Holly Black’s Curse Workers series ended last year, much to the dismay of her many fans. Readers loved that series and were enchanted with the great characters and the very interesting and fascinating world of organized supernatural crime. For all those who want to read a book reminiscent of White Cat, Red Glove or Black Heart, I urge you to try Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore.
The novel opens with Daisy Goodnight at a crime scene. Summoned by the FBI to help track down a kidnap victim, Daisy’s talent is speaking to dead people; in this case, the FBI want Daisy to speak to the spirit of the kidnapped girl’s dead bodyguard. Daisy is used to wrangling spirits and handling their strange ways, but at this crime scene, she is surprised by the entire exchange with the spirit she nicknames Bruiser. She has to struggle to communicate with him, and he’s terrified of something, a black dog he is sure is going to get him. Daisy gets the feeling that something strange (or stranger than usual) is going on in the world of the dead. Things only get more complicated when she ends up getting kidnapped herself, this time by the father of the original kidnap victim, who just so happens to be a powerful mob boss.
Daisy is tasked with finding the missing girl; if she doesn’t, Mr. Maguire will make sure Daisy’s family pays. And so begins a dark mystery and a great adventure story. This was a really fun read. Daisy is a smart heroine with just the right amount of spunk and spirit – she was funny and not grating. Guarded by Carson, Maguire’s enigmatic and somewhat rebellious son, the bond that develops between the two lead characters is believable and compelling. Their relationship is never really center stage, as they are in the middle of a dangerous and time sensitive mission, which I found refreshing.
This novel hit a lot of high notes and crossed a lot of different genres. Do you like road trip books? This one has a great road trip in it. Do you like novels with some good romance? You’ll find a nice helping on that in Spirit and Dust. Do you like mysteries? You can check that off your list, too! This is a book I would definitely label rollicking fun. It starts off quickly and keeps you interested, layering the mysteries and plot development expertly. There are enough twists and turns to keep even the savviest reader wondering what will happen.
This is a great read-alike for people who loved the Curse Workers series, using some of the same elements while managing to seem completely original. Spirit and Dust was a really fun read, and one that can stand alone, so a perfect fit for those who aren’t interested in starting a new series. On the other hand, we may not have seen the last of Daisy Goodnight, so I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of seeing that character in other stand-alone stories.