Saturday, 4 February 2012

South of Salem

Author: Janni Nell
Genre: Supernatural/Paranormal
Type: Kindle ebook
First Published: 2011
Series: 2nd book in the Allegra Fairweather Paranormal Mystery series
Series Order: Allegra Fairweather Paranormal Investigator (2010)
First Line: "Thank God you're here."

Synopsis:  After solving a paranormal case in Scotland, Allegra heads home to the US.  Returning home can often be hard for adults.  Its especially hard when you're a paranormal investigator and your family doesn't hold a very high opinion of your chosen profession.  Instead they choose to ignore it in case it makes a nasty mark on the good family name.  Apparently all that changes when the family has a sudden and unexpected paranormal emergency.

Allegra's step-father, Steven, is an influential senator who has recently been demonstrating very odd and unexplainable behaviour.  Allegra's mother, the perfect senator's wife, is afraid that if his behaviour were known that it would ruin his political career.  Enter in Allegra and her quirky talent for unearthing all things paranormal.
As Allegra delves into the case she learns that things are much more dire than she originally thought.  As issues escalate and her family's fate is at risk Allegra is concerned that she may need more than the help of her guardian angel, Casper to help her solve this case. 

My Thoughts: It has been awhile since I had read the first book in the series but it didn't take me long to jump back on the Allegra bandwagon.  She is a very distinct main character.  A strong woman who is incredibly brave (which goes well with her penchant for getting herself into harrowing situations) and yet very relatable. 
In this book we see a new side to Allegra.  She's still a force to be reckoned with in paranormal situations but now we see where she came from.  Her 'familial baggage', if you will.  She's thrown off balance a bit being thrust back into her 'oh so perfect' family but it's also heart-warming to see how she jumps at the chance to help even though her family has never supported her chosen profession. 

Seeing her in this new dynamic rounded out her character for me.  I already knew she was a strong, smart and likeable main character but seeing where she came from really helped make her more 'real'.  I will admit that at times some of her interactions with her sister bordered on childish but being the oldest of three sisters I can kind of see how that could possibly happen. ;)

One of the main reasons that I wanted to read the second book in this series is to see where Allegra's relationship with her guardian angel Casper is headed.  Casper is not to be confused with the friendly ghost because he is more of the sexy, protective warrior kind of Casper.  I'm happy to say that Allegra and Casper's relationship is picked up where it left off and intensifies from there.  They still have 'the powers that be' watching their every move and soon have the threat of Casper possibly leaving Allegra forever.  This only forces them to become more clear on their feelings for each other.
Overall, 'South of Salem' is a good follow-up to Allegra Fairweather - Paranormal Investigator' (you can read my review of that book here).  Allegra continues to be a strong main character and I look forward to seeing where the author will take her relationship with Casper as well as (hopefully) incorporating Allegra's father into future storylines.  With Allegra's paranormal ability the sky seems to be the limit for ideas for future books.

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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