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Book Cover Gwen’s review of Divine Misdemeanors (Meredith Gentry, Book 8 ) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Urban fantasy hardcover released by Ballantine 8 Dec 09

Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry novels typically revolve around the politics of the Unseelie Court.  A couple of the early books were more about Merry’s Men and her day job working for a private detective agency.  There are many LKH fans who, after the last few Merry books that were all about sidhe politics, were begging for a return to the private investigation roots.  With DM those beggars get their wish. 

I’m not sure what side of that fence I sit on – politics or private life.  I enjoy reading about Merry’s problems juggling all those men.  I also enjoy reading about the utterly foreign and Machiavellian sidhe courts.  With both, there is a significant sex element.  Merry has TONS of mystically enhanced sex with all sorts of creatures big and small.  It all normally combines to be a rather wild tale that is fun to read.

DM is certainly a return to Hamilton’s roots.  Merry and her men meander their way around a serial murder mystery involving the fey.  The PI agency that Merry works for is brought in for expert advice.  Things happen, sex is had, and the mystery solved.  End of book.

What I think LKH is trying to do with this entry in the series is show how Merry is growing into her role as leader of the sidhe.  In spite of her rejection of the crown(s) in the previous book and frequent verbal rejections of the title in this book, it becomes apparent that Merry still subconsciously feels she will have to be queen.  Her actions, decisions, and general behaviour in DM all point to Merry eventually accepting the crown(s).

If feels like DM is one of those “bridge” books that transitions the Merry Gentry story into the next big phase.  If I had a crystal ball, I’d say that the next book will have Merry giving birth to her twins – no doubt in some crazily mystical method – and something significant will happen on the throne(s) front.

I enjoyed this book, but felt the sex scenes were a little forced and not as hot as previous books.  And let’s be honest, we read Merry Gentry partially for the rampant sex.  Also, the “mystery” is a bit obvious.  It’s resolution is a little confused and facile.

Even with the flaws, this is a very readable book and an interesting entry in the Merry Gentry world.  I do not recommend the book if you haven’t read any of the other entries – it’s not a standalone book.  However, if you’re a fan of Merry, you should read it to see how she continues her evolution into the queen of the sidhe.

Gwens IconGrade: B-

Read more reviews and information on this series here.


You may know me best as Meredith Nic Essus, princess of faerie. Or perhaps as Merry Gentry, Los Angeles private eye. In the fey and mortal realms alike, my life is the stuff of royal intrigue and celebrity drama. Among my own, I have confronted horrendous enemies, endured my noble kin’s treachery and malevolence, and honored my duty to conceive a royal heir—all for the right to claim the throne. But I turned my back on court and crown, choosing exile in the human world—and in the arms of my beloved Frost and Darkness.

While I may have rejected the monarchy, I cannot abandon my people. Someone is killing the fey, which has left the LAPD baffled and my guardsmen and me deeply disturbed. My kind are not easily captured or killed. At least not by mortals. I must get to the bottom of these horrendous murders, even if that means going up against Gilda, the Fairy Godmother, my rival for fey loyalties in Los Angeles.

But even stranger things are happening. Mortals I once healed with magic are suddenly performing miracles, a shocking phenomenon wreaking havoc on human/faerie relations. Though I am innocent, dark suspicions of banned magical activities swirl around me.

I thought I’d left the blood and politics behind in my own turbulent realm. I had dreamed of an idyllic life in sunny L.A. with my beloved ones beside me. But it becomes time to wake up and realize that evil knows no borders, and that nobody lives forever—even if they’re magical.

Read an excerpt here.

Other books in the series:

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