Iron & Velvet is the first book in Alexis Hall’s Kate Kane: Paranormal Investigator series of contemporary queer fantasy novels. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because I adore Hall’s books, and this was a series I hadn’t had a chance to explore yet. Speaking of which, it should be noted that the Kate Kane books are from Hall’s back catalog, but they are being republished by Carina Press.
As the series title suggests, Kate investigates paranormal crimes, like the death of a werewolf outside of a vampire-owned nightclub. Over the course of the book, Kate encounters a wide variety of otherworldly creatures; some help her, and some hinder her, and then things get all twisty before a huge confrontation with the source of the trouble.
Kate is a delightful narrator. She’s self-deprecating and wry in a classically British way, and even though the book has her dealing with all manner of paranormal creatures, Kate always seemed very real. She’s not perfect: she makes mistakes, she doubts herself, and her judgement is not always the best- and that’s what makes her an ideal guide on this madcap journey.
I loved every bit of this book. I loved the queer representation I loved the sly little details, like the werewolves all being from one of those posh families with a country house. I loved the secondary characters, with all their unique little foibles- like Kate’s new girlfriend- an 800-year-old vampire who used to be a nun. But most of all, I loved the Big Bad at the end. I can’t say anything more without giving away too much, but full marks for trying to recreate an authentic experience.
I would absolutely recommend Iron & Velvet. I must admit that I don’t read a lot of fantasy, but if there are more books out there as good as this, I’m going to have to start. Once again, Hall hits it out of the park. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series because I’m definitely hooked!
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.