Book Reviews

A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies 2) by KJ Charles at KJC Books

Genre Gay / Historical / Alternate Reality / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Alex on 25-November-2017

Book Blurb

Magic in the blood. Danger in the streets.

Lord Crane has never had a lover quite as elusive as Stephen Day. He knows Stephen’s job as justiciar requires secrecy, but the magician is doing his disappearing act more than seems reasonable—especially since Crane will soon return to his home in China. When a blackmailer threatens to expose their illicit relationship, there’s only one thing stopping Crane from leaving the country he loathes: Stephen.

Stephen has problems of his own. As he investigates a plague of giant rats sweeping London, his sudden increase in power, boosted by his blood-and-sex bond with Crane, is rousing suspicion that he’s turned warlock. With all eyes on him, the threat of exposure grows. Stephen could lose his friends, his job and his liberty over his relationship with Crane. He’s not sure if he can take that risk much longer. Crane isn’t sure if he can ask him to. 

The rats are closing in, and something has to give…

First Edition published by Samhain Publishing, 2014.

Book Review

I found this second book of the clever and witty 'A Charm of Magpies' series, a brilliant follow-up to one of my favorite “finds” of 2013, author KJ Charles’s 'The Magpie Lord'. If by chance you have not read that book, I urge you to do so, though I daresay 'A Case of Possession' can stand on its own quite nicely. Lord Crane is back, as is Stephen, his magical shaman lover, and four months after the adventures of the original book, the two men find themselves in the middle of another magic-wrought mystery: Who is summoning giant killer rats to London?

The wealthy, handsome, and indomitable Lucien Vaudrey has been busy, both, maintaining his China business interests and keeping track of his shaman lover, Stephen Day. His gifted lover seems to magically disappear after each of their lovely trysts. As a magistrate of magic, Stephen is on call at every hour of every day to make sure that all magical activities are valid, but surely his lover should have some time for him, shouldn’t he? They are in the beginning of their— whatever this is—and if Stephen stayed around long enough maybe they could figure it out, together.

Impoverished, but determined shaman Stephen Day has his mind and his heart full. His worries that his magical connection to Lord Crane will be discovered and the possibly of everyone finding out that he is a lover of men—well, a lover of Lord Crane at any rate— is second only to his dismay that he is in a  “relationship” with a man so far above his station that said man will surely realize his mistake at any moment. Mysterious sightings of giant rats and the death of several Chinese shaman soon override his personal fears and force his focus to his justiciar duties. When he is accused of being a warlock, he realizes a noose is being drawn about himself, his lover and select Londoners, a noose that may expose Lord Crane’s magical prowess and have London overrun with giant, murderous rats.

Placing their individual concerns about their fledgling relationship to one side, Lucien and Stephen join forces and friends on this magical adventure to stamp out the escalating threat.

I love this series! I love its sharp, concise writing, it’s refreshingly original content and it’s two exquisite leads, whose independent personalities result in some of the most stimulating and intriguing repartee that I have had the pleasure to read. Part historical romance, part alchemic mystery, with a touch of steampunk science, K.J. Charles has delivered a marvelous and entertaining work, the dynamic pace of which is more than matched by the accessibility of its prose.  From the cover art, which perfectly matches and effectively reveals the personalities of the two lead characters, to the sublime storyline and fitting ending, this is a fantastic book!

Excellent supporting characters, an exceptional plot, dreamy ambience and steamy lovemaking, make this a fabulous book to snuggle down with. Honestly, the story moves along so swiftly that I was aghast when I realized I’d reached the halfway mark… I did not want this one to end, but it did and in a magnificently satisfying manner. So, I have no choice but to ask: Um, may I have another, please?

Thank you, KJ Charles, for this wonderful addition to a scrumptious series. Magic and mystery and men… oh my!  “A Must-Read!”





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 194 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 28-March-2017
Price $3.99 ebook, $8.99 paperback
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