Iron & Velvet by Alexis Hall is the first book in the Kate Kane: Paranormal Investigator romantic suspense noir series (available December 16, 2013).
My name’s Kate Kane, and when an eight-hundred-year-old vampire prince came to me with a case, I should have told her no. But I’ve always been a sucker for a femme fatale.
It always goes the same way. You move too fast, you get in too deep, and before you know it, someone winds up dead. Last time it was my partner. This time it could be me. Yesterday a werewolf was murdered outside the Velvet, the night-time playground of one of the most powerful vampires in England. Now half the monsters in London are at each other’s throats, and the other half are trying to get in my pants. The Witch Queen will protect her own, the wolves are out for vengeance, and the vampires are out for, y’know, blood.
I’ve got a killer on the loose, a war on the horizon, and a scotch on the rocks. It’s going to be an interesting day.
Iron and Velvet by Alexis Hall livens its contemporary urban fantasy setting with a strong noir voice. Detective Kate Kane, the first-person narrator, could easily slide into a black-and-white movie and begin flirting with Lauren Bacall, so long as a few vampires and fae and werewolves also showed up. The overall tone is less dark than classic noir novels, such as those by Raymond Chandler, but Kate still shares a number of characteristics with those detectives, including drinking and women.