As much as I loved the Jolie Wilkins books, I love Dulcie O’Neil even more! HP Mallory just keeps getting better. I finished To Kill A Warlock in about two days, and actually lost sleep staying up late to read it. Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy, but since this is HP Mallory’s world we’re talking about, she’s far from your average Tinkerbell. She works as a Regulator, a cop who basically monitors the Netherworld creatures. When one of those creatures- an illegal potions smuggler- turns up dead in a particularly nasty way, Dulcie investigates (after being cleared of murdering him herself, since he did recently hit her with a particularly disgusting curse). Enter the dark stranger, Knight Vander, a mysterious Netherworld creature that even Dulcie can’t identify. The two work together to find the killer, stumble over a few surprise plot twists and nearly stumble into bed a few times. Unfortunately, Dulcie is still recovering from a bad break-up, so she fights her attraction to Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome.

“To Kill a Warlock” has a strong cast of supporting characters- from her best friend the sensible witch to her boss and long-time crush (and inspiration for Captain Slade’s Bounty, the romance novel that Dulcie is writing throughout the book). I really loved the novel writing back story, and how Mallory basically shares the frustrations that all writers face when they hit the “send” button on those queries to agents. Definitely something that any writer can commiserate with! Like the Jolie Wilkins series, “To Kill A Warlock” has a randy vampire as a supporting character, as well as a cop partner that provides some comic relief.

While Mallory’s Jolie Wilkins books were sassy, clever and well-written, I think she took her talent a step further with “To Kill A Warlock.” weaving a complex world, vibrant characters, and a rich tapestry of supporting players. The self-deprecating humor is still there, Dulcie doesn’t take herself too seriously, but she is definitely a stronger, more outspoken character than Jolie. Mallory has really found her rhythm and voice here, and I expect that she’ll only get better with time. From the first book I read by her, “Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble,” Mallory has made her way to my “must get right away” list.

To Kill a Warlock is available on Amazon Kindle for .99, or in paperback for $8.99.