May Day, Josie Jaffrey – Book Review

Hello Humans! Who is ready for some snarky vampire detectives? If the answer is not you then perhaps cease reading this review until such a time as you are emotionally prepared.

Quick disclaimer before we begin – I do in fact know Josie personally – we’ve been out for lunch and book shopping, she is a fantastic human being. Knowing her personally has not affected my review whatsoever nor is she paying or influencing my review whatsoever (though she did send me this copy for free for review) – we good?

May Day

Goodreads Summary:

If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.

It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.
When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.
To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.
Body bags on standby.

May Day is the first book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekers series, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.

Find on Goodreads | Amazon (Affiliate)

This is the latest book in Josie Jaffrey’s new Seekers series which is set in modern-day Oxford but is in the same universe as her other vampire books. I have previously read the Sovereign series in this universe but I think you could probably start this one without reading any of the other books and still have a handle on what’s happening. There are a couple of callbacks that I noticed but there’s not really any essential knowledge you’d be missing. It might be worth reading the preceding short story Killian’s Dead but again it is added information, not essential information.

I just devoured this book. It’s the only way to put it. I picked it up and it was one of those books where I couldn’t stop reading it. And while the mystery is intriguing and I definitely wanted to get to the bottom of it I wouldn’t say it was the mystery that made me keep turning the pages when I ought to have been….doing all sorts of useful things.

I just love Jack Valentine.

I love her.

This is the bisexual disaster detective I’ve been looking for – and she’s a vampire? Get all the way out of town.

I’ve read a fair number of fantasy detective stories and, honestly, I rarely like the main characters. The ‘disaster PI’ trope has kind of been played out and in most cases, it boils down to ‘I enjoy substance abuse and scowling but you should like me regardless’. Now it isn’t that Jack Valentine doesn’t enjoy getting utterly smashed (a feat that is apparently quite difficult for a vampire) but her…disaster-ness extends beyond ‘I like whisky’ and feels much more three-dimensional than the usual PI trope. She’s also not a PI I probably ought to mention that.

Yes, it’s a vampire detective agency/police force so it’s more like getting an urban fantasy episode of CSI or something similar – which is basically everything I need.

There is a romance plotline – or a number of romance plotlines I suppose – in this book all of which I enjoyed greatly. While one of the romances is enemies to lovers (which I know many love) there is also quite a sweet romance as well. I was utterly stunned to find characters who…communicate with one another? Who express that the situation is confusing? Share their feelings? It’s so good.

The book is set in Oxford, as I’ve said, and what I really liked about this particular portrayal of Oxford is that this isn’t a book about the university. I have read too many books by Oxford graduates and I’ve become rather cynical about books set here. I think when you’ve lived the undergrad experience it’s harder to see it as something majestic but perhaps that’s just me. In this case, the focus isn’t on the University aspect of Oxford but really embraces Oxford as a whole – if you’ve ever been or lived here it is fun to occasionally read about places you know and love (or intensely dislike). It’s a very real Oxford – even with the vampires.

This is my favourite Josie book so far, in my opinion, it knocked it completely out of the park. I want the next book now. Everything in this book is good but with a main character like Jack Valentine I’m always going to be obsessed.

My rating: 4/5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the author for review. All opinions are my own.

May Day is available now!

Find on Goodreads | Amazon (Affiliate)

What say you? Will you be reading this? Let me know in the comments below!

J

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