I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Dead Eye by Alyssa Day
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy, Mystery
Published by Holliday Publishing LLC on February 27, 2017
Source: my own shelves
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: "Travelling Eye"
First in the Tiger’s Eye Mystery paranormal mystery series and revolving around a pawn shop owner who can “see” your death. The focus is on Tess Callahan and Jack Shepherd and set in Dead End, Florida.
Hidden in the heart of the Everglades and an hour from Orlando, the story takes place in Dead End, Florida, and it truly is the dead end of the world where supernaturals are safe and the town isn’t subject to federal or state laws.
It’s a nice intro to Tess’ life and the limitations her gift has placed on it, especially when we get her thoughts and feelings direct from Tess’ perspective in first person protagonist point-of-view.
I wanna meet Eleanor. Day makes her sound so fabulous, and someone you’d want in your own life. Nor is Eleanor the only memorable character in this portrayal of small-town life. I’d like Aunt Ruby and Uncle Mike as well in my life.
My one niggle is this is so simplistic with a too-easy romantic start. Yes, it’s a sweet, cozy mystery with plenty of action, and yet just too easy.
Tess Callahan and Jack Shepherd inherit an equal share of Uncle Jack’s pawnshop. It’s a contentious inheritance, as Jack wants nothing to do with it that only gets worse when Jack finds out how his uncle died.
Then the attacks pile up and more murders, and the bad guys have really ticked Jack off.
The very honest Tess Callahan has an unwanted gift: when she touches someone, she sometimes knows how they’re going to die. She’s been working for Jeremiah since she was 17. Lou is the cat Tess named after Lieutenant Uhura from Star Trek. Her aunt Ruby and uncle Mike Callahan, a retired engineer, raised her at their farm when her mother, Kate, died of cancer. Her father, Mike’s brother, ran off when his wife died. Bonnie Jo is their old horse. Eleanor Wolf is Tess’ employee and the shop’s secret weapon. Her son, Dave Wolf, had been a good friend of Jack’s and is now a master carpenter. Zane is Dave’s adopted son.
Jack “Commander” Shepherd is a shapeshifting Bengal tiger who has retired from saving the world from vampires, a demon invasion, and defending Atlantis (Heart of Atlantis, 8). Quinn Dawson had been Jack’s partner in war and co-leader of the North American rebellion (Heart of Atlantis). Quinn’s sister, Riley, is the new queen of Atlantis (Atlantis Rising, 1).
Jeremiah had been Jack’s uncle who owned a pawnshop, Dead End Pawn, and a PI firm, Tiger’s Eye Investigations. Well, until he died. Well, okay, murdered. Mr Chen is Jeremiah’s lawyer.
Molly Chen is the best friend Tess grew up with, who now works part-time at her parents’ law firm — Mr Chen is Molly’s dad; her mother is a trial lawyer in patents. The rest of Molly’s time is spent performing with her indie rock band, Scarlett’s Letters. Veronica “Dice” Dunstan-Smythe is the bass guitarist, who fortunately has a trust fund.
Dr Owen Snodgrass, a dentist, is Tess’ boyfriend. Shelley Adler is nine. Melody had been Shelley’s mom who died in a freak one-car accident a few months ago along with her own parents. Elizabeth is Shelley’s doll’s name. Olga Kowalski is the local coven leader who did the magical resonance testing. Walt and Hank Kowalski are idiot bruisers and Olga’s sons. Delia Roth is a witch who works as a hairdresser. Gruber Elliott was the only other lawyer in Dead End, but is now a vampire.
Otis is a redneck with Fluffy, a badly stuffed alligator. Mrs Gonzalez, who isn’t all there, wants Tess to go out with her grandson. Sadie Gonzalez is a flighty cousin. Chantal Nelson was a party girl who worked at the Pit Stop, a combination grocery, bait, and gas station and lived at Windsor Farms, er, it’s Pleasant Acres now. A collector and biker, Gator, had dated Chantal. Lorraine has worked at Beau’s, the only place in town to grab a bite to eat, for some fifty years. She was also the mayor once. Lauren’s Deli serves great sandwiches. Larry owns Dead End Towing with a very catchy tagline. Out in the swamp are some former soldiers: Lucky and Sergeant Harper Rawls.
Sheriff Bertram Lawless is a jerk who prefers to blame the victim and really wants Jeremiah’s Colt. Deputy Susan Gonzalez is Mrs Gonzalez’s granddaughter and smart. Deputy Kelly. Belle is the dispatcher. Doc Ike is the only doctor in town, sigh, and the county coroner.
Special Agent Alejandro Vasquez, who never misses when he aims, is from Guatemala and now with the FBI’s Paranormal Operations (P-Ops) division. Vasquez married into a family of witches with pet basilisks.
Fred Hughes is a would-be murderer. Annabelle Hannah Yorgenson was Tess’ first vision. Mrs Quindlen‘s cats kept getting lost. Bubba McKee had a pet boa constrictor.
A Blood Moon makes some supernaturals go crazy. The Golden Years Swamp Tours (GYST) is a favorite day trip for senior citizens in Orlando. Mr Holby is the tour operator. Nancy Hoffman had been a nasty bully. Arroyo is a vampire with whom Jeremiah had had an issue. F.S. Molder had written Blood Magic Rituals. Mr Washington, Tess’ chemistry teacher back in high school, was a snake shifter.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a cartoon of Jack? in profile in a leather jacket, jeans (with one leg bent), and boots leaning up against the sign announcing Dead End, Florida. Behind the sign is a Bengal tiger. Both stand on bright green grass with swampy plants framing the forefront and stylized black tree trunks swaying in the background against purple shadows and a starry green sky. At the very top is an info blurb in white with the author’s name immediately below it in yellow. The title is near the bottom in white, crossing Jack’s ankle. Below that is some series info in a very pale yellow.
I think the title is a blend of the town’s name and private eye: Dead Eye.