cover image Autumn Bones

Autumn Bones

Jacqueline Carey. Roc, $26.95 (432p) ISBN 978-0-451-46518-4

The second installment of Carey’s suburban fantasy series (after Dark Currents) can’t quite decide whether it’s supernatural chick lit, magical smalltown slice-of-life drama, or a lighthearted cozy mystery, but Carey’s ability to create a diverse, enjoyable cast of characters in a setting that feels natural to all of them carries it through. Though still attracted to werewolf cop Cody and psychic vampire leader Stefan, Daisy Johanssen—half-demon advisor to the police of Pemkowet, Mich., and liaison to the goddess of the tiny underworld that lies beneath it—is enjoying the human normality of her new boyfriend, tour bus driver Sinclair Palmer. Then his mother releases his grandfather’s duppy on the town to convince Sinclair to return to Jamaica. Carey’s nonhumans, especially the Outcast (immortal ghouls who feed on emotion), are neither goofy caricatures nor grandiose and unapproachable, and she has fun with minor characters like the funky rutting satyr who causes a gay club orgy. This visit with Daisy and friends, with their mostly solvable problems and relationship drama, is enjoyable in its own right and offers promise for future volumes. (Oct.)