South of Salem is the second book in the Allegra Fairweather series by Australian writer Janni Nell. Allegra is a paranormal investigator whose big toe itches when something paranormal is nearby. Other than that she has no special powers and she’s a likeable, down-to-earth heroine. It’s a fun paranormal mystery read and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

When her stepfather starts acting out of character, Allegra is called in by her skeptic mother who is convinced he’s possessed. It turns out that the rest of his family are starting to die in suspicious accidents and Allegra starts to investigate. She’s obviously got some issues with her family but in the end it’s down to her to save them and mend broken ties.

On the fun side, Allegra has a hunky guardian angel who she nicknamed Casper as a child. He pops in and out of the story as he’s otherwise engaged in attending an angel awards ceremony. It’s not, however, a romance.

It’s clear from her writing that Janni Nell isn’t American and I like her style. She spent some of her time working in the UK and there’s a lot of familiar phrases and words in there. I’ll certainly read more of this series in future, it’s nice to have a break from serious books now and then.

I haven’t read the first book, Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator, but I think South of Salem is perfectly readable as a standalone novel. You can currently buy the first ebook direct from the Carina Press website for just 99c (this is EPUB format, if you want it on the Kindle you have to go via Amazon I think). South of Salem will be available in ebook format from 30th May 2011.

Thanks to Carina Press for providing me with a copy to review.