I'm a long-time fan of Charlaine Harris. I loved her books long before the making of True Blood based on the Sookie Stackhouse series. But I'll admit her last couple books that have once again picked up the Aurora Teagarden character did not generate much interest for me. Partly because, though I loved librarian Roe, I didn't like a choice Harris made about another main character. And partly because I've just moved pretty much beyond the cozier end of the spectrum in mysteries. All of this led me to be both excited and nervous about An Easy Death the first in a brand new trilogy. Would my old Harris excitement return? Or the blahs of late? I'm happy, very happy, to report that the excitement is back.
An Easy Death introduces readers to a whole new world and time and a great set of characters, centering on Gunnie Lizbeth Rose. Lizbeth lives in what used to be the United States, but after the assassination of FDR in the 1930s has become a small land of its own made up of parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Other parts of the US have been ceded back to Britain (the northeast), Canada (the upper midwest), and the far west to land ruled by the last Tsar to escape Russia. As you can guess, along with geographic boundaries, much of the rest of 20th century infrastructure has broken down andLizbeth makes a living as a gunslinger hired out by those needing to cross the dangerous landscape. Oh and there are Russian magicians!
Two of those Russian magicians, Paulina and Eli, hire Lizbeth to guide them on a trip from Texoma to Mexico. They're in search of a man who may be the last person alive capable of helping preserve the life of the Tsar, who suffers from a blood disease. Though Lizbeth is still grieving the loss of her team, killed on her last assignment, she takes the job. And the shootouts ensue (interspersed with magic and mystery). This is a blast to read and I zipped right through it. And thus my Charlaine Harris fandom has been re-energized.