Books : reviews

Melisa C. Michaels.
Cold Iron.
Roc. 1997

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 2 January 2008

Rosie Levine, Private Investigator, is having a hard time. She hates Christmas in all its forms, and has just had a row with her partner, who brought a seasonal tree into their office. So when Candy, a waif-like groupie, comes to her, asking her to investigate who wants to kill Jorandel, lead singer of the famous elf-rock band Cold Iron, she decides to take the case, somewhat against her better judgement. She goes in undercover as Candy's cousin, and is soon deep in a groupie's lifestyle of sex 'n' drugs 'n' elf-rock 'n' roll, but not making much headway on the case, until she begins to suspect one person might have the strangest motive of all.

I like the way the presence of elves in this society isn't explained at all, just taken for granted. But this isn't really a detective story -- it's more of a drug addiction and abuse story. Although the murderer is eventually exposed, more by luck than judgement, this is more a tale of Rosie finally discovering her problem with Christmas, and moving past it. And I had a minor problem throughout: an irritating tendency to parse the word "elfrock" as "el-frock", rather than "elf-rock". Oh well.

Melisa C. Michaels.
Sister to the Rain.
Roc. 1998

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 8 January 2008

Rosie Levine, Private Investigator, has been called in by a bunch of artists -- elves and humans alike -- to investigate the "Trouble" that is disturbing their mountain community. At first, it all seems harmless enough, except that no-one seems to want to help her investigation, but then one of the human children is murdered.

As in the previous story, Rosie just keeps poking around until she stumbles over the solution. This seems to be a story of dogged persistence winning out over detective ability. But it's an interesting view of an self-absorbed artistic community, and gives some more background into the elvish psyche seen only at its worst excesses in Cold Iron.