Matters of the Blood
Maria Lima
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Buy *Matters of the Blood* by Maria Lima online

Matters of the Blood
Maria Lima
Juno Books
248 pages
April 2007
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Click here to read reviewer Sonia R. Polinsky's take on Matters of the Blood.

Matters of the Blood starts off excellently. Within three pages I was hooked, the narrator's voice drawing me into her story with her brilliant turn of phrase. This book is written in the first person, so we see the story from Keira Kelly's eyes - and they're not quite human eyes. Keira is 36 and returned two years ago to the small Texas town where she grew up as part of a very unusual family. The rest of the family live in Canada, except for Keira's human cousin, Marty. As the book starts, we discover that Marty is asking Keira for help as he's in trouble, Keira is suffering from troubling dreams, and the Change is happening to her early - 20 years too early. When the Change is complete, she will discover what kind of supernatural being she will be (shapeshifter, necromancer, psychic, etc.), but at the moment she's randomly experiencing strange dreams and flashbacks as the Change begins. Some of the dreams are troubling, with blood, hunting and death, and the death often seems to be Marty's.

Keira's past intrudes on her present when her former lover returns as sheriff and wants to rekindle something, especially when Adam Walker, a man she knew in London eight years before, also arrives on the scene. When Marty is killed, Keira tries to discover why and who did it. There are some significant marks of the supernatural about the death, something that the sheriff can't know about. Keira begins to discover that the new resort in town, Wild Moon, might host some rather unhealthy people, and that some of her old friends, Holocaust survivors, try to warn her about her safety. Keira discovers that she's not the only supernatural being in her town, and not just because her 1200-year-old brother has arrived to take care of her during the Change.

Although partly a romance, there isn't a great consummation in this story; the romantic plot is subordinate to the main murder mystery. There are a number of people who might be involved in Marty's murder for their own reasons, both supernatural and human. Keira has to deal with the strange effects of her Change, with her guilt about Marty's death, and with the realization that people around her are not all they seem.

This is an excellent book, readable and gripping with varied characters, an interesting plot and a great setting in small-town Texas. The narrator's voice has an interesting blend of emotion and humor, and she makes some great side comments throughout the story. I understand that this book is the first of a series, and I look forward very much to the future episodes.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2007

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