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."When Birdie Babysat Spider" by Kristen Painter
Genres: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Mystery
Published by Sugar Skull Books on December 25, 2017
Source: my own shelves
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Also by this author: House of the Rising Sun, City of Eternal Night, Garden of Dreams and Desires, Book Review: Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case, All Fired Up, "Prologue to The Vampire's Mail Order Bride", The Vampire's Mail Order Bride, The Werewolf Meets His Match, The Gargoyle Gets His Girl, The Professor Woos the Witch, The Vampire's Fake Fiancée, The Shifter Romances the Writer, "The Witch's Halloween Hero", The Dragon Finds Forever, The Vampire's Accidental Wife, The Reaper Rescues the Genie, The Detective Wins The Witch, The Vampire's Priceless Treasure, The Werewolf Dates the Deputy, Miss Frost Ices the Imp, Miss Frost Saves the Sandman, Miss Frost Cracks a Caper, "The Werewolf's Christmas Wish", The Vampire's Cursed Kiss, Her First Taste of Fire
A short story, 4.5 in the spin-off Jayne Frost subseries (8.2 in the fantasy magical realism mystery Nocturne Falls Universe) and revolving around a winter elf, Jayne Frost. The couple focus is on Birdie Caruthers, Spider, Jayne’s cat, and Jack Van Zant.
That Birdie. She knows everyone and can find anything. As for that Spider, he is such a cutie. I love listening to him talk, and sort of wish that my cats would talk to me.Yeahhh, maybe not . . .
Ooh, this is the story where Birdie gets that blue hair.
Painter uses third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Birdie’s and Jack’s perspectives. It certainly makes it easy to listen in on Birdie reflecting back on her deceased husband and comparing him to Jack. Although, there’s that question of loss. And I don’t mean just Spider!
This is also the story in which Birdie acknowledges all the negatives about herself. It’s rather nice to find someone who is honest about herself . . . and still plunges forward, lol. I like Jack’s perspective too. He thinks Birdie is all that and the “smartest thing on two legs”.
It’s sweet and a bit scary when Birdie loses Spider through that window, and they get together a most interesting search party.
It’s perfect timing! Jayne needs someone to catsit Spider, and Birdie is having her house repainted. There’s also a chance for Birdie to have a date with that handsome Jack . . .
Birdie Caruthers is the sheriff’s aunt, the police receptionist, the town gossip, and a werewolf. John had been her beloved husband. Sheriff Hank Merrow, a werewolf, is married to Ivy, another werewolf (The Werewolf Meets His Match, 2). They have two children: Charlie and Hannah Rose. Hank and Titus, the fire chief, are Birdie’s nephews. Birdie’s niece (Hank and Titus’ sister) is Bridget who owns Howler’s, a popular local bar. She’s dating Sam, a werewolf firefighter.
Jack Van Zant is another familiar and Cole’s dad. Maxine is his late wife. Kizmet is the kitty that was lost. Pandora Williams is a witchy realtor married? to Professor Cole Van Zant, who teaches at Harmswood, is a familiar who turns into a raven (The Professor Woos the Witch, 4). Kaley is Cole’s daughter, also a witch. Willa Iscove is a lapidus fae with a jewelry store, Illusions (The Gargoyle Gets His Girl, 3).
Jayne Frost is the Winter Princess as the heir to her father, Jack Frost’s, Winter throne. She’s also Santa’s niece and the manager for Santa’s Workshop in Nocturne Falls. Spider is her black cat who can talk. Juniper and Buttercup are her employees. Sinclair Crowe, the necromancer owner of Zombie Donuts, is the new man in Jayne’s life.
Nocturne Falls, Georgia, is . . .
. . . a small town where supernaturals are hiding in plain sight and most of the town is owned by a vampire family, the Ellinghams. Sebastian is the oldest grandson, a vampire, who is with Tessa Blythe, a valkyrie, Jenna’s sister, and a librarian at Harmswood, is engaged to Sebastian, and they are trying for a baby.
Deputies include Alex Cruz, a panther shifter who’s involved with Roxy St James, a paranormal romance writer who’s under deadline (The Shifter Romances the Writer, 6) and Jenna Blythe, a valkyrie. Salvatore’s is everyone’s favorite pizza place. The Black Rose, a D&B that caters to vampires, is run by Mrs Edna Turnbuckle, a hobbit.
Agnes Balfour started the first coven in Nocturne Falls. She’s also Pandora’s greats-great-grandmother. The Black and Orange Ball is a really big deal in Nocturne Falls at Halloween.
The Cover and Title
The cover is the brick wall in the back of Santa’s Workshop with a view to the notorious window in the upper left. Well, not to mention the other four windows that are obscured and the grayed-out, fuchsia paneled door that is behind Birdie’s elbow. The bare branches of a tree provide a bit of life between the white-haired Birdie in her bright fuchsia dress where she’s holding a gray mouse in her left hand and looking back up to the window. The title is at the top in white with a thick black outline. The author’s name is at the bottom in white with a black outline. The info blurb is beneath the author’s name with a fuzzy black background. A pale blue round badge is nestled in with the title proclaiming this a Jayne Frost Short.
The title tells the truth for this is “When Birdie Babysat Spider”.