In the first of an urban fantasy series, an astro-traveling private investigator, whose psychic mother is landlady to a witch and two gay ghosts, stalks an invisible murderer.
After being raped, stabbed and left for dead, Zoë Martinique discovered that her spirit can leave her body—so she makes a living as a p.i., a Traveler invisibly snooping on illicit deeds and conversations. She’s also incorrigibly curious, and one night when on a job, she witnesses a murder by a sinister figure she thinks of as Trench-Coat. The latter steals his victim’s soul; worse, he notices Zoë, grabs her—and threatens to steal her soul amid irresistible promises of sexual ecstasy! Zoë snaps back into her body just in time, but the contact has changed her: She can now physically manifest while Traveling. She learns that the dead man’s boss, Kobe Hirokumi, holds a powerful McGuffin belonging to shady televangelist Teddy Rollins, who sent Trench-Coat to get it back. But while eavesdropping on a conversation between Hirokumi and gorgeous detective Daniel Frasier—it’s lust at first sight—Zoë barely avoids a trap set by Hirokumi’s faceless seer. Despite tending to blurt things audibly while out of body and invisible, Zoë doggedly continues to investigate; clearly the bad guys know much more about the non-physical realms than Zoë. Complications ensue on several levels, as our heroine—still lusting and impulsive—finds that nothing is what it seems.
Zoë’s an appealing if occasionally irritating protagonist, and the plot mostly works despite the overcomplicated backdrop: a worthwhile debut that bodes well for disembodied adventures to come.