Claw&Warder: Episode 1 Seduction

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In the Locus of New York, crimes committed by magical entities threaten the delicate balance between the mundane world and the supernatural realm.

The dedicated teams of detectives who investigate these breaches of Canon and Covenants are members of an elite unit known as the Supernatural Inquisitors Squad.

These are their stories.

Leery Oriscoe is just a conflicted New York Jewish cop who got hit by the Hassidic bus—only the bus was driven by a werewolf. There’s bound to be a little crazy under his black hat. And his life just got ten times more complicated. His new partner is half vampire and half succubus.

Oh, and their lieutenant? She's the ghost of a Van Helsing.

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★★★★★ "This is a book you should read. I did and I’m glad of it – an excellent read."

“Seduction: Claw and Warder Episode 1 by Erik Henry Vick is an urban fantasy set in the seedy streets of New York City. What the common mundane humans fail to understand is that beneath their veneer of civilization lurks an entirely separate and self-governing community, that of the world of magic and the supernatural. Leery Oriscoe is a New York Jewish cop, a shapeshifter, who works the homicide beat of the supernatural police force of New York. Their rules of operation, engagement and justice are not terribly dissimilar to those of their mundane compatriots; however, they are daily dealing with demons, ghosts, fae, fetches, succubi and so much more. Leery has just been assigned a new, gorgeous rookie partner who not only seems to be much more than she appears to be on the surface but also has their ghost Lieutenant on her case from day one. Their first case together is what appears to be an open and shut murder case of a young Irish tourist in Richmond Park, sucked dry by a succubus. But when the case begins to blow wide open, the pair realizes they are dealing with something much more dramatic and worrying and will have a battle on their hands to ensure justice is served.

This type of urban fantasy is not normally my type of book, but it is important to try new genres from time to time, as I absolutely loved this story. The idea that there are two simultaneous types of society working side-by-side was a fascinating premise. This is the beginning of a series featuring these characters and I look forward to seeing how they develop as characters and especially how the relationship of Leery and his new partner grows. The characters are fully overdrawn, as is the nature in this genre, and author Erik Henry Vick has done a fantastic job of giving them real and recognizable emotions and foibles that endear them to the reader, despite their magical beings. Even the title, Seduction: Claw and Warder Episode 1, is a clever play on the clearly recognizable settings of Law and Order. The writing style is flowing and easy to read. I would have preferred a slightly longer story but as the first glimpse of these characters, this setting, and the plotlines, I am impressed and awaiting Episode 2. If urban fantasy is your thing, this is a book you must read but even if it’s not, this is a book you should read. I did and I’m glad of it – an excellent read.”

-- Grant Leishman, ReadersFvorite.xom

★★★★★ "A supernatural version of the popular Law & Order TV series..."

“Werewolves, vampires, succubuses, a dead Van Helsing, clairvoyants and more - the 'other world' is swarming with their own problems to keep their side under control in New York. I’m no stranger to Erik Henry Vick’s universe as I’m a fan of The Bloodletter Saga. Vick’s intriguing, ghoulish, fast-paced plot and solid characterization are as entertaining as I expected. I enjoyed the way Oriscoe and Dru interact with each other and the mutual respect between the two. There are ample thrills, chills, and fun to satisfy readers' appetites. The dialogue and prose generate the entertaining moments and the degree of tension best suited to launch the next twist in the storyline. In this case, Dru's family background is quite a twist. Seduction is a great start for the Claw & Warder series; yet more proof of Erik Henry Vick’s storytelling expertise in the supernatural world.”

-- Lit Amri, ReadersFvorite.xom

★★★★★ "The first episode in an exciting new series..."

“Erik Henry Vick twists the typical police procedural by flipping everything with a magical examiner and a Supernatural Investigations Squad. The world has several elements that make a crime story work with a snarky detective and an intriguing case which Vick uses to blend these supernatural aspects into a suspenseful and at times humorous mystery. The inclusion of supernatural beings such as werewolves, vampires, and succubi gives the mystery the feeling that, literally, anything is possible. The case revolves around a succubus which allows you to see inside the part of the supernatural world that is half of where Dru comes from. This helps to know more about the character and to see the situation a little from her eyes. The two share a fun back and forth that is coupled with quick-witted dialogue and fun banter. Claw and Warder is a fun kick-off to a crazy, humorous, and murder-filled supernatural procedural series that crime lovers will enjoy.”

