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Book Review: Divine Misdemeanors

Divine Misdemeanors (Meredith Gentry, #8) Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I Got this book for Christmas 2009, but wound up just listening to the audiobook I downloaded from the library.

I did enjoy this book, though not as much as some of the earlier books. I must admit I thought the series was over when I finished "A Lick of Frost" (TWO books ago!) So the past two books have just been a bonus for me, or overkill, though that's too harsh a word.

Since the 6th book seemed to wrap the story up so nicely (at least for me), I've felt like I don't have a sense of where the story is going, or where it might even need to go. This book just continued that feeling. There was a central murder mystery to be solved, but it seemed to be a backdrop, rather than the central plot focus. The real meat of the book seemed more focused on her relationships with "her men", Barinthus in particular. The argument scene with him and the ocean was well done - I enjoyed the imagery of it.

Because of the mystery-as-backdrop feeling I had, this book almost seemed to be one of those "inter-series" short stories. Charlaine Harris writes short stories in between full books of her Southern Vampire series, where the characters are all from her "Sookie-verse". This book almost had that feel, where all the characters were there and properly in place, but the story didn't advance the overall Meredith storyline. And after all the relationship 'stuff', the murder mystery seemed to wrap up rather abruptly, like all of a sudden, here are the missing pieces, and let's go get the bad guys.

But that said, I still enjoyed the book, and "touching base" with the now-familiar characters. And I can't help but draw parallels between Frost and Charlaine Harris' Eric the Viking Vampire, so that's just a little bonus for me. :)

Oh, and the sex is back - Meredith was apparently too busy in the past couple of books, and is making up for lost time. She had sex with at least five of her men - oh, I mean six. I forgot about the 6" tall fairy man. Hamilton also throws in several references to the fairy porn industry, which was an interesting addition.

I saw on Hamilton's website that the 9th Merry Gentry book is due out in 2011, so I guess Merry's story is still in the telling. I expect I'll probably read that one too.

In case you've lost track, or are otherwise interested, here is the chronology of the Merry books:

  1. A Kiss of Shadows (2000)
  2. A Caress of Twilight (2002)
  3. Seduced by Moonlight (2004)
  4. A Stroke of Midnight (2005)
  5. Mistral's Kiss (2006)
  6. A Lick of Frost (2007)
  7. Swallowing Darkness (2008)
  8. Divine Misdemeanors (Dec 2009)

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