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Fantasy Friday: The Case of the Night Mark by Arizona Tape

When Detective Samantha Rain gets bitten by a hellhound, she’s forced into the magical world of the Nox, night creatures living in secret between humans. Vampires, Will-O-Wisps, and much more uncommon types hide in a world that runs on oaths, blood, and death.

Unsure of whom she can trust, she has no choice but to rely on Lilith, heir of the Will-O-Wisp clan. Samantha has to earn her protection by solving a missing person’s case that could change the future.

If she doesn’t succeed, she’ll pay with her life.

Amazon Link: The Case of the Night Mark (The Samantha Rain Mysteries #1)

Author: Arizona Tape

Genre: Urban Fantasy Mystery

Rating: 4/5 stars

This was a quick read and an interesting introduction to the magical underworld where Detective Samatha stumbles on an adorable hellhound puppy. It’s not unusual as an urban fantasy mystery formula, but Samantha is a sympathetic character (although I don’t know why every detective also needs a drinking problem) and her dog is so cute.

Lilith is a little strange but I guess there needs to be a longer mystery to keep the story moving forward. The pacing was weird because it bounced so much between the conflicts with Lilith, Samantha’s personal problems with her old job and her ex, and the actual main story about the missing person, which seemed to be shoved to the back burner for a large portion of the book.

I’ll wait until I read more books in the series to decide how I feel about it. I’m not sure if I want Samantha to have a romantic relationship with Lilith when they seem so unequal in power right now. Not only is Lilith a powerful Fae, she is Samantha’s boss and the only thing keeping her safe in the paranormal underworld. Maybe Samantha will learn more about her own power as she learns about this new world.

LGBTQIA+ representation: Samantha is a lesbian and there is a F/F romance developing with Lilith. It also seems like the Fae characters are more or less bi/pan by default.

Here is the book in my reading journal:


I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.