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.
This is one of those books where you don’t really realise you need it, until you read it. I’ve been eyeing up this kind of urban fantasy/paranormal for a while, wanting to get back into the genre but not totally sure exactly what I wanted. Then I read May Day, and May Day was exactly what I wanted.
Jack Valentine is a Seeker, which is essentially a vampire detective. She’s good at her job, most of the time, but when a man is killed on May Day, during the students’ yearly drunken shenanigans, Jack feels determined to pin it on Killian Drake, the local baron. Problem: none of the evidence points at Drake. Second problem: it seems to be pointing even higher, at those who she doesn’t have access to, but Drake does. Third problem: the doctor who arrives to work with them on the case is absolutely gorgeous, and Jack can’t stop thinking about her. Or, really, Drake. In a different way. A totally, completely different way. Of course. Sort of.
The investigation keeps drawing Jack and Drake together, and results in some…very interesting interactions. I loved Jack; she’s an absolute mess who can barely get herself together, but when she’s determined, she doesn’t let go. She doesn’t even like to let things go, especially if they’re morally wrong, and she’s willing to take risks. She’s also freaking adorable, especially when she’s confronted with a beautiful woman. She’s still fairly young, too, only 20 years as a vampire, which means there’s a lot of this world we get to learn about as she does.
To me, Josie Jaffrey has absolutely nailed it with this book. The unfolding mystery ties things together, but it’s Jack that really carries the story through, especially with her sarcasm. I really liked how Jaffrey wrote her vampires – they drink blood, yes, but many of the older vampires are very old fashioned, and like things a certain way, and look down on Jack for simply being a young woman. As well as that, vampires have a little more predatory qualities, and it works really well.
As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed May Day, and look forward to reading the next book in the series.
About the Author
Josie is the author of multiple novels and short stories. Most of those are set in the Silverse, a pre- and post-apocalyptic world filled with vampires and zombies.
She is currently working on a range of fantasy and historical fiction projects (both adult and YA). 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.
I received this book to read and review as part of the 2021 BBNYA competition and the BBNYA tours organised by the TWR Tour team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest.
BBNYA is a yearly competition where Book Bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website http://www.bbnya.com or twitter @bbnya_official.