Carole Nelson Douglas, Brimstone Kiss

Posted February 13, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Brimstone Kiss (Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator, #2)Brimstone Kiss by Carole Nelson Douglas
Series: Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator, 2
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Second in the Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator urban fantasy series about a reporter-turned-investigator based in Las Vegas.

My Take
Douglas has got some imagination. She’s also something of a drama queen. Clever idea (and evidence) to consider that the pharaohs/mummies were vampires.

I gotta confess, I wouldn’t stick around for a potential client who has his messenger drop me off on an abandoned rooftop with the only way in via ductwork, ladders, and through grilles.

Odd Comments:
Hmm, not so much a loose thread as a loose connection. Why is Douglas having Caressa Teagarden tell Delilah about La Gargouille and then having Snow raise him?

Ric and Delilah have an interesting sex life. A vertical sex life with a bit of bondage and exhibitionism.

I’m torn between fascination with how Douglas incorporates classic movie references and actors (the CinSim Boys) into her story and how contrived it is.

I am so not understanding the significance of the Lip Venom that Rick passes on from Ugarte.

I guess Douglas is saving up the Imiut fetishes for the next installment.

It’s official. Delilah is irritating me. She’s asking Snow for this major favor—call up all his forces to invade the Karnak. Yeah, it’s major. She knows she’ll have to say “yes” to the Brimstone Kiss he’s been angling for if she wants to save Ric. And she really wants to save Ric. God knows, she’s going on and on about it enough as she whines over how much she loves him and she just has to save him from the pharaonic twins. But with all the pre-kiss bitching, I actually found myself hoping that Snow would refuse to kiss her. At the least, will somebody please let me smack her!

The Story
It’s just too weird when Bela Lugosi as Dracula enters Delilah’s bedroom at the Enchanted Cottage. Seems he’s the emissary for a potential new client. Then there’s the confirmation on the skeleton lovers Ric and Delilah found in Sunset Park (see Dancing with Werewolves). It seems Sansouci has some relevant info as well. Caressa Teagarden has also popped back into Delilah’s life—with some surprising news.

Lucky? Delilah ends up with a number of clients for the same job—identifying the skeleton couple: Hector Nightwine wants it for his show; Howard Hughes also wants their identity; who knows why Snow wants to know except that knowledge is power; and, the CinSim Boys who escape their restraints to keep Delilah informed. –The Boys like her style…

Of course, nothing is ever easy although Hector’s DVD of Haskell’s harassment comes in handy at the police station. Then there are the new shapeshifters in town who attack Delilah, fighting them off with the help of Sansouci and Quicksilver who pops up out of nowhere. Except that Delilah’s insatiable curiosity ends up with an involuntary meeting with Kepherati and Kephron—they think it was her talent that night out in the desert and they have their own prospect in mind for resurrection night. And that shape-changing jewelry…? Oh yeah, the Egyptian twins want that, too.

The mirror reveals Cicereau’s daughter who drops her boyfriend’s name, Krzysztof, a Polish prince, as well as useful details about their deaths. Details Delilah uses in her rendezvous with Sanscouci who reveals her name and the details about the Blood Price which leads to yet another danger for our Delilah as to her suitability—just-right blood type and just-right genes.

But now the Double-Ks have Ric and Delilah ain’t laying down for that one! She rallies the troops by giving Snow what he’s been wanting from her with a little outside, unexpected help.

The Characters
Delilah Street has retained her reporter instincts along with her passion for vintage clothing and classic movies even as she embraces her paranormal detecting skills. She’s also got a special piece of jewelry from Snow. Intrusive, yet protective. Dolly is her ’56 black Cadillac with a red leather interior and a white ragtop. Quicksilver is part wolfhound, part wolf and newly adopted from the Las Vegas ASPCA. He likes to prowl Vegas and is very protective of Delilah. Irma is her subconscious girlfriend.

Ric Montoya, a.k.a., the Cadaver Kid, is a former FBI agent with a Gift. A gift for dowsing for the dead. He seems to have a bit of a kink for keeping his clothes…on.

Hector Nightwine is the producer of CSI and a seriously odd man. He has hired Delilah to find out who the skeletons are for an episode on his show. He also wants to figure out a way to make Delilah’s resemblance to “Maggie” pay. Lilith Quince signed up to play an autopsied victim for Hector’s production CSI and looks exactly like Delilah—the maggot that took up residence in his nose turned Lilith, a.k.a., Maggie, into an international sex symbol. Nightwine has a Cin Sim butler, Godfrey who helps Delilah sneak past Hector’s security.

CinSims, Cinema Simulacrums, are a result of a merging of zombies with classic film stars brought back to “life” to serve whoever purchases or leases their bodies. Perry Mason is Delilah’s defense attorney. Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes and Ricardo Montalbán’s Latin lover persona have joined up with Claud Rains as the Invisible Man to help Delilah. They like her chutzpah. Peter Lorre as Dr. Ugarte seems conflicted about his service to Kepherati (she) and Kephron (he) when he sends a cryptic warning to the Invisible Man. Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine is passing on a message and a lost object.

Detective Haskell is one of the old-school, obnoxious, and prejudiced policemen with a corrupt outlook and a hardon for hurtin’ Delilah. Captain Kennedy Malloy is a friend of Ric’s. Grady “Grisly” Bahr is the coroner for Las Vegas; Ric’s jealous ’cause Bahr has already put Delilah on the ‘A’ list.

Howard Hughes is the oldest vampire still in Las Vegas, still a perv, and now one of Delilah’s clients. Snow, a.k.a., Christophe, a.k.a., Cocaine, is one of the Seven Deadly Sins’ band members as well as the owner of the Inferno with an interest in Delilah. And a client. 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 simply wants Delilah dead, partly due to her knowing the identity of one of the skeletons she and Ric found, partly because she cost him a lot of “men” when he tried to kill her on a hunt. Sansouci is his hit man and seems to have a sympathy for Delilah. Madrigal, his pet magician, and his two assistants Sylphia and Phasia have just had another 50 years slapped on their performance “sentence” at the Gehenna.

Caressa Teagarden, a.k.a., Lilah Lockhart, was part of a child vaudeville act. She became a star in the early part of the twentieth century and was supposed to be interviewed in Kansas by Delilah until she disappeared.

The Cover
The cover is Vegas, baby, with a miniskirted Delilah wearing a v-neck, sleeveless top dangling handcuffs from one hand as a white tiger charges at her side against a sky view of a lit-up Vegas Strip and flames are flaring in the upper left against a collage of Vegas signs.

The title is all about Snow and the Brimstone Kiss he bestows on his selected groupies as well as the new drink that Delilah invents.

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