Hi friends! I’m so excited to be back for another @WriteReads blog tour for May Day by Josie Jaffrey. Special thanks to the author for the copy in exchange for an honest review!
Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour here.
Goodreads: May Day (Seekers #1)
Publisher: Silver Sun Books
Published: 09 July 2020
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.
It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.
When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.
To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.
Body bags on standby.
May Day is the first book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekers series, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.
Josie is the author of nine self-published novels plus short stories. She is currently working on a range of fantasy and historical fiction projects (both adult and YA), for which she is seeking representation. Ultimately, she hopes to be a hybrid author, both traditionally- and self-published.
After finishing her degree in Literae Humaniores (Classics) at the University of Oxford, Josie wasn’t sure what to do with her life. She slogged through a brief stint working for an investment bank in London during the 2008 credit crunch, then converted to law and qualified as a solicitor specialising in intellectual property. She worked at a law firm for five years before moving to a UK-based international publisher in 2016. Whilst she loved law, in the end she didn’t love it quite as much as writing, which she now does almost full time.
Josie lives in Oxford with her husband and two cats (Sparky and Gussie), who graciously permit human cohabitation in return for regular feeding and cuddles. The resulting cat fluff makes it difficult for Josie to wear black, which is largely why she gave up being a goth. Although the cats are definitely worth it, she still misses her old wardrobe.
I had never heard of Josie Jaffrey or her books before this blog tour but I’m so glad that she is now on my radar! My experience of reading vampire books is very limited (Twilight, Discovery of Witches) but May Day had me laughing out loud, gasping in shock, and gripping the edge of my seat as the mystery unfolded. I really enjoyed the supernatural mystery combination and characters written with dry, sarcastic humour, and I’m eager to read more!
The story is told through Jack’s perspective. Jack is a fairly young vampire with attitude, a somewhat thorny personality, and a dislike for following the rules. It took me a bit of time to warm up to her, but once I did, I was really rooting for her! She really sticks to what she believes is right and I really appreciated that steadiness in her character. I liked most of the other characters too, especially the seekers. All of them had strong personalities and voices that made it easy to connect with them and it definitely made me want to learn more about their pasts (and I hope it happens as the series continues)! Killian is another character that I really enjoyed reading about and I can’t lie and say I wasn’t rooting for him. He’s the mysteriously charming, rich and powerful gentleman vampire who, I have to say, is my favourite kind. 😉 I can’t wait to see more of him!
I thought the mystery itself was interesting and I was eager to see how the supernatural and human elements would tie in together. I think Jaffrey did a great job bringing it all together and weaving a much deeper and more sinister plot than I expected. The story also got a lot darker than I expected but seeing how twisted killers usually are and not expecting any less from vampires, it only served to intrigue me further. I do hope that we get to learn more about the vampires/seekers and how their world works as the series goes on because although we get basic information, we don’t really learn that much.
The main thing that frustrated me in the book was the romance, which was my least favourite trope: a love triangle. I felt that the chemistry between Jack and Killian was written intensely (it was fire) and it was made even more so by their long history of enmity–enemies-to-lovers is definitely fave! On the other hand, the romance between Jack and the Dr. felt very insta-love/lust (another trope I hate lol) and I really didn’t feel their chemistry, which made it feel like their pairing was thrown in for the drama. It wasn’t my jam, and I know that’s very much a personal preference.
TL;DR: Overall, a very enjoyable first book to a series that I will most definitely be continuing! It’s a fast and easy well-written read, with hilariously charming vampire detectives, and a mystery that will suck you in (no pun intended) and keep you eager to learn more. I can’t wait to see where the story goes for Jack and the seekers!
Have you read May Day or is it on your TBR?