If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.
It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.
When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.
To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.
Body bags on standby.
May Day is the first book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekers series, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.
Content/trigger warnings at the end of this post may contain spoilers.
I received a copy of this book from the author for reviewing purposes. This does not influence my opinions in any way.
A suspenseful story with a well-developed world, complex characters including a formidable bisexual detective, between a sexy doctor and an annoyingly alluring baron, May Day is everything I wanted in a vampire mystery and more!
“Okay, okay. You have a grudge. Sure. That’s why you’re looking at his arse.”
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Josie Jaffrey. I have read and loved her previous series, Sovereign, and am looking forward to diving into her other one, Solis Invicti. The world of the Silver is one of my favorite fantasy worlds and I am so thrilled to be plunged into it once more. Plus, mystery is one of my favorite genres so to say that I was over the moon when I discovered this book exists is an understatement.
I got a glimpse of what precedes this story in the short story prequel, Killian’s Dead. In my review for that, I mentioned how I am already fond of Jack in the quick span of that story. Well now, with May Day, I get to witness more of Jack as a character and her complexities which makes me adore her at this point.
Jacqueline Valentine is an absolute delight of a narrator, a wonderful albeit snarky friend to Cam (her gay best friend) and most of all, a badass vampire detective. She has a good moral compass—well, most of the time anyway—and she is not afraid to take extreme measures to do what she thinks is right. Of course, a great character doesn’t come without any flaws and Jack is not an exception. She’s never been one to heed advices, her approach on personal problems isn’t exactly ideal and she can be an absolute prick when she wants to. And that’s precisely why I’ve come to love her more.
With that said, the other characters certainly did NOT dull in comparison to Jack either. Killian is another character that I’ve grown to love! Despite Jack constantly painting him in a bad light, and even though he said it himself that he is not a good guy, I don’t think he’s that bad. Killian Drake may know his way around the ladies but I really do think that he has pure intentions. He appears at all the right times and he is very charming! Although he can be a bit of a dickhead as well too, I guess that’s why he and Jack seem so good together! I would have appreciated a bit more exposure of him in this book but the promise of getting to know him more in the next is something I am very much looking forward to!
“You scrub up nicely, Jack,” he whispers, deliberately eyeing my dress rather than my cleavage.
I smile prettily for Cam’s sake, but whisper, “Fuck you, Drake.”
I also have to mention that every one of them, even those with minor roles, has their own depths and each their own personalities. Even Angie from maintenance, she appeared in only one scene but she was in no way one-dimensional to me. Another character I love is Cam, Jack’s gay best friend. He is just an absolute sweetheart and I think he should be protected at all costs! I’d love to read about his own story as well, since May Day gave only a glimpse to his lovelife, making me all the more curious and invested in Cam.
Speaking of lovelife, it’s about time I mention Jack’s! I have a love-hate relationship with love triangles but I’m not sure how to feel about the one in this book. I am very confused because I know for a fact that my ship is Jack-Killian. I mean, I cannot tell you how many times I accidentally startled my whole family with all my swooning and squealing. But I also can’t help rooting for Jack and Tabitha! So I guess we’ll just see how the series goes for all of them.
I was trying to take my sweet time with this book because I know that the sequel won’t be out for ages, but it’s just so good that it felt like I breezed past through this anyway. I literally cannot get this book out of my mind.
I had such an enjoyable reading experience with this that by the time I realize I am down to the last page, I honestly felt empty inside. Aside from the well-written characters, the world-building in this book is phenomenal too! Well, that’s to be expected since I’ve read the other books set in this particular world. The existence of the Silver in the modern world is incorporated really well and that’s what I love in an urban fantasy.
Finally, the plot is very interesting and it has me hanging on to every word. Again, I am a huge fan of mystery and to find out that Josie’s new vampire release involves solving a murder, then you can bet everything you own that I’ll love it! And I really freaking did! The book started with the mystery right away and I enjoy how the story went from there. The characters encountered multiple roadblocks in their job which made their investigative work all the more realistic for me. There’s nothing more off-putting than to read about an investigation with conveniently-found leads and evidences; it just takes all the thrill away.
I understand how the pace may be too slow for other readers, but I honestly don’t mind. There are a lot of introduction and groundwork to make way for the bigger picture and for the story to progress. Ultimately, I got very engrossed with the story for that reason.
Frankly, I think everyone should take my word for this one and pre-order May Day right now. With a riveting plot line in a world of well-rounded characters, the first installment to the Seekers series will surely leave you wanting more!
Click to reveal content warnings which may contain spoilers for the book.
I have made a playlist inspired by May Day which I think depicts the book’s vibe and which consequently aligns with my music taste. This playlist consists of songs from artists I enjoy but I am always open for new recommendations.
Photos used are from Pinterest.