Friday, November 7, 2008

Review – “Brimstone Kiss” by Carole Nelson Douglas

Paranormal Investigator Delilah Street--in her quest to identify the long-buried embracing skeletons she and sexy ex-FBI agent Ricardo Montoya discovered-- has to deal with a lecherous vampire, a ghoulish producer, celebrity zombies from classic films, a mysterious albino rock star who bestows addictive kisses on his groupies, and a dead girl in her mirror--and those are just her clients! Post-Millennium Revelation Las Vegas is teeming with supernaturals and run by a werewolf mob, but even the unhumans can't conceive of what Delilah discovers hidden under its damnable desert sands: unspeakably powerful evil rooted in ancient Egypt...
Brimstone Kiss is the captivating sequel to Dancing with Werewolves. Douglas has populated her Post-Millenium Las Vegas with the most outrageous and outlandish cast of supporting characters this side of the Wizard of Oz. Every page drips with movie and movie star references, sly observations on Vegas and its’ culture. In less capable hands it would come off as a parody but in the world that Douglas has built it simply draws you along wondering what and who you are going to meet next (take special note of the incredible scene with the Bela Lugosi CinSim).

The central story arc continues where Dancing with Werewolves left off. Delilah and Ric pursue their investigation into the identities of the murdered lovers discovered in the park. Names that all the power brokers in Vegas are either anxious to learn or keep buried. Brimstone Kiss builds layer upon layer of mystery into the story and characters. Delilah has numerous puzzles on her agenda to solve such as finding her purported twin Lilith, what kind of supernatural is the rockstar Snow and what is the secret of his Brinstone Kiss?

A further inventory of the mysterious includes -
  • The CinSim’s exhibit previous unknown abilities so do they have their own agenda and how is it connectied to Delilah’s investigations?
  • Are the werewolves really the top dogs or are there new vampire players in town?
  • Do the werewolves still want Delilah dead because of her escape from them in Dancing with Werewolves?
  • What is the truth about Ric’s past? What is the truth about hers?
  • What is the nature of her silver familiar and how can she learn more about her magical mirror abilities?
Every character, every situation has a mystery shrouding it. As some are solved even more are uncovered. Each progresses logically from the last dishing out surprise after surprise. Delilah and Ric are also surprised and elated at how well their relationship is evolving. Delilah expresses her thoughts succinctly -
We lurched inside together, mixing lip locks with forward progress. "Yes!" Now I knew what all the Top 40 hits were about.
As you can see Delilah’s internal dialogue is always droll and entertaining –
“Babe!” Really offensive language always brought out my Our Lady of the Lake Convent School warrior maid.
Ultimately Ric and Delilah’s love leads them into dire straights and grave consequences. The suspense and events build into a unexpected twist that pulls together many of the main characters in an action-packed climactic finish. Powerful stuff.

Douglas’ knowledge of film and actors spans multiple generations, so she conveniently provides a glossary of references and websites for those interested in finding out more about the Hollywood tidbits she scatters throughout the story. The rich details and inventive mysteries in Brimstone Kiss completely submerge you in the story. Like Delilah and with apologies to Carole Douglas—"Yes!" Now I knew what all the Page Turner quotes were all about.

I would highly recommend readers start with the earlier book in the series and top it off with Brimstone Kiss.

Read an excerpt.

Juno Books
Published: October 2007
ISBN #: 978-0-8095-7304-2

Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator

  1. Dancing with Werewolves


  1. I think one of my favorite parts of Douglas' world is the CinSims. I love them. Great review.

  2. Thanks scooper. I agree, the CinSims are a great concept and it looks like they still have a major role for whatever is planned in the next book. Can't wait!

  3. Does anyone know if there is another book planned in the Delilah Street series beyond Brimstone Kiss? I really loved the first two. And yes, I agree the CinSims were a great idea, really unique.


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