Death Shifts Gears (Outside the Circle Book 2)


Abigail Grimshaw leads a complicated magical life. She only discovered her Grimm legacy last summer. She is struggling to make the mortgage on her St. Michael’s cottage and estate while raising two adopted magical children. Jimi and Nica are newly orphaned and in need of the love and security that Abbie hopes to provide. As part of their bonding, Abbie established the Standard Bearers, a club comprised of herself, the children, and four other non-ordinary characters who helped them last summer. Their current challenge is to solve the mystery of how a faerie named Shahay has been trapped inside a yellow Toyota. In the meantime, Abbie has promised to stay out of the way of handsome Detective Chief Inspector Callum Radford’s investigation of Layla Kanaan’s murder. But with all the mystical clues piling up around Layla’s death, will Abbie be able to keep her promise?

This book keeps the mind busy without covering much distance. The variety of the characters and their abilities is dizzying and without full explanation. Abbie herself is still learning about her Grimm abilities and the utility of magical artifacts in her possession. As Abbie and her fellow Standard Bearers investigate more deeply into Shahay’s predicament, and how it overlaps with Layla’s final days, there is more amazement than logic. Animals and inanimate objects are given names, personalities, and self-determination. All the unfamiliar information creates an unsettling feeling. However, despite not having a full understanding of the dynamics surrounding fae, curses, and the magical objects around her, and having to operate on guesswork, Abbie takes it all in stride. The abrupt ending is quaintly haphazard and imaginatively zany.

Joan Lai