Fathered by an incubus, raised by a mortal mother, and liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, Daisy Johanssen pulled the community together after a summer tragedy befell the resort town she calls home. Things are back to normal—as normal as it gets for a town famous for its supernatural tourism, and presided over by the reclusive Norse goddess Hel.
Not only has Daisy now gained respect as Hel’s enforcer, she’s dating Sinclair Palmer, a nice, seemingly normal human guy. Not too shabby for the daughter of a demon. Unfortunately, Sinclair has a secret. And it’s a big one.
He’s descended from Obeah sorcerers and they want him back. If he doesn’t return to Jamaica to take up his rightful role in the family, they’ll unleash spirit magic that could have dire consequences for the town. It’s Daisy’s job to stop it, and she’s going to need a lot of help. But time is running out, the dead are growing restless, and one mistake could cost Daisy everything…
“Carey’s gift of storytelling ensure that every scene is immersive and engaging as she slowly builds to a surprising climax that will have readers starving for the next installment in this wonderfully imaginative series.”—RT Book Reviews
“[It]‘s supernatural chick lit, magical smalltown slice-of-life drama…a lighthearted cozy mystery…offers promise for future volumes.”—Publishers Weekly Praise for Dark Currents
“Jacqueline Carey proves her versatility with this compelling and delightful piece of urban fantasy.”—#1 New York Times Bestselling author Charlaine Harris
“Since the advent of Carey’s ‘Kushiel Legacy’ historical fantasy series in 2001, fans have come to expect the amazing from this author, and her new urban fantasy won’t disappoint them. . . . Carey’s first urban fantasy turn is as fun and fantastic as her previous efforts; fans will definitely want this, and pronto.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Carey turns to contemporary fantasy, showing off her talent for building engaging, detailed settings that feel utterly natural despite their inherent strangeness.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
You know those quirky small towns that seem to exist only on TV shows? Towns like Twin Peaks, Cicely, Alaska or Stars Hollow, filled with quirky, loveable characters, where everyone knows everyone else’s business? Well, I live in one.
Or three, to be precise. My conjoined home community of Saugatuck–Douglas, Michigan consists of the City of Saugatuck, the City of the Village of Douglas—yes, that’s actually its official name—and Saugatuck Township.
We have a beautiful harbor on the Kalamazoo River and gorgeous white sand beaches on Lake Michigan. We have a 100–year–old art school. We have more bars and churches per capita than anyplace else in the state. We have parades; not just Fourth of July parades, but Halloween parades, Easter parades, Mardi Gras parades, Venetian Day boat parades. We have a parade in honor of a wonderful lady who founded many of the parades.
We have an Episcopal priest who plays the bagpipes, a Town Crier, a guy who dresses up in a bee costume for no particular reason, and a beloved local plumber known only as River Man.
I always knew I’d write about this place one day. In the back of my mind, it was going to be a Very Serious Book, maybe even a mainstream literary book, a Northern Gothic affair that delved into the seething underbelly of this seemingly charming, idiosyncratic community in which I live.
My Muse, however, decided otherwise. I’ve always loved urban fantasy, and it seemed like it would be an awful lot of fun to write. I was toying with the thought of what might imbue a place with magic and hit on the notion of an underworld, a play on the Hermetic principle of “As above, so below.”
That’s when it hit me. Oh, did I mention we have a buried town? Well, we have an old lumber town that was swallowed by the shifting sands of deforested dunes in the late 1800s. Where better to place an underworld?
I named the fictional version of my town Pemkowet, although of course there’s also an East Pemkowet and Pemkowet Township. I added a population of fairies, naiads, werewolves, vampires, ghouls and mythological creatures. I relocated Hel, the Norse goddess of the dead, to the American Midwest.
And I gave Hel an agent, someone to serve as a liaison between the underworld and mundane authorities: Daisy Johanssen, reluctant hell–spawn, fathered by the demon Belphegor and raised by a teenaged mother determined to instill good old–fashioned human values in her tempestuous half–breed daughter.
Daisy’s far from perfect. She struggles with the temptations of the Seven Deadly Sins, and the knowledge that if she ever claims her demonic birthright, it could unleash Armageddon on earth. But she loves her community, and when a local college kid drowns and eldritch involvement is suspected, she’ll do whatever it takes to solve the crime, including working with her childhood crush, a sexy werewolf on the down–low.
It turns out I was right: Urban fantasy is a lot fun to write!