Tuesday, August 25, 2015

#Review: Be My Banshee by Joyce & Jim Lavene

The Purple Door Detective Agency is hiring.

Those without magic need not apply.

Salary commensurate with experience.

Apply at the agency. No phone calls or psychic links.

Sunshine Merryweather is a young witch with a passion for colorful clothes and good food. She is the owner/operator of the Purple Door Detective Agency. Her partner, John, was brutally murdered three days ago, and she won’t stop until she finds his killer.

Aine is only interested in one thing when she walks into the building with the purple door–locating the last man alive in the branch of the O’Neill family she haunts as a beane sidhe. She has been asleep for 200 years in a ruined Irish castle and realizes that the world has moved on without her. She needs to find the O’Neill heir and encourage him to start a family or she will pass from existence when he dies.

Sunshine sees a potential partner when she looks at the powerful beane sidhe – they could be the next Dynamic Duo! But Aine isn’t interested in Sunshine’s schemes – until the witch agrees to help her locate O’Neill. Even then, it will be a short-term association at best from Aine’s point of view. She has no need of witchcraft.

Neither woman is aware of the danger they face as an ancient assassin stalks the old port city of Norfolk, Virginia. It will take more than simple witchcraft or beane sidhe magic to stop the killer. They will have to work together and combine their talents.

But can Sunshine and Aine put aside their differences to stop the murders without tearing each other apart?



The minute I opened the book, I opened the purple door and allowed this amazing cast of characters into my heart.  (Ok, I swiped my Kindle...but work with me here, ok?)

I just about hooted, and certainly I guffawed, when Sunshine deadpans to Aine after her shriek, "Well, you could have told me you were a banshee."  Regardless of where your belief lies on the subject of does "x" exist or not (where "x" can be any type of supernatural being), the life breathed into these characters by this talented writing duo make them sympathetic.

Take Aine.  She's a banshee (beane sidhe) - quite possibly the last of her kind.  She had been put into a deep sleep for 200 years (take THAT, Sleeping Beauty) which caused a serious rift in her responsibilities to the O'Neill clan.  At the beginning, she comes in all thunder and bluster - what you would probably expect from a banshee.  Over the course of the book, she comes to appreciate and value Sunshine (as a business partner, and friend); she develops respect for the bravery of a mouse-to-woman shapeshifter; and she finds out that all O'Neills are not created equal.

Even the hired gun's story has multiple facets.  Sure, she was hired for a job and kind of went outside the bounds of her contract, but I can't fault her reasoning.

While Be My Banshee could be satisfying as a standalone, I am thrilled down to my flipflops that this is the beginning of a new series.  Will Sunshine find love again?  Will Aine deliver the last two 'warnings' of impending death to O'Neill?  Will Jane ever get to be just a mouse again?  (Does she even want to be?)

Be My Banshee is a rollicking good adventure and I look forward to being there for the future of the Purple Door Detective Agency.   



Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.



In my last review of a Lavene title (Give 'Em Pumpkin to Talk About), I got a little creative and wrote lyrics to the tune of "Something to Talk About."  

Well, that inspiration struck again.

Back in the day, the Ronnettes sang a song, "Be My Baby".  The link goes to YouTube for those unfamiliar with the tune.  

***Possible Spoiler Ahead***
This is different from that first 'song', in that this is less of a narrative of the story, but is between two characters.  That being said, here are my altered lyrics:

The night we met I knew you were meant for me
I didn’t want to believe you were my beane sidhe
So won’t you take care of me
And do not float above me
Cause that kind of thing really drives me crazy!

So won’t you, please, be my be my banshee
Be my little, banshee my one and only banshee
Let me touch your sweet hand, be my be my banshee
Be my banshee now, my one and only banshee

I will not take a desk job, just wait and see
Life’s fraught with danger for whatever species
I’ll fight right here beside you
Your friend Sunshine can play too.
We’ll be the cop, the witch and the banshee!
So won’t you, please, be my be my banshee
Be my little, banshee my one and only banshee
Let me kiss you again, be my be my banshee
Be my banshee now, my one and only banshee

So come on and, please, be my be my banshee
Be my little, banshee my one and only banshee
Let me kiss you always, be my be my banshee
Be my banshee now, my one and only banshee

(Disclosure:  I received an e-file of this book from the authors and publishers in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)


  1. OH. MY. GOSH! Does it get any better than this? You are a world class act, LuAnn! Thanks you for the review and the song!

  2. I might have met you two on Lori Caswell's cozy site. You look like such a happy couple. I really like the plot of "Be My Banshee." I think it would make a bad day good.

  3. Now that is an original premise. A side of banshees we never knew.
    And by the way, you rocked the movie trivia.

    1. I agree, Alex. And about that trivia, it shocked the purple doors out of me. I've N.E.V.E.R. looked and known all of your trivia before. Made my day!

  4. Ahaha I love the sound of this one! It sounds like such a fun and enjoyable read where the characters are really what makes the book lovely. Great review! x

  5. Have to admit this is one of the BEST reviews I have ever read. If I was not already currently reading the book I would IMMEDIATELY click over to Amazon to one click. (or pre-order!)
    For sure following your blog and reviews now.