The Cold Kiss of Death is the second book in the fabulous Spellcrackers urban fantasy series by Suzanne McLeod. This review will contain spoilers for the first book, The Sweet Scent of Blood, and really they do need to be read in order!

Sidhe Genny would love to be left to live her life in peace. But now both the vampires and the lesser fae of London know who she is, they just won’t leave her alone and her witch neighbours would like to see her evicted. To make things worse, her local baker is murdered; killed by sidhe magic. And the only sidhe in town is her…

I frowned at her breasts and realised I recognised her: Hannah Ashby, human, top City accountant and self-certified vamp-flunky, a.k.a. business manager.

This world just keeps getting better, expanding on existing characters and introducing some great new ones. I just love that there’s a kelpie living in the River Thames! The river and its banks become entwined with the story, the setting becoming a crucial part. I always enjoy settings that I know well too (yes, I seem to spend a lot of time lurking round the river when I’m in London). Genny even pops down to the Clink Museum at one point, filled with ghosts of course.

We get to learn a lot more about the curse that binds the lesser fae in London and out of the Fair Lands, as well as Genny’s family secrets. There are naiads and dryads to be added to the mix, and Grainne who appears to Genny as a large, silver hound. We are introduced to the moths, venom junkies who risk everything in the seediest parts of Sucker Town (a.k.a. Greenwich) for a hit to the carotid.

Then there’s Genny vampire alter ego, Rosa, who plays an important part to the plot. Malik is absent at the start and Genny is convinced it’s because of her connection to Rosa. But never fear, Malik does return further on and we learn more about his love hate relationship with Rosa and what’s really going on when Genny takes over her body (something she is trying not to do, but you know, fate always gets in the way). If you’re on team Finn, he gets his fair share of airtime too, with Genny trying to patch up their friendship and maybe more…

You can read sample chapters of all the books in the series on the Spellcrackers website.

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