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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Book Review: The Elemental Detective

The Elemental Detective

Author: Kirsten Weiss

Published: December 21, 2013 by Misterio Press

Genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Mystery

Series: Book 5 in the Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mystery novels

Word Count: 70, 647

Available for review: epub/Nook, mobi/Kindle, PDF/paperback

Get it from:

Amazon Barnes & Nobles and Kobo 


Mermaids, menehunes, and murder

Riga Hayworth just wants to relax with her new husband on their Hawaiian honeymoon. But a body on a Kauai beach pulls them into a murder investigation, sending the supernatural world into an uproar.

When Riga detects traces of magic at a murder scene, she knows she can't ignore the call. There's necromancy afoot, and she must prepare for the battle to come. But can Riga fight the forces of nature? Or will they destroy her and everyone she loves?

Book 5 in the Riga Hayworth paranormal mystery series, The Elemental Detective is a fun, fast paced urban fantasy blending romance with the supernatural, and exploring the magic of Hawaii.

Book Review:

This is my first time reading one of Kirsten's Weiss's books in the series: A Riga Hayworth Paranormal Mystery, but it won't be my last. The Elemental Detective is an entertaining, suspenseful story. Riga Hayworth, a necromancer and paranormal detective and her husband, Donovan, spend their honeymoon in Hawaii. Unfortunately for the couple, they discover the bodies of a man and seal on the hotel property. This is no ordinary murder case, as supernatural elements surrounds the newlyweds, trying to weaken and destroy them.

When another murder is committed, Riga and Donovan become prime suspects, as the police find them at the crime scene again. Riga experiences flashes of images and dreams that could help her solve the mystery, but is unable to interpret some of them. She gets some assistance from her relatives, a feisty French gargoyle named Brigitte and the ghosts of the victims, using the spells of black magic.

The Elemental Detective is a well written mystery that had me wondering who the villain was until the very end. I was introduced to the supernatural world of black magic known as necromancy, while being given a tour of the Hawaiian paradise. The story kept good pace with its unique plot, unusual selection of characters and a generous supply of humour. I thought Brigitte added spice with her dry wit, boldness and jealous nature. Kirsten Weiss is talented and writes expertly on a topic which has made this book enjoyable to read.

Excerpt: Pages 1-3

     The palms outside rattled like bones, awakening Riga. A warm salt breeze slipped through the open door, and shivered across her bare skin. Beside her, the mattress sagged, the bed frame creaking an accompaniment to her own, steady breathing.

    One breath rising and falling. Her breath.

    Muddled by sleep, she stilled, her heart leaping with a sudden jolt of adrenaline as she understood it wasn't her husband beside her, weighting the bed. Riga kept her breathing steady, and extended her other senses. Probing. She opened her eyes, peering through her lashes. Through the open glass door, the moon illuminated a winged figure, hunched beside her on the hotel's bed.

    "Brigitte!" Riga sat up, torn between annoyance and the panic rising in her throat. She clutched the sheet to her breasts. "What are you doing here? Where's Donovan?"

     The gargoyle shrugged, the sounds of rocks grating together, and the bed shifted. "Monsieur Mosse left an hour ago," she gravelled, a French-accented Lauren Bacall. "And his whereabouts are the least of your worries."

     Riga lurched to the left and reached for the bedside lamp. Instead, her fingers found emptiness, fumbled in the dark, then touched a wooden leg, upright, seemingly supporting nothing. Where the hell had the tabletop gone? Her fingers brushed a rounded stump and it fell over with a crash. Where the hell had the lamp gone?

     She swung her feet out of bed, took two steps,and bashed her shin into something hard. Riga felt along the wall and smacked the light switch, cursing. Uncomprehending, she stared. Everything but the bed had been turned upside down. Cushioned wicker chairs. Wooden table. Television...She grabbed her silk robe, draped over an upside down ottoman, and slipped it on, walked to the entertainment center. That was still upright, but the TV inside had been inverted.

     Wonder leaked past her anxiety. She sniffed. A trace of magic lingered, wild like a forest glade, elemental. Fae? She regarded the creative destruction she'd slept through, and amended that thought. Stealth fae. Dammit. She fumbled the belt of her robe.

     "What happened to Donovan? Where is he?" Riga's voice sounded shrill, even to her.

     "Your husband left of his own accord."

     "Alone?" Riga motioned toward the mess. No, it couldn't be happening again. Not another run-in with the faery world. Not here. Not now. "Did you see who-"

    Brigitte's stone-feathered head reared backwards. "I do not spy!"

    "But you saw Donovan leave."

    "And then I waited by ze rocks until you woke up."

    "You woke me up."

    The gargoyle picked at her feathers. "I grew bored, and the sun will rise soon, and we have much to discuss."

     The diamond on Riga's finger glinted, and she rubbed the back of her wedding rings with her thumb. She and Donovan hadn't yet adjusted to island time, and both were rising well before daybreak. Donovan had probably woken up while she was sleeping and grown restless, hadn't wanted to wake her. Of course he was safe. It couldn't be happening again. That would be stretching the bounds of...She worked the knot on her robe. He was safe.

     She swallowed, despising the remnants of fear that made her muscles twitch, and flipped her emotions to anger. Anger was simpler.

About the Author:

Kirsten Weiss is the author of the Riga Hayworth paranormal mystery series: The Metaphysical Detective, The Alchemical Detective, The Shamanic Detective, The Infernal Detective, and The Elemental Detective.

Kirsten worked overseas for nearly fourteen years, in the fringes of the former USSR and deep in the Afghan war zones. Her experiences abroad not only gave her glimpses into the darker side of human nature, but also sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.

Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes paranormal mysteries, blending her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem. Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn't like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer reruns and drinking good wine.

You can connect with Kirsten through the social media sites below, and if the mood strikes you, send her an e-mail at

Kirsten's Website:


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