In this follow-up to series opener 666 Park Avenue (2011), Pierce’s heroine is still puzzling over whether her Park Avenue playboy husband is in league with the devil.
Fledgling witch Jane Doran, née Boyle, hiding from her evil mother-in-law Lynne in a Manhattan fleabag, thinks there’s a chance Malcolm Doran, whom she married in Book One, might be a good person. Although in all likelihood he murdered her grandmother, Malcolm has left Jane with the key to a safe-deposit box chock-full of cash, not to mention access to a bank account that replenishes whatever she withdraws. (The box also contains a glass unicorn, a memento of Annette, Malcolm’s sister, who drowned at age six.) Jane moves into much nicer digs west of Washington Square and invites Dee, a Wiccan pastry chef who’s also on the lam from Lynne, to room with her. Jane’s only hope of calling off Lynne’s vengeful dogs is to find Annette, Malcolm’s sister, who is the true heiress to Lynne’s witchly dynasty. In 666, Lynne plotted the disastrous marriage of Malcolm and Jane in hopes of producing a descendant to replace Annette. However, since Malcolm has now disappeared, the prospect of progeny seems unlikely, and Jane isn’t so sure she wants to continue the marriage in any case. Using the unicorn as a trigger, Jane inhabits Annette’s mind long enough to learn that Annette is indeed alive, but living in squalor. The vision dissipates when the unicorn shatters, and now Jane’s mission is to once again gain access to Lynne’s opulent Park Avenue lair to find more Annette memorabilia. The only way to avoid detection by Lynne is to cast a spell, courtesy of Jane's Wiccan trainers, which transforms blond Jane into sultry brunette Ella, a Brazilian baroness, for one month. Complications ensue when André Dalcascu and his sister, scions of a Romanian witch clan, seek an alliance with the Dorans. Ella’s attraction to André is as immediate as it is counterproductive.
A brisk, stylish supernatural thriller.