Melissa F. Olson was born and raised in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and studied film and literature at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After graduation, and a brief stint bouncing around the Hollywood studio system, Melissa moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where she eventually acquired a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, a husband, a mortgage, two kids, and two comically oversized dogs not at all in that order. Dead Spots is her first novel.
Dead Spotsby Melissa F. Olson
One night when she’s called to a grisly crime scene, Scarlett
When LA’s vampires, witches, and werewolves make a mess, they call Scarlett Bernard to clean it up. Her ability as a null erases all magical traces from anything or anyone that comes within ten feet of her, and keeps humans in the dark about the city’s paranormal activity.
One night when she’s called to a grisly crime scene, Scarlett is spied by the all-too-human LAPD cop Jesse Cruz, who strikes up a deal with her: he’ll keep quiet about the supernatural underworld if she helps him crack the case. She agrees, but the city’s chief vampire, Dash, starts to suspect Scarlett is behind the murders and will reveal all she knows of his shadowy empire. Now it’ll take more than Scarlett’s unique abilities to clear her name, keep the underworld underground, and track down the real killer.
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After reading Boundary Crossed, I wanted to go back to Dead Spots to remind myself of the world and the story. I wanted to see if Dead Spots was as light and “romancy” as I remembered. I think it does have more of a romantic leaning than Boundary Crossed, especially since there is a love triangle involved. And Scarlet’s relationship with her roommate, Molly, has some comical tendencies. But the story itself wasn’t as light as I was remembering. Main characters: Scarlett Bernard is a magical null and cleaner for the supernatural community in Los Angeles. I like Scarlett – she’s practical and resourceful and determined – but she also has an annoying tendency to be too passive. I think she sees herself as a victim of her circumstances and is a little bit self-pitying, which keeps her from believing she has worth and can take charge of her life. It’s been a while since I’ve read the whole series, but I’m hoping this is one of the character’s growth-points. Other characters: I’m not very fond of the vampires in this world – with the exception of Dashiell’s wife, Beatrice. I do like the wolves, though. Will and Eli seem like good guys. I feel bad for Eli; he likes Scarlett, but she doesn’t take his interest seriously. Jesse Cruz is the cop who accidentally stumbles into supernatural dealings. I like him, but he’s a bit slow on the uptake. His stubbornness seems to put his and Scarlett’s life on the line a bit too often. World: In Scarlett’s world, supernaturals are attempting to avoid detection by the normals. Vampires, werewolves, and witches have a tentative working relationship, but none of them really like each other. In Los Angeles, where Scarlett lives, the vampires are in charge. They operate much like an old mob family and are not very nice – well, most of them aren’t very nice. Nulls like Scarlett are seen as valuable, but mostly in the way that property is valuable. Werewolves seem much friendlier. Story: Dead Spots is mainly a mystery. Los Angeles vampires are being slaughtered brutally and no one knows how or why. Scarlett needs to solve the mystery before human cop, Jesse Cruz, gets pulled farther into the supernatural world and probably killed. There is an interesting surprise at the end, though I won’t spoil it for you here. Narrator: I’ll admit that it took me a bit to warm up to Amy McFadden as the narrator. Her voice for Scarlett is pretty brash… more like an East Coast accent than a West Coast one. There wasn’t a great amount of difference in the voices of her males, either. But I eventually got used to her and it was fine. Overall: Dead Spots is a good read and a good listen. Though it sometimes straddles the line between a serious urban fantasy and a fluffier paranormal romance, it is certainly entertaining. Purchased. Review courtesy of onebooktwo.com | one book, two reviews.
For a long time I have been looking for THAT book that totally sucks you in and has everything you are looking for. Werewolves, Vampires, Witches. romance and a great sense of humor, it has it ALL! I stumbled on this book at a Madison, WI bookstore featuring local artists and saw that the book was signed by the author. It sounded good so I thought I would give it a chance. My daughter took it from me and read it first and said she loved it and wouldn't stop reading it (even late at night when I caught her reading when she needed to get up early for school!). I then read it and found myself having the same problem of not being able to put it down. Great writing, great story, love the real (not contrived or forced) humor. I found that Scarlett's thinking was much in line with what I would think in similar situations. Very Captivating. Loved it! Sblaschka
Scarlett Bernard is a magical null. Just being around her will turn any vampire, werewolf or other magical creature completely mortal and human. Being a null gives her a special place in the supernatural community, she can use her abilities to clean up their crime scenes. On an extremely gruesome crime scene, Scarlett encounters Detective Jesse Cruz. Jesse Cruz was in for the shock of his life, coming across an extremely horrific multi-murder with a beautiful woman holding a garbage bag and a wolf the turns into a naked man then a wolf again. Knowing he can not explain the truth to the LAPD, Jesse Cruz searches for the woman behind the finger prints left on the garbage bag and crashes head first into the world of the supernatural. Uncaring of who is guilty, as long as someone is punished, the vampire leader gives Scarlett a brief deadline to uncover the true murderer or it will be her life he takes. Scarlett sets out to undercover the true identity of the murderer before her time runs out. This is a splendid start to what is sure to be a fantastic new series. Where paranormals collide with each other and the average humans, Dead Spots takes us on a vibrant exploration of Melissa F. Olson imaginary world. A romantic triangle, unusual friendships and lots of action highlight an already dazzling plot. Don’t miss Dead Spots, it is sure to thrill the paranormal romance lover.