-- Liz Konkel, ReadersFvorite.xom

Praise for Claw & Warder: Episode 1 Seduction

Great riff on Law and Order!

"This is the start of a new series and I can't wait for Book 2! Is it bad if you start a novel with theme music in your head? This series is loosely based on Law and Order so the theme played over and over in my head. Even when I put it aside for sleep ( which wasn't often), I heard the theme in my head just like the commercial breaks. The story is just like Law and Order, but with a werewolf as the main investigator. His partner is a bit of a mystery and I don't want to give away too much. Let's just say if you love crime stories, this is right up your dark alley!"

What happens when your law enforcement arent who you think they are?

"Really interesting read that combines the best of a criminal investigation with an alternative supernatural world. It's a great start to what I think will be a fascinating series."

Not what I expected - Loved it!

"I was expecting a light, easy read but I was not expecting to love the characters so much. Dru and Leery are an ulikely pair but they make it work. Their unqiue talents complement each other and are vital to getting the job done. I am looking forward to the next book in the series!"

In the Locus of New York, crimes committed by magical entities threaten the delicate balance between the mundane world and the supernatural realm.

The dedicated teams of detectives who investigate these breaches of Canon and Covenants are members of an elite unit known as the Supernatural Inquisitors Squad.

These are their stories.

 

1

Two women stepped into Riverside Park from the corner of West 106th Street and Riverside Drive. They were dressed in “running gear,” though neither had any intention of moving at anything faster than a stroll. Lifelong friends, their pace seemed set by mutual, though unspoken, accord.

Kylelynn Fubelli lifted her eyes toward the sky and sighed. The temperature lingered at just above chilly, and threatening, ugly gray clouds loomed over them. “Will spring ever come?” she muttered.

Amie Brewer chuckled and patted her friend’s shoulder. “Yes, but until then, keep your eyes off the gloom and on the hot chunks of man-flesh who jog in this park. That should be enough to keep you warm.”

Kylelynn laughed, rolling her eyes. “What about Dave?”

“Dave’s not here, man,” said Amie in her best Tommy Chong voice.

“Has anyone tried to have you committed this week?”

“Dave-schmave. What he doesn’t know won’t kill him.” Amie peered up at Kylelynn’s face. “Besides, you’re married, not dead.”

“‘Look, but never touch,” Kylelynn said and laughed.

“I swear to God, Ky, you are such a little Girl Scout. Maybe you can touch one? A little bit, anyway, and only in the right places.”

“Oh, you’re bad!” Even so, Kylelynn’s eyes danced with an excitement she tried to deny—or at least keep hidden.

“Bad? Me?” Amie flashed a mischievous smile, then lifted her chin to point down the path ahead of them. “Like him. Check out that posterior!” She chuckled as she said it.

Kylelynn said nothing. In fact, she’d stopped ten paces behind Amie and was staring into the underbrush. “Oh my God!” she croaked

“What is it?” asked Amie. “It can’t be better than that hunk up ahead.”

“Do you have your phone?” The color drained from Kylelynn’s face, and she drew rapid, shallow breaths.

Amie glanced at the brush at the side of the path but made no move to return to her friend’s side. “What is it?” she asked again. “We don’t want to get involved with anyone off the paths, Kylelynn. You know that.”

“Give me your phone.” It came out in a breathless rush, almost a whisper.

“Come on, hon,” said Amie. “Whatever it is, let’s leave it.”

“Your phone!”

Amie heaved a sigh and trudged back toward Kylelynn. “Come on, Ky. We don’t want to ruin the morning. Not over a homeless…” She stopped talking as she caught a glimpse of what had captured Kylelynn’s attention. “Sweet Jesus, Mother Mary, and Blessed Joseph,” Amie murmured. She swung her pack off her shoulder and fished for her cell phone, never once allowing her gaze to leave the dried-out husk hidden in the underbrush.

