Today is my stop on the blog tour for May Day by Josie Jaffrey, and I am excited to be sharing my review with you all.
If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.
It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.
When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.
To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.
Body bags on standby.
May Day is the first book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekers series, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.
Before I even start talking about the book, I want to say how impressed I was to find that before the story begins, it tells you that there is a full list of content warnings in the back of the book. I think more books need to do this! I particularly liked that they had been put at the back, because people who don’t want to read trigger warnings could easily avoid them, but they were still there for those who do want to read them.
Now, on the the story. From the very beginning, the story piques your interest. I have always been a fan of Vampire stories, but a Vampire being hunted down by Seekers (Vampire detectives), for murder, while they all try to avoid being discovered by humans? THAT is my sort of story! The events of the murder leave you desperate to dive in to the investigation, and get some answers.
Jack Valentine is a brilliant protagonist. She takes no shit, she’s funny, sarcastic, and she doesn’t always stick to the rules, which often gets her in to trouble, but she doesn’t care as long as it gets the job done. She also has a very interesting way with words, and “particularly wanky breed of wanker” is possibly my new favourite insult.
There did seem to be more focus on Jack’s romantic relationships than the case (although in some situations, they were connected), but despite the fact that I’m not a huge romance fan, I did enjoyed this aspect of the book. Her relationships were confusing, exciting, and unpredictable. It was made much more interesting with the love triangle element, and I really don’t know who I want Jack to end up with more, and to be honest, I don’t think she knows herself.
The case itself is a bit of a slow burner, but that in no way hinders the story. There are so many complex elements to it to keep you invested, and you won’t be able to stop thinking about it, or trying to figure it out for yourself. I still was not expecting that ending, it kept me on the edge of my seat, and I was thoroughly entertained. It also sets you up perfectly for the next book of the series.
May Day was intense, exciting, and exactly the type of book I was looking for. It also had quite a lot of LGBTQ+ rep. This was my first time reading anything by Josie Jaffrey, but it certainly won’t be my last. I love her writing style, and I can’t wait to continue this series!
Once again, a huge thank you to Dave @ The Write Reads, and Josie Jaffrey for allowing me to be a part of the tour, and providing me with a copy of the book, in exchange for an honest review.
I give May Day a 4.5 star rating!
About The Author:
Josie is the author of nine self-published novels plus short stories. She is currently working on a range of fantasy and historical fiction projects (both adult and YA), for which she is seeking representation. Ultimately, she hopes to be a hybrid author, both traditionally- and self-published.
After finishing her degree in Literae Humaniores (Classics) at the University of Oxford, Josie wasn’t sure what to do with her life.
She slogged through a brief stint working for an investment bank in London during the 2008 credit crunch, then converted to law and qualified as a solicitor specialising in intellectual property. She worked at a law firm for five years before moving to a UK-based international publisher in 2016. Whilst she loved law, in the end she didn’t love it quite as much as writing, which she now does almost full time.
Josie lives in Oxford with her husband and two cats (Sparky and Gussie), who graciously permit human cohabitation in return for regular feeding and cuddles. The resulting cat fluff makes it difficult for Josie to wear black, which is largely why she gave up being a goth. Although the cats are definitely worth it, she still misses her old wardrobe.
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