This Case is Going to Kill Me: Introduces us to a whole new world of vampires, werewolves and lawyers

This case is going to kill me book review

What is this about?: Linnet Ellery is a young lawyer on her first day of work at a prestigious vampire law firm. She finds herself assigned to Chip, a good-hearted lawyer, working on an immense will probate case for 17 years, much to her displeasure. But soon enough, Linet finds herself in charge of the case, and trying to fix family problems while outrunning werewolves.

What else is this about?: Part of me thinks this is a commentary on the male-dominated prestigious firms that don’t promote females, which to be quite frank, could use a kick up their butts. There’s mention of sexism women face in this urban fantasy world, and as Linnet tries to navigate it, we see she’s sick of it too. Book one is focused on building this world for readers, while Linnett herself is embroiled in the case.

Blurb

What happens when The Firm meets Anita Blake? You get the Halls of Power—our modern world, but twisted. Law, finance, the military, and politics are under the sway of long-lived vampires, werewolves, and the elven Alfar. Humans make the best of rule by “the Spooks,” and contend among themselves to affiliate with the powers-that-be, in order to avoid becoming their prey. Very loyal humans are rewarded with power over other women and men. Very lucky humans are selected to join the vampires, werewolves, and elves—or, on occasion, to live at the Seelie Court.

Linnet Ellery is the offspring of an affluent Connecticut family dating back to Colonial times. Fresh out of law school, she’s beginning her career in a powerful New York “white fang” law firm. She has high hopes of eventually making partner.

But strange things keep happening to her. In a workplace where some humans will eventually achieve immense power and centuries of extra lifespan, office politics can be vicious beyond belief. After some initial missteps, she finds herself sidelined and assigned to unpromising cases. Then, for no reason she can see, she becomes the target of repeated, apparently random violent attacks, escaping injury each time through increasingly improbable circumstances. However, there’s apparently more to Linnet Ellery than a little old-money human privilege. More than even she knows. And as she comes to understand this, she’s going to shake up the system like you wouldn’t believe…

Stars: 3.5/5

This Case is Gonna Kill Me is set in a world where the powers – vampires, werewolves and the Alfar (fae) — roam freely among humans, take jobs, establish firms and refuse to make a female partner because that’s entirely against the rules according to them.

Given Linnet has just started at a law firm, in a job that will never see her make partner, it’s a bit frustrating to say the least, but in her head, she has made to where she wants to be and for now, she’s going to enjoy that. Until she gets assigned to Chip and the lodestone that is the Abercrombie case.

Abercrombie (whose first name I can’t remember) was a werewolf who created one of the world’s largest private security companies. He divorced his human wife along the way, and now she is contesting the right of the werewolf her husband made, David, to assume control of the company that should be hers and her human children’s.

Cue a probate battle for 17 years, until Linnet comes along to help Chip. And then Chip gets literally torn apart by a werewolf and the case gets infinitely more complicated.

Linnet finds herself investigating Chip’s death and trying to find out if David and his powerful firm, were behind it. But as her investigation progresses, she finds out that Abercrombie has more heirs waiting, and they’re in danger too as David seems intent on solidifying his control of an almost-billion-dollar company.

Linnet Ellery is not your average lawyer

Linnet is a charming protagonist, beset by insecurities and fitting in at an expensive law firm, and struggling to let her confident self shine through. She makes mistakes along the way in this male-dominated firm, but she owns them and takes control of her narrative in her office back from the rumours and innuendo that threatened to follow her.

We are introduced to her friends and her family, and this is where things get interesting – she was fostered from the age of 8 with a vampire liege, sent to live with him by her father, though the book never makes quite clear what the vampire will get out of it. She does wonder about the business contacts her father gets out of it though.

Her parents are entirely the opposite of each other – her mother is flighty, and she doesn’t have much of a relationship with her, while her father is the solid one, the one who makes all the decisions – like sending her to live with her vampire liege, Bainbridge. I don’t even recall the book saying anything about what her mother said about her father sending to her live with Bainbridge. I feel like there’s a story there we haven’t been told yet.

