A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton
2000, Random House
Series: Book 1 of Merry Gentry
I fled the high court of Faerie three years ago and have been in hiding ever since. As Merry Gentry, I am a private investigator for the Grey Detective Agency: Supernatural Problems, Magical Solutions. My magical skills, scorned at the courts of Faerie, are valued in the human world. Even by human standards, my magic isn't flashy, which is fine by me. Flashy attracts attention and I can't afford that.
Rumour has it that I am dead. Not quite. I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. To speak that name after dark is to call down a knock upon your door from a hand that can kill you with a touch. I have been careful, but not careful enough. The shadows have found me, and they are going to take me back home, one way or another.
So the running is over. But the fighting has just begun...
The Good: I absolutely adore Merry and her men. I love her story. I love the entire world of faerie that Hamilton has created here - the hierarchy, the rules, the gritty brutalness of life for beings that look all pretty and dainty to outsiders. There is a mystery and there is graphically written sexuality, much like Hamilton's latter Anita Blake novels. This works well for the story and lets readers know what they're in for right in the start of the series.
The Bad: Not a thing.