Bornikova (a pen name for SF author Melinda Snodgrass) kicks off an urban fantasy series that’s less about hunting monsters and more about producing billable hours on their behalf. Freshly minted Yale Law grad Linnet Ellery gets a job at a law firm run by vampires. That’s the rule, not the exception, in this world, where “spooks” have established themselves at the top of human society. The case Linnet’s working on gets ugly when a murderous werewolf takes a personal interest in it. To make matters worse, office politics have her firmly on the outs, and the handsome on-staff Álfar (elf) PI, John O’Shea, is entirely too distracting. Though some of the plucky underdog moments feel forced and the plot is skimpy, Linnet’s modus operandi—using the law instead of magical weapons against supernatural peril—is a refreshing change of pace. After a slow start, the clever, active protagonist makes this a lively and enjoyable read. (Sept.)
“Phillipa is a great writer and she has the inside scoop on the world she's writing about. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.” Carrie Vaughn, bestselling author of the Kitty Norville series
“[Bornikova's] characters, human and supernatural alike, possess complexity and depth, and her heroine is tough and immediately likable. Strong storytelling, appealing characters, and an intriguing setting make this urban fantasy series opener likely to have great appeal to the genre's many fans.” Library Journal (Starred Review; Debut of the Month for August 2012)
“John Grisham meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Bornikova writes like a real pro, and This Case is Gonna Kill Me is a fast, fun, furious read. I can't wait for the next one.” MLN Hanover, author of The Black Sun's Daughter
“Linnet's modus operandiusing the law instead of magical weapons against supernatural perilis a refreshing change of pace. . . . The clever, active protagonist makes this a lively and enjoyable read.” Publishers Weekly
“Phillipa Bornikova is perhaps not the first person to compare attorneys to vampires, but her exciting debut, This Case is Gonna Kill Me, is a fresh take on both urban fantasy and the classic legal thriller. Linnet Ellery is a smart heroine who tackles the cutthroat world of vampire law with both wit and bravery. An intelligent, gripping debut!” Jaye Wells, author of the Sabina Kane series
“A refreshing new take on an old idea, with a strong, intelligent and independent protagonist: a highly promising debut.” Kirkus Reviews
Fostered by one of the influential vampire families who, along with other supernaturals, control world governments, finance, and the military, Linnet Ellery is a rising star in a prestigious vampire-run law firm. Despite the male-dominated hierarchy, Linnet seems headed for success and, possibly, admission into the elite world of the immortals—until she finds herself apparently demoted, assigned to marginal cases. When she becomes the victim of random attacks, each time barely escaping serious harm, she realizes that she has attracted the attention of powerful enemies as well as powerful friends. Bornikova presents a world in which lucky humans who cooperate with the supernatural-run "system" can rise to high positions. Her characters, human and supernatural alike, possess complexity and depth, and her heroine is tough and immediately likable. VERDICT Strong storytelling, appealing characters, and an intriguing setting make this urban fantasy series opener likely to have great appeal to the genre's many fans.
A New York lady lawyer battles sexism and arrogance in a world ruled--gently, invisibly, but insistently--by vampires, werewolves and elves, who collectively emerged from the shadows less than half a century ago. Linnet Ellery, the daughter of an old-money Colonial family and fresh out of law school, finds a job at a powerful New York "White-Fang" law firm--all the partners are vampires, along with most of the senior associates. Despite her credentials, she only got the job thanks to her connections with a high-ranking vampire family. Office politics, Linnet finds, are exceptionally vicious in a world where humans can succeed only by becoming allies or slaves of the powerful near-immortals. Her first assignment seems to be a hopeless case, a wretched affair that's been dragging on for years and involves the disputed inheritance of a billion-dollar security firm currently owned by werewolves. And, ominously, the first words uttered by Chip Westin, the well-meaning lawyer who's been struggling ineffectually with the case single-handedly, are those of the title. Then one evening, when she's working late with Chip, a werewolf shows up and kills Chip; only by a series of apparent lucky breaks does Linnet survive and kill the brute. Evidently, her diligent research has turned up something that the werewolf parties to the case would rather not have revealed. And there are other venues in which Linnet uses her brains and subtlety to achieve victory. Is she just fortunate--or extremely talented in ways she doesn't herself fully understand? A refreshing new take on an old idea, with a strong, intelligent and independent protagonist: a highly promising debut.