2

Leery Oriscoe heaved a sigh as he pulled himself out of the car and into the brisk, overcast morning. He wore a camel hair overcoat buttoned to the neck with a scarf tucked carefully under his chin. His brownish-gray hair rustled in the breeze, and he smoothed it with an irritated glance at the sky. He considered getting the black hat out of the trunk, but that belonged to his darker half and signified a belief that Leery no longer shared.

He lifted his face slightly and sniffed the air—as if his sense of smell was as refined as a tracking dog’s. He wrinkled his nose and sneezed.

“Catching a cold, Detective?” asked a uniformed officer as he approached from the park.

“Something like that,” said Leery. “You the one who called me?”

“Jim Butcher,” the cop said.

Leery nodded in an absent-minded way. “You’re from the Two Seven, right? I recognize you.”

“Sure,” said Butcher.

“Right.” Leery sighed and shook his head. “Better take me to it, Jim.”

“Sure thing, Detective.” The uniformed policeman turned his back on the street and strode into the park.

With another sigh, Leery followed. “Anyone else from the house here yet?”

Butcher shook his head. “No dicks. Just cops,” he said.

“Hey, detectives are cops, Butcher.”

Butcher lifted his hand and waved it. “Sure thing. Whatever you say, Oriscoe.”

“Answer me this, Butcher. Why us? Why call in the Special Investigations Squad? Your regular detectives will want to skin you alive.”

Again, Butcher lifted his hand and waved it. “Sure, sure. You’ll see in a second.”

“Oh, a mystery! I just love mysteries.” Leery rolled his eyes.

Butcher led him to a section of the path that had been blocked off with yellow crime scene tape. Two women in running suits stood off to the side, their heads together.

“So, Jim… Are those my two witnesses colluding over there?”

Butcher glanced over his shoulder. “Colluding?”

Leery drew a deep breath and let it out in a rush. “Where I come from, Officer Butcher, we keep the wits separated until we can take their statement. You know, we try to discourage them ‘getting their stories straight.’”

Butcher stopped and waved his hand toward the two women. “Well, there they are, Detective. Feel free to tell them to stop talking.”

Leery cocked his head and looked down his impressive nose at the cop. “Better show me the body first, Butcher.”

“Sure thing.”

“And I gotta say, Butcher, your attitude leaves a little room for improvement this morning.”

As Leery stepped into the brush, he glanced back toward the street. A stunning blonde turned into the park and walked toward him, her gaze locked on his own. “Sweet God,” Leery muttered.

Butcher turned to look and let out a low whistle. “Key-rist! What a knockout.”

“She one of your detectives?”

Butcher shook his head. “I’d remember a piece like that.”

Leery glanced at him with a wry expression. “All those sensitivity classes were money well-spent, I see.”

Without taking his eyes off the blonde, Butcher hawked and spat into the woods.

The blonde came on, her gaze boring into Leery’s as if no one else existed. “She’s either a cop, or it’s my lucky day.” He scoffed. “My lucky century.”

Sparing a single glance at the two witnesses, the blonde woman walked right up to Leery and stuck out her hand. “Oriscoe?” she asked.

“That’s me,” said Leery, taking her small hand in his scarred paw. “Tell me you’re not a process server.”

“Okay. I’m not a process server.” She glanced at Butcher, then returned her gaze to Leery’s face. As their eyes met, her features shifted, blurring a little around the edges. Her hair darkened and darkened until it was a shade of black so impervious to color that it reflected the ambient light as blue highlights. Her once-blue eyes also darkened, settling on a deep red. A set of black horns sprouted from high on her forehead and pushed skyward. Even her clothing shifted from a light and airy spring dress to a black leather pants and jacket combo. A staff capped with a blood garnet leaned in the crook of her shoulder. “I’m your new partner, Detective Nogan. Call me Dru.”

“I thought you’d be a man.” His darker half squirmed within him, hackles rising.

“Disappointed?” she asked.

“Hey, I’m old, not dead.” He never once dropped his gaze away from hers. She wasn’t the first succubus he’d met.

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