The main character in this story is Vicki, a human woman who got a rustic resort near Lake Silence as part of her divorce settlement and used all her money to improve and maintain it.
This paragraph introduces Vicki perfectly:
“A bit of useful information. My name is Victoria “call me Vicki” DeVine. I used to be Mrs. Yorick Dane, but giving up my married name was one of the conditions of my receiving valuable property—aka The Jumble—as part of the divorce settlement. Apparently, the second official Mrs. Dane didn’t like the idea that someone else had had the name first. Fortunately, she didn’t seem as possessive about Yorick’s Vigorous Appendage. I could have told her that a couple dozen other women had had it before she took possession. But it wasn’t likely that she would keep solo possession of the appendage for long, so let her figure things out the hard way like I did. Of course, if she had been one of those indulgences, then she already knew the signs and might be able to nip them in the bud.”
Vicki finds out there’s a dead body on her property when walks in on one of her tenants, Aggie Crowe (a teenage crow shifter) as she was about to warm up an eyeball in the microwave.
“Why can’t I eat it?” She looked at the eyeball rolling around in the small bowl that was now sitting on the counter.
“Nobody else wants it. It’s starting to get squooshy. And the dead man doesn’t need it.”
“The words got me past the physical evidence. “What dead man?”
“The one who doesn’t need the eyeball.” Little black feathers suddenly sprouted at her hairline, confirming the nature of my lodger.
Trouble starts soon after when cops with no jurisdiction there try to pin the murder on Vicki. Fortunately for her, due to her kindness towards Aggie members of the Other community step up and protect Vicki. The terra indigene are not the only ones who stand by her. Officer Grimshaw (human, good cop) and Julian Farrow (Intuit, ex-cop) are also determined to keep her safe.
The one who dazzles her from the first moment is Ilya Sanguinati, the lawyer and the local vampire, who in Vicki’s words is Yummy.
“I mean, he was a double-scoop sundae with hot fudge and caramel sauce and a mountain of real whipped cream yummy. His hair was darker than Ineke’s double-fudge brownies, and he had the most luscious melted chocolate eyes.”
But we get to meet other impressive characters, such as the Lady of the Lake, the water Elemental who lives in Lake Silence, her water pony Whirlpool and Aiden, the fire Elemental. It’s endearing how they all work together to protect the frail human who can’t stand up for herself. Ever one of the Elders sticks around to help, and when the bad guys try to break in, the Elder wrecks the car.
“How many Elders does it take to flip a car?” I asked.
She gave me a puzzled smile. “Is that a human joke?”
Not likely. “Maybe.”
Vicki is a flawed character after divorcing her abusive husband, and I think that makes her likable, hence triggering everyone’s protective mode. She is always intimidated by men, except for Ilya who fascinates her.
“I’m grateful for Aiden’s help in getting a fire started in the stove last night. But this morning, when I realized who he was . . . I felt intimidated.”
“Because he’s Fire. An Elemental.”
“The Lady of the Lake is also an Elemental. Does she intimidate you?”
Huh. Good question.
“Is it because Aiden is male?” Ilya asked
When he asked me if I was all right this morning, I was afraid of what he might do to Julian, who was with me. I was afraid of saying the wrong thing.”
“You’re often afraid of saying the wrong thing to men.”
It wasn’t quite a question, so I didn’t feel obliged to answer.
Anne Bishop’s sense of humor comes through just like it did in the Others novels. Vicki often jokes to make light of a situation. Sometimes her timing is not the best, but she manages to amuse the vampire.
“Do the Sanguinati have trouble with mosquitoes?”
“You mean, do the big bloodsuckers get pestered by the little bloodsuckers?”
Judging by my attorney’s laughter, if I failed to turn The Jumble into a viable business, I could always get a job as a stand-up comedian in a vampire bar.”
All in all, I loved Lake Silence, the convoluted plot (albeit a little far fetched) and the fascinating characters. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Wild Country.