Vampires, werewolves and fae, oh my

This is a society where the powers rule, so to speak. They own the prestigious firms, and are so old fashioned that it is frustrating for a modern human to deal with them, especially if they haven’t lived with one like Linnet did. She is a wonderful choice of an educator in a way, letting her colleagues and us know at the same time the rules of vampire and other power etiquette.

The firm too is another inspired choice to show us the politics of life and work with the powers, and while by all accounts it seems like a normal firm, there are quirks that are brought in that remind you of these differences, without sounding like exposition. The same with the cases she deals with – human or powers.

The one thing that gave me pause with this is the quick-fast falling in love with the firm’s fae PI – and then shuffling off to Fae-land in an effort to save Linnet and her clients, but leaves him stuck there. Linnet’s love for him isn’t the problem, but emotionally, I’m guessing she’s going to be worried for him, and work towards getting him out of there, which kind of constrains her I think. If she isn’t, she’s pretty cold, isn’t she? See, this is why sticking him in Fae land didn’t work for me.

That said, there is much said and unsaid in this world and the worldbuilding that hints at some wonderful potential for the series.

19 Comments

  • I actually struggle to find UF that interests me these days. Glad you enjoyed this one!

  • Sounds like you enjoyed most aspects of this one, so that’s awesome. I really like the premise – how intriguing!!

    -Lauren

  • Jen Mullen says:

    It sounds like fun. Fantasy continues to address civilization’s problems, but allows us to distance ourselves from them. Reading the news is stressful, but reading about the same problems in fiction, especially fiction that has some positive outcomes, can have some emotional benefits. 🙂

    • Verushka says:

      Oh for sure! That’s why I was pleasantly surprised by what this book delved into even though some parts of it I didn’t get in to.

  • Um this sounds amazing?! I love books where there’s different kinds of paranormal creatures (especially fae!)

  • I read this one several years ago. I also loved the second one and to be honest, I thought they gave up on the series because it was years before a new one came out – but it just did. I’m so glad to see someone else liking this book. I even just gifted a copy to one of my blogging BFFs. Great review.

  • I have a hard time getting in fantasy sometimes, but this sounds like a good one.

    • Verushka says:

      I used to LOVE this genre, but these days a book needs heaps to get me to into the genre — and this one certainly did.

  • This looks like it has promise. Ya know I am on a UF binge right now, so this has me curious 🙂

  • I like the unique premise of this story. My luck with urban fantasy has been hit or miss but I could see myself getting into this series.

  • The wordbuilding sounds like a lot of fun! I don’t read much paranormal but I’m really loving The Other series and how those creatures fit into every day society and this reminds me a little of that so I’m definitely intrigued!

  • Kelly says:

    Even being fantasy, Linnet’s world is just another example of how difficult it is for women in male dominated circles, virtually impossible to break through that glass ceiling when men are consistently pushing you down. I think that’s what would frustrate me most with this one, there doesn’t sound as though there is any room for societal growth. Perhaps more so a case for book two I do like the sound of humans being the lesser dominant species and how that plays out. Linnet sounds like a wonderful character. Great review Verushka, so glad you enjoyed it ♥♥♥

    • Verushka says:

      I’ll admit that part — that Linnet will have nowhere to go within the firm and the way women (humans) were treated generally did frustrate me in the beginning. But where this book succeeds is that it allows Linnet to take her wins, even though for now they might not be the big wins per say (said big wins are hinted at though), they matter within the story — I’m trying very hard not to let the juicy details out lol I do hope some of the hints come to fruition in the next in the series too! I’d love to see the lady and her fellow lady lawyers kick some ass!

  • This sounds so unusual! As a major urban fantasy reader, even I get burned out on the same old style of kick ass, snarky protagonist, so I think I’d like someone as atypical as Linnet. I’ve never read a UF with a lawyer MC before!

  • Huh, a vampire law firm. That’s different! I do like the sound of the vampire/werewolf/fae aspect though! And Linnet seems like a great character w/ how she makes mistakes but owns up to them and has insecurities but keeps trying to hold her own. Great review!

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