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REVIEW: A Lady Who Looks Good When She’s Crying – Dan Ackerman

A Lady Who Looks Good When She's Crying  - Dan Ackerman

Genre: Contemporary, Detective, Paranormal

LGBTQ+ Category: Ace, Bi

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Angels shouldn’t pal around with demons, especially not ones they’ve been sent to assassinate. They shouldn’t work with them or cook them dinner, or strike a deal with the Devil for them either. Sunshine probably isn’t a very good angel.

The demon in question is Felix Specter. He’s forgiven Sunshine for stabbing him all those years ago. He’s got a lot on his plate: a curse, his mental health, and a questionable love life. Finding out Sunshine owes the Devil a few favors doesn’t help. Neither did that kiss, not that Felix will talk about it anyway.

On top of everything else, Sunshine and Specter have a case to solve. They handle issues that human detectives can’t, like monsters in the sewer, mages doing illegal charms, and runaway witches. But they’ve always dealt with anything the city has to offer. Would could be different this time?

The Review

Felix Specter is the Devil/Lucifer son. Felix is always verbally expressing himself, is a little flamboyant, seems to like being the center of attraction, and is very smart. He’s often concerned about how he’s perceived, being the son of Lucifer. It’s not easy when others believe in the reputation that Felix has to carry, and it really is a burden for him.

Sunshine is an angel, an assembly line soldier made by God. His entire existence is very different from Felix’s. 

Sunshine and Specter are best friends, which is a miracle in itself. They’re also business partners in the Sunshine & Specter Paranormal Detective Agency. The NYPD doesn’t do very much investigating, especially when it comes to the inhabitants of the Community. Sunshine and Specter don’t hesitate to take such cases further and solve them. They deal in everything – runaways, bracelets, brooches, items that are enhanced by spells or magic, ghouls, mummies and even kidnapping.  

Tate Murray is a member of the staff and gets to show her talents as a psychic.

Emil Zito, a co-worker, has created some friction in the office, and Sunshine and Specter have to address the issue. Even with all the cases that crop up, Felix and Sunshine have to deal with the more normal employee situations that come along with the business. They also need to take a long, hard look at their own personal connection. 

Sunshine has always wished he could touch Felix, if for nothing but to console him, but it’s just too dangerous. He’s also worried about Felix’s health, among other things. With the threat of him having another stroke or worse, Sunshine goes to see Felix’s father, Lucifer. Eventually, Sunshine knows he has to tell Felix about the deal he made with the Devil.  Because the Devil will surely come to collect his due.  

Sunshine and Specter get involved in a case when Dr. Love brings a mummified body to their attention. The investigation takes them deep into a frightening situation in subway tunnels of NYC. Then the Devil comes to collect his due from Sunshine, with a possible kidnapping case of fifteen year old Sarai. Sunshine, Felix and Tate team up for this case to get information from Sarai and keep her safe.  They may even have to seek out the Devil to make sure nothing goes awry.  

Dan Ackeman shows his fine talent for world building, from the underground tunnels to the current day in the paranormal Community and human world.  There’s are also some new and interesting creatures from the tunnel, and Garfield the elemental.

Ackerman deals with a number of issues and challenges where the Community and humans are concerned – egregation, discrimination, non-believers and those that want to destroy the paranormal members of the Community, to name a few. Sunshine and Specter not only have to deal with these issues at the office, but also in their own personal lives.  

I loved the banter between Sunshine and Felix – humorous with a touch of flirty sweetness.  I like that their relationship is gradual, because they do have issues to work on. Felix is very fragile when it comes to sex and his feelings for Sunshine. He also has an odd parental situation. And Sunshine really gives it his all, trying to stay calm and reasonable. He shows his vulnerable side when it comes to dealing with Felix, and has a unique way to deal with his anxiety – birds.

There are many characters that play interesting roles throughout the story – June, James Kelly (vampire), Melody Blood, Dr. Love, Dontell, Justice, Pharaoh, Hiram and Phaedrus, Ira and Lucifer himself.  

This is my first time reading one of Ackerman’s books, and I really got into this novel. The paranormal aspect is very creative, and I especially liked that Specter and Sunshine get very involved in the investigations. There’s also a fair share of action and eerie, dangerous moments.

My only criticism? I would have liked more on the investigation into the tunnels – maybe Ackerman is saving that for book two. But regardless, this was an exciting and creative read for me with lots of potential. I can’t wait to see what Dan Ackerman has in store for Sunshine and Specter next!

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 

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