Title: How Many Hearts Will It Take?
Author: Karen Thrower
Genre: Urban Fantasy – Short Story
Rating: Four stars
Another short story from the Magical Crime Scene Investigation anthology while I get my act together after a camping trip to the south coast. This time, I read How Many Hearts Will It Take? This story is by Karen Thrower.
Lily Ria is a witch on retainer for her local police department. When she is called out to a homicide, she discovers that one of the victims is her friend and police detective, Howard, and his fae wife, Thicket. Cause of death? Their hearts have been removed, and Lily has to find out why.
Partnering up with new detective, Richard Moss, Lily accesses her contacts and follows the trail of clues that lead them to the killer.
I really liked this story: well-written, likeable characters from various backgrounds, and the magic system and creatures were great. This could easily be turned into a series of novels or novellas following Lily’s adventures.
One thing that is borderline exasperating as a British person is when not enough research is done when using British characters. A Scottish ghost in this story gets annoyed when Lily calls him a “tit”, which is explained as because he is Scottish, he wouldn’t use “British” terms like “tit”. Let me assure you that every Scottish person I’ve ever met loves using this word, and the Scottish also fall under the umbrella of “British”. Call us what we are if you like, Scottish, English, Welsh, or Northern Irish, but we’re all British – for now.
That was my only real gripe with this story, and it probably matters a lot more to me than it would to a reader from the USA who probably wouldn’t think twice about it. Other than that, this was a great read and I enjoyed it.
Next week I’ll be back with a full-length book!