cover image Wicked City

Wicked City

Alaya Johnson. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-56548-0

Johnson follows 2010’s Moonshine with another light urban fantasy set in an alternate 1920s New York City. Mayor Jimmy Walker is looking to legalize an alcohol–blood mixture known as Faust, but his agenda is imperiled when the tabloids link the drink to the deaths of 10 vampires, all in one night, on the eve of a crucial Board of Aldermen vote. Walker asks Zephyr Hollis, daughter of “Montana’s most famous demon hunter” and known as the “vampire suffragette” for her advocacy on behalf of the undead, to find out whodunit. Her sleuthing is engaging enough, but the real fun lies in the little details of Johnson’s imagined world: as night falls, Manhattan’s hot dog and pretzel vendors are replaced by carts dispensing Faust, and status is now determined in affluent society by having human rather than vampire servants, despite stricter applicable labor laws. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Apr.)