Sunday, July 15, 2012

Grayling Cross by Gayleen Froese

Grayling Cross is Edmonton author Gayleen Froese's second paranormal detective novel to feature Collie and Anna, a larger-than-life duo who exchange entertaining dialogue while dead and missing bodies pile up around them. Colette Kostyna is a lesbian with a public relations / detective agency in Edmonton. Her employee and housemate is Anna Gareau, a retrocognitive clairsentient. In other words, Anna can see past events by handling objects.

Sure, there are folks doing magic right and left, but the Edmonton setting remains vivid as the pair of detectives crisscross the city in their search for both a missing teenage psychic and a murderer who is able to teleport. Collie "harboured a secret affection for [West Edmonton Mall], as she did for all things that were innocent of shame. The Mall was tacky in a way that Circus of the Stars could only envy, and Anna supposed there was something impressive about that."

The bantering relationship between Collie and Anna is another strong point. Their interactions are amusing to watch. When Collie wrote something down, "Anna didn't look over her shoulder, having learned that Collie didn't appreciate it. Sometimes she phrased her failure to appreciate it in the form of an elbow to the gut." Later, Anna "was about to remind Collie to take some paper for the liability statement [to be written en route], but that would have meant assuming that Collie had no paper in her purse. A ridiculous assumption. Collie probably had a sawmill in her purse."

Grayling Cross stands on its own, thankfully, since I haven't read the first book, Touch. I did gather enough from the text to learn that Touch is set in Victoria, B.C. where Collie and Anna met. I'm certainly up for more of their wacky adventures!

Readalike: Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead (Sara Gran) for another mystery with a focus on character and setting... even though it has just a touch of the paranormal.

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