Recently, I (accidentally) purchased book 3 in the Gunnie Rose series. Instead of returning it, I just checked out the first two from the library. I’ve already read a few very heavy books in 2022 and I needed some candy, so I went ahead and read the first two. I’m going to review them separately, and I’ll hold on to book 3 until I need a sweet break. But let me say here, Lizbeth Rose > Sookie Stackhouse. I said what I said.
I’ve written before about candy books and how Charlaine Harris consistently excels in that realm. Her characters are memorable, the writing is sharp and tight, and the action carries the plot. Her novel are quick reads that are just familiar and fun. Candy.
An Easy Death (SAGA PRESS 2018) introduces us to Lizbeth Rose, or Gunnie Rose, a 19-year-old gunslinger in the 1930s. (Her age is my only real complaint.) The novel is set in an alternative history where the United States fractured following the assassination of FDR – the 13 colonies have rejoined England and formed Britannia, the South has separated into a land called Dixie, Texoma covers the Southwest, and the Holy Russian Empire has claimed what was California and Oregon. And there’s magic.
Gunnie Rose is a hired hand who works with a crew to transport cargo, including people. An Easy Death opens with her crew transporting a family from Mexico to New America. They’re attacked by bandits, and Gunnie is the only one of her crew to survive. Through grit, pride and determination, she delivers what’s left of the cargo and returns home to recover. That’s when things get interesting.
Gunnie is quickly approached by two Russian wizards who wish to hire her. They are searching for a wizard who is rumored to be related to Grigori Rasputin (yes, *that* Rasputin) and they need his blood. She holds her secrets close to her vest, just as they hold their magic in theirs, and she joins them.
What unfolds is one thrill of a ride. There’s some spice, some undead, and a lot of gunfire and magic. It’s fast-paced, barreling from one scene to the next before Gunnie’s barrels can cool. And just like candy, it’s hard not to eat it all in one sitting.
Have some fun. Read this book.