-movie actress currently working wardrobe at the Twin Peaks. Hugh Hefner is the oldest vampire still in Las Vegas. Grady Bahr is the coroner for Las Vegas; it takes Delilah entirely too long to get the connection when he asks her to call him “Grisly”.

Snow, a.k.a., Christophe, is one of the Seven Deadly Sins’ band members as well as the owner of the Inferno. He has an intense interest in Delilah that results in a most unusual gift of a lock of his hair. A very active lock of hair. Grizelle is his shapeshifter (white tiger) bodyguard. Nick Charles and the Invisible Man are CinSims at the Inferno who help Delilah with her investigations, break-ins, and escapes.

Cesar Cicero is the werewolf mob boss who owns six different hotels and “requires” Delilah to work for him as part of a magic act simply because she has spoken with Snow and he thinks she’s Maggie. Turning him down is not on his schedule. Sansouci is his hit man and seems to have a sympathy for Delilah. Madrigal is his pet magician. He and his two assistants Sylphia and Phasia have been trapped at the Gehenna for 60 years.

The Cover

The cover is Vegas, baby! With its flash building and even flashier “Fabulous Vegas” billboard creating a background for a black-velvet-sheathed Delilah and her new dog Quicksilver.

The title says it all as Delilah, Ric, and Quicksilver are Dancing with Werewolves throughout the story.

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