South of Salem - Janni Nell
Released June 2011
Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth
Janni Nell's South of Salem released in an e-book format in June 2011. This is my first foray into the series and it was incredibly enjoyable. The story isn't very long, it's under 200 pages, but it felt like a solid read and never felt rushed.
Allegra Fairchild is beckoned home to help her stepfather Steven, a politician from a wealthy Boston-area family. Allegra is not close to her mother or sister, they look down on her because of her work with the paranormal. However, when Steven appears to be possessed, Allegra's mother has no choice but to turn to her daughter for help.
Allegra soon determines that her stepfather isn't possessed, but he is haunted. People from his bloodline are killing themselves while sleepwalking and it's up to Allegra to find out why and put an end to it. With the help of her guardian angel, Casper, Allegra tackles another chilling case.
The family dynamics between Allegra, her mother and her pregnant sister are often alarming. Allegra's obviously a better person than I am because after just one of their snide comments, I would have left them to fend for themselves. Yet, as the story progressed, I found myself liking them and I enjoyed watching Allegra handle them.
There's a bit of a romantic element going on between Allegra and her guardian angel. The heavens frown upon any relationship between angel and mortal, so it will be fascinating to see how this aspect plays out over the series.