The Shinigami Detective Bureau (or How to Be a God of Death in 10 Easy Lessons) Case File #1: The Wicker Man by C.G. Anderson
A supernatural mystery thriller...a buddy cop story, lots of humor, and the twist of reincarnation without the safeguards.
"It was after I died that my REAL troubles began...."
James thought he had enough troubles during his life. He'd survived being killed by Sedgewick, the Mummy Murderer, an infamous serial killer, though his veteran partner, Roy, hadn't been so lucky. But during Sedgewick's trial, James contracted and died of some sort of unknown virus. That was when things really got complicated. He found himself drafted as a rookie shinigami cop, in the Violent Crimes Division. Shinigami were also known as Gods of Death or Grim Reapers, but completely unlike the stereotypes - and his group was tasked with locating wayward spirits, often too shellshocked to find the Afterlife on their own. That was bad enough, but his conscience was still heavy with guilt, for Roy had been drafted as well, not to mention the additional guilt he felt regarding all the other souls that had died because of him and his failure in life. But he had another chance at police work, even if it was a bit unconventional.
Yet the Afterlife was full of non sequitors; for one, Roy looked like a teenage Asian boy now, and the people they worked with didn't seem like normal people, er, spirits, at all. They practiced magic, changed into dogs, had a little girl as a receptionist, a real pirate as a division captain, a bombshell named 'Fred', an eternal prince, a samurai, not to mention the squad's unfortunate tendency toward practical jokes.
He had a lot of questions and a lot to prove, especially when it was discovered that Sedgewick's spirit had not shown up in Reception as expected. The ghost of the serial killer was at large in the world of the living, endangering those that James cared for, and it looked like a powerful magician was behind it, someone who was now hunting shinigami, and hunting it seemed, he and Roy in particular.
But most of all, he wanted to know one thing, for just like Roy he didn't look like himself anymore! WHY was he now in the body of a middle-aged woman? No, really! Why? Because it DEFINITELY WASN'T an illusion! And that was more than an 18 year old guy could handle!
Also check out the related "magick interWorld" novels: Remedial Magick (YA appropriate) and The Sorcerer's Secretary. Comedy-Adventure-Thriller