cover image How to Be Death

How to Be Death

Amber Benson. Ace, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-1-937007-28-7

Hapless ninny Calliope Reaper-Jones, propelled into the title of Death by her father’s demise, whiles away her fourth escapade (after Serpent’s Storm) attending a supernatural gala that rapidly transforms into a cozy country estate murder mystery. Since Reaper-Jones has the crime-solving abilities of a small kitten distracted by a ball of yarn, the heavy lifting goes to a new character, Edgar Freezay, formerly of the Psychical Bureau of Investigation. He quickly upstages the supposed protagonist, reducing her to a mere Watson in her own book. Both new and returning readers will be turned off by Calliope’s shallowness and ineptitude, and feminists may take particular issue with her overreliance on considerably more competent men. Agent: Brendan Deneen, Objective Entertainment. (Mar.)