Book Review: Jennifer Estep’s Deadly Sting

Posted April 20, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Jennifer Estep’s Deadly Sting

Deadly Sting


Jennifer Estep

It is part of the Elemental Assassin #8 series and is a urban fantasy in Paperback edition that was published by Pocket Books on March 26, 2013 and has 369 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Jennifer Estep, Venom, Karma Girl, Tangled Threads, Touch of Frost, Spider's Revenge, Kiss of Frost, Hot Mama, By a Thread, Dark Frost, Widow's Web, Crimson Frost, Midnight Frost, Heart of Venom, The Spider, Killer Frost, Tan­gled Dreams, Tangled Schemes, Spider's Bargain, "Poison", Spider’s Nemesis, "Wasted", Web of Death, "Web of Deceit", Black Widow, Poison Promise, Cold Burn of Magic, The Spider's Trap, Dark Heart of Magic, Bitter Bite, Unraveled, "Nice Guys Bite", Bright Blaze of Magic, Snared

Eighth in the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series revolving around a former, she wishes, assassin. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Elemental Assassin books on my website.

My Take

Good thing Gin has a healthy self-respect and can simply laugh at Finn when they go shopping for her party dress. Although, events at the store — what is with those women?? You’d think they’d be grateful to be alive?! — really perk Gin up.

Oooh, interesting back story on Gin’s first kill with Fletcher! Estep really had me worried with this bit; I was tempted to run off and read Spider’s Bite, 1, just to be sure of its ending! Another important bit of back history involves Annabella, Gin and Bria’s older sister, and Eira, their mother. You’ll just want to cry. At the start, with angry; at the end, with gratitude and love.

Damn, that dress Gin is wearing comes in handy for assassins and the author. I love how Estep uses our expectations and pride to set this scene.

What a jerk! A few tickets and Finn is forgiven? Must be that Finn charm, although the ladies at the boutique won’t be seeing it. He’s too angry over the dress incident.

“Gin Blanco getting respectful nods from the coroner and his people. Gin reckons she’s Ashland’s newest cottage industry…all that overtime for the po-po.”

Estep keeps it well hidden as to what the giants’ plans are. All the expected tip-offs are there, leading us to expect what Estep wants us to until she turns it back on us. Whew.

Omigod, the ending. Omigod. It’s too, too perfect!! Well, most of it.

The Story

It’s a sad start as Gin is still grieving Owen’s distance. She understands it, but, her heart is broken, and her friends are worrying.

Worrying enough that Finn insists on dragging her off to the charity auction to which he’s inveigled others…

The Characters

Gin Blanco, a.k.a., the Spider, is a retired assassin, thank you very much. Only it’s a bit like the Old West with everyone wanting to try their own skills against Gin and collect the bounty. She hopes, one day, to simply enjoy running her restaurant, the Pork Pit, but yet again, she’ll find that her elemental Gifts of Ice and Stone will come in handy. Finnegan Lane is her “brother”, Fletcher’s son. He and Gin grew up together when Fletcher took Gin in and trained her as an assassin. An investment banker, Finn trades information at night and knows everyone. He and Detective Bria Coolidge, Gin’s baby sister, are still quite the item.

Sophia Deveraux is a Goth dwarf who is the head cook at the Pork Pit. She’s also Gin’s backup with an elemental Gift of Air and great at making bodies, blood, clues disappear. Jolene “Jo-Jo” Devereaux is Sophia’s sister. Another Air elemental, she specializes in beauty and healing.

Owen Grayson has an elemental Gift for metal and was Gin’s boyfriend until events with Salina Dubois in Widow’s Web, 7. Eva Grayson is Owen’s baby sister. Jillian Delancey is a business associate who wants to be so much more. Cooper Stills is a renowned dwarven blacksmith with Air magic who is still friends with Owen and Phillip.

Bria’s partner is Xavier, a giant who is with Roslyn, a vampire who runs an exclusive club called the Northern Aggression.

Jonah McAllister is the late Mab Monroe’s slimy lawyer and Mab’s executor. He’d still like to take out Gin for what she did in Web of Lies, 2. Other mob heads include Lorelei Parker, Ron Donaldson, and Beauregard Benson.

The thirty-year-old Phillip Kincaid is strictly human and yet leads one of the crime factions in Ashland from his casino riverboat, the Delta Queen. Seems that he and Owen patched up their differences. How much they’ve patched it up and how much tolerance Owen will have remains to be seen…!

Clementine Barker heads up the new security firm with Dixon, her nephew, and Opal, her daughter, as her right- (and left?) hand men. They and all their employees are giants including Anton, Hannah, Cindy, and Dave.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a party-going Gin in a shredded red dress festooned with knives and wearing knee-high black boots (??) against a bank vault backdrop. Yep, she’s bringing the party right to us.

The title is all manner of Deadly Stings from Jonah to Owen to Jillian.