Raven Mask by Winter PenningtonRaven Mask by Winter Pennington is a great addition to the Kassandra Lyall Preternatural PI series. It is book 2 but can stand alone.

Kassandra Lyall is a Preternatural Private Investigator who works with the police to help solve cases of a non human nature. As an ex cop herself, Kassandra knows the ins and outs of police procedures but she also has a good understanding of the preternatural world being a werewolf and witch herself. The cops don’t necessarily know about her preternatural abilities, though and it’s always a bit of battle for her to keep the secret.

Kassandra is just busy looking into the wolf pack lead by a power maniac when she gets a phone call from her ex partner asking her to come to a crime scene. When she gets to there she finds the body of 16 year old Timothy Nelson, a teenager who she spoke to with regards to a case from the first book. He seemed overly keen on learning about the preternatural world at the time and it looks like he found a little more than just answers.

Then a friend of Timothy’s goes missing and suddenly the pressure mounts to solve the case and find her before she becomes the next victim.

Kassandra is in a relationship with the Countess Vampire of Oklahoma, Lenorre. When Kassandra asks her to help with the case Kassandra doesn’t expect that solving it will become as much Lenorre’s problem as hers. Nor does she expect to have to play nice with Eris, a woman who is as powerful as she is attractive. Eris seems to have no qualms with wanting to share Kassandra with Lenorre, making Kassandra weary of her.

Throw in Rosalin, a werewolf beta from the pack that Kassandra wants to investigate and Rupert, a human hunter who helped Kassandra when she was first bitten by the werewolf and you have a fun cast of characters working with and at odds with one another to stop the new big bad in town.

The question is can they stop him in time or is this a war that even preternatural beings cannot win?

The Characters

Kassandra is still learning to manage her werewolf side not to mention the magic from her witch side. Every book delves a little more into both of these things. In this one there is a focus on the magic. It’s fun to watch her explore her abilities and develop as she goes.

Lenorre is hot and mysterious as ever. She is a solid presence in Kassandra’s life and Pennington did a great job with exploring how differently she would react to things based on her very long life.

Once again we are joined by a fun cast of side characters who are each unique and interesting to get to know.

The Writing Style

I enjoyed the intrigue of the case that Kassandra is drawn into in this book. It was great fun to watch the case unfold and I would never have guessed what was actually happening.

This series is the slowest burn romance ever with the first sex scene between Lenorre and Kassandra in this book which is book 2 of the series.

The Narration

Paige McKinney did a good job with keeping the characters clear and the plot moving forward. I enjoyed the audiobook and look forward to what else the series holds in store.

The Pros

The strength of this series is the unusual and interesting cases that Kassandra gets to chase down while simultaneously learning more about her own preternatural abilities.

The Cons

At the end of chapter 1 there is a racially insensitive joke from one of the side characters who is a cop. Lyall asks who doesn’t look pale at a crime scene and her ex partner points out a black cop.

The Conclusion

Overall I enjoyed the book. It’s a good addition to the series, the plot is different enough from the first book to keep me interested and the band of characters are fun to follow.

If you enjoy first person supernatural stories and mystery plots then this is a good series for you. And if you like audiobooks then I recommend these. They are fun and something a little different.

You can listen to this book as a stand alone because the story is a full plot on its own but you will miss how Kassandra and Lenorre get together and who the side characters are as there isn’t a ton of explanation of that in this book.

Excerpt from Raven Mask by Winter Pennington

“I told you it wasn’t pretty,” Arthur said.

Indeed, he had. I put a hand over my mouth, taking in a deep breath and forcing myself to stand strong.

“He was only sixteen.” I breathed the words. “Still a kid. Who would do this to a kid?”

I knew better than to ask such a question. It was like a knife to my stomach.

The paleness of death had lightened Timothy’s summer tan, and his lips were half-parted as if life had slipped out between them. I saw no visible wounds, no sign of blood or struggle. One of the cops had placed a towel over his hips, covering his nudity.

He had been stripped of his clothes, as if even in death, the killer had wanted to leave him vulnerable and shamed.

Arthur offered me a pair of latex gloves. “I’m sorry, Kass. I know you spoke with him.”

I took the gloves and put them on. I wouldn’t find the killer by mourning Timothy’s death. I couldn’t stop what had happened, but I could stop what might happen.

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Kassandra Lyall Preternatural Investigator series

Witch Wolf

Raven Mask

Bloody Claws

Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781602821828
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
  • Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books inc
  • Narrator: Paige McKinney
  • Winter Pennington Online  

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Note: I received a free review copy of Raven Mask by Winter Pennington. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site

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Sheena is the founder of The Lesbian Review.

She discovered lesbian fiction when she was 19. Radclyffe and Karin Kallmaker soon became favourite authors and she spent a large part of her hard earned income on shipping books from Amazon.com to her home in South Africa.

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