Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Book Review: Dirty Magick: Los Angeles

Dirty Magick: Los Angeles

Edited By:  Charlie Brown

Publish Date:  November 20, 2013

Publisher:  Lucky Mojo Press

Format:  Print

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st of the Dark Magick Anthology series

Recommendation:  If you enjoy noir mystery stories, pick it up.

"Dirty Magick: Los Angeles" is an urban fantasy anthology exploring the crossroads between magic and crime. Set in the city that invented noir, these stories comb the back streets and side alleys where the shadows are so sharp, they can shave you clean. Featuring such distinguished writers as Neal Pollack, Richard Rayner, Justin Macumber and Terry Mixon, this collection, edited by Charlie Brown, presents a whole new approach to urban fantasy.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

My Thoughts and Summary:
The stories are all a mystery of the old feel blended with magic. Tommy guns, Dames and Dolls, and the noir old feel to detective case solving. All mixed with magic in Los Angeles. So many different takes on magic in the big city of Angels.

As I read, I enjoyed the stories that were shared here and the worlds created. I did notice that it seemed there was at least one copy edit error in every story. But I was able to over look them.

The Forbidden Pose: A Matt Bolster Yoga Mystery
Bolster is called to come to Silver Lake by his sometimes poker buddy and former partner from LAPD Homicide. A woman of about late twenties is dead in her home, frozen in her yoga pose like time stopped. Someone is teaching the forbidden poss to people that don't know what could happen.

It was cute with the yoga take. However, it wasn't my favorite of the stories. The mystery was an old feel of Bolster hitting the shoe leather and finding who's teaching people the pose and why. There even felt like descriptive words were in wrong placement as the describer is a few words from it's focus.

Cougar Witch Plot
Megan has found nothing helps her anger. She's made a lunch appointment with a witch who's suppose to be astounding at what she does. The jaded Megan wants the man to suffer.

I enjoyed this one from the starts. No it's not because I'm female and this woman wants revenge on an ex. It's the witch that caught me. She is the real dean and doing her magic on Megan. I did, however, get a kick out of Megan and what happened to her ex.

An Eye For An Eye
Al Blake is hired to assassinate the D.A. while giving his speech on the courthouse steps. His unknown client requested Blood Magic. Blood magic requires the mage to be close, but Al likes to be there just in case...

A magical assassin, blood magic, mob mention... Oh yes, I'm curious.

This has an "old" feel to the story. I love Al's feelings on hurting woman. I really enjoyed the turn of events with this story and the flow of it.

Almost Angels
Tom's on the case of a dead girl carved with intriget swirls and designs. There's a wizard that's draining people of magical power from their soul. Not able to get the sight of the girl from his mind, he goes to find the true killer.

I like the feel of our main character here. He gives a feel of himself in the story so I feel the emotions with him. I enjoyed this quick story of magic and protection.

Sign of the Times
The Mara demon he's got, and digging her prison, is more than he knows. A blast from the past as he learns about him, and she already knows about him.

I like the way this one starts and the connection between the capture and captured. There is a turn of events in this story and the end wasn't what I expected. Rather neat.

That Old Hill Magic
At the bar watching a female demon sing, Detective Darcy Winters is on the job.

I like the world hinted at here in this short story. I'd be curious for more. Bluesy ad futuristic blended with supernatural. The fight is my kinda read!

The Hounds of Tartarus
Chuck has crawled out of the ocean and made his way to L.A. for help from Hess. Now chuck is ready to avenge his death, and get his money back from Vince.

We get the story from Jose - an angel of death. He takes his time with those that are dead, to get them to their peace and move on. Cool twist to Chucks life after death. I like the draw of realization and stages of grief.

Well done!

Call It Intuition
She's a big band singer, who sees shades when emotions run high. Billy, the trumpet player of color, is killed and her abusive boyfriend is on the case. But Kyle, a patron of the club, is more than he seems. And Greg Maloni's crew is helping with the funeral. So what really happened to Billy? Why?

She sees shadows, shades that play out scenes. Others don't know she sees them. She learns what happened to Billy. I really enjoyed this one as it's an old time mystery in a jazz age. I liked the time frame picked for this story and the ability our main character has.

Hearts at Rest
Frankie is on a murder case. A man was killed at the film studio. It's a List killing with what is seen. But this killer is a mystery as Frankie and his crew know of no Lister this powerful.

We see a new creation here. The term Lister. It's a turn used for the division Frankie works in that refers to those with abilities.

Oh I loved the ending to this one. What we learn of the characters...Cool! There is a fae twist to this tale.

Mr. Mean
I started but ended up skipping it. I just couldn't get into it.

Tainted Hooch
Kincaid's called into a young actresses home with the young actress looking well beyond her years in death.

A djinn who owns a special club and a wizard that finds his way past the trips to get in. Miss Maurus's establishment becomes a tea house when the LADP - wizards - shows up looking for a missing girl.

Oh this was a lovely tale. I enjoyed the djinn and the 'bottle' feel of the club. A touch of love in this story from the history we learn along with the story. Two stories in one with the history and current. Lovely.

Seeing Dead People
Kelly brings Jet to the crime scene. Jet specializes in ghosts.

This is no run of the mill magick. Not even Black Magick. It's Dirty Magick!

This case takes us into unexpected moments. Dark, dirty magic is present.

The Winds
Jackie is on the case where his old friend was murdered. Everything scattered and blown around. The Santa Anas winds were strong...

A full mystery here. I think maybe the longest story in the book. Full with characters and explaining.


  1. All can't be good...but that would be awesome, but...

    1. Blodeuedd, it wasn't. Not for me at least. There was one I noted that I ended up skipping the story. A few were slow too. But neat concept with the noir feel to them. Thank you!

  2. While I normally enjoy anthologies, I'm not a big fan of noir or mysteries so think I'll skip this one. Enjoyed your recap of each story though!

    1. Alexia, Thank you. Hey, I understand. There are stories out there that I pass on too. ;) Thank you.

  3. Oh it's nice to have many little stories like that! Plus UF? LOL I'm in. Thanks for the discovery!

  4. For the most part this one looked good (except for the one story). I enjoy UF and I should look this one up.

    1. Thank you Melissa (B&T). And you might like the story, or not, I'm not sure as I did pass. lol. But if you give it a try I hope you enjoy it.


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