Rating: 4.5 stars
Chris White is a detective with a unique caseload and an even stranger group of clients. Or it would be unique if Chris wasn’t a detective of the supernatural in a City ruled by a storm demon. And as for Chris White himself? Well, he’s not exactly a normal either. The son of a black witch and a ghost, he can become transparent and walk through solid objects, an ability that comes in handy if you are a detective. Doug, a free imp is his friend and co detective, a situation that came about from one of Chris’ first cases. No case is refused, whether it be a missing normal, a sleeping alchemist who won’t wake up, a runaway vampire, warlock in search of a book, a frightened goblin and a demon lord with one interest, that of Christ White himself.
Megan Derr just keeps the terrific reads coming, one captivating book after another. Dance With The Devil is the first book in the Dance With The Devil series and introduces us to Christ White, supernatural detective,the demon Lord, Cadfael, also known as Sable Brennus whose consort just happens to be Chris White, and all the denizens of the storm demon’s territory and neighboring lands. I loved the structure of this book. Instead of chapters, Derr gives us case files from the White’s Detective Agency. The lower the case file number, the earlier in the time line of the book which starts at Case #503, which is present day with Chris already Sable Brennus’ Consort and Doug, a full grown imp, a friend and co detective. They are looking for the daughter of a missing “normal” friend of Sable’s. The next case? In another book, it would be a flashback but here it is Case No. 37-Devoured which brings Chris into his first contact with the storm demon ruling the city and our first look at the beginnings of their relationship. And so the book continues, after each case in present time, we get the characters backstory in a case from their past. Case load by case load, we gather together the histories of the beings we meet and the social structure of the world they live in. I loved this element. Already a mystery addict, this was a story construct that had me glued to the pages from the very first sentence.
The dimensions here are not only in the demon worlds, but in the characters created for the story. I loved Chris White and his unusual family and backstory. Even in a world full of supernatural creatures, he was still a small boy made fun of at school because of his ghostly half nature. Chris, with his determination to take care of those in need, even if he doesn’t like them very much, is a honorable, if prickly Knight in jeans and leather jacket. And the Woods, a section of town he lives in with all the other marginal creatures trying to get through every day, is so vividly described right down to the sad sack buildings and structures long past their glory days full of victims and predators is easily visualized by the reader. Doug is worthy of our sympathy for his beginnings and our delight in a knowledgeable, lonely being craving a love that he believes will never be his. Then there is Phil, Philipa actually, who starts out as a victim who dusts off her Louboutins (or the demon world’s equivalent) to become so much more than she started out to be. One after another, memorable characters march into view to capture our hearts and tether our hopes to their efforts at achieving self worth, companionship and love.
And at the end of the book, I wanted more, much, much more! Dagnabbit! At 146 pages, it was just too short for me. Happily, there are other books in this series which I have listed below and will review in the order they were written. Next up? Dancing in the Dark (Dance With The Devil #2). Look for it coming soon. Until then, it’s back to Case No. 629 and Phil’s first case! That’s right, Philipa became a detective, ok a junior one, and got involved with a goblin….well, you just have to get the book and find out for yourself. Trust me, you will love it!
Dance with the Devil (Dance with the Devil #1)
Dance In The Dark (Dance with the Devil #2)
Midnight (Dance with the Devil #3)
Ruffskin (Dance with the Devil #4)
Sword of the King (Dance with the Devil #5)
I like this cover but the rest of the series has a uniform format and design that I find much more appealing. London Burden is the cover designer and does just an outstanding job with Megan Derr’s series.