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Review 70: Along Came A Demon by Linda Welch

Along Came A Demon
By Linda Welch
Copyright © 2008
212 pages
$ 9.47 Paperback
$ 2.50 Download

Reviewed by LK Gardner-Griffie, Author of Misfit McCabe

I have been an avid mystery fan for much of my life. I read before going to sleep every night and the books that usually make up that reading material are mysteries of the cozy type. Agatha Christie, P D James, Elizabeth Peters, Ngaio Marsh, Sara Paretsky, Martha Grimes, and the list goes on. When I saw that Linda Welch had requested a review for her psi-fi mystery, Along Came A Demon, I leapt at the chance to read and review it. I was not disappointed.

Tiff Banks, nicknamed the Ice Queen by the Clarion police department for her tall stature and ice blonde hair, works as a consultant for the police in murder cases. She has told them that she is a psychic, but in actuality, she sees dead people as flesh and blood and they whisper to her. Tiff, who hates to be called Tiffany because of the image that projects, was orphaned as a baby, grew up in a variety of foster homes, and always felt she was a little different than everyone else. Happier being by herself than with a group of people, Tiff left Utah as soon as she was able and went from place to place and job to job. Until, after landing in San Francisco, boom, out of nowhere she started seeing and being able to talk to dead people. She returned to Utah to the small town of Clarion in the hopes that there wouldn’t be too many murdered people trying to get her attention. Unfortunately for her, she moved into a house where there were two ghosts in residence, as well as two who lived on her street. So much for trying to get away from them.

Along Came A Demon starts with Tiff being told by Jack and Mel, her ghost couple, that there is a naked woman dripping on her front grass. Tiff is cranky that she has to deal with a dead person before she can even get her morning coffee

“A naked wet woman in the garden. Dripping wet.”
I sighed and turned to lean against the counter. I would rather she were an escaped lunatic wandered into the neighborhood than what she really was. Although why she was wet on that chilly November morning was anyone’s guess.
“I’ve been watching her from the bedroom window,” Mel said, coming through the door from the hallway, mussing up her permanently mussed red hair with one hand. “She’s been standing there, wet, for half an hour.”
Not a disorientated stranger in the wrong back yard. Not an escaped loony. Worse. One of them. I sighed again. I did not want to deal with it that early in the morning. “She’ll have to wait till after I’ve had my coffee.”

Tiff was trying to figure out how the naked woman came to be on her grass as usually, the dead are bound to where they passed. Lindy Marchant passed away in the apartments behind Tiff’s house, and she is concerned about her son. Tiff promises to find out about her son so that hopefully, Lindy will leave her alone, as she doesn’t want to live with a naked woman in her orchard. The only problem is that once she checks with the Clarion police department, it appears that Lindy Marchant had no son.

Not willing to give up, Tiff requests to search the apartment. Under the refrigerator she finds a drawing by Lawrence, which is given to the police to goad them into searching for the missing child. So starts the twisted case which involves the missing child Lawrence, which blossoms into a nationwide case where over 200 boys born on November 9, 2002 had gone missing.

In addition to being able to see the murdered, Tiff can also see the otherworldly, whom she had heard about from her psychic friend, Lynn.

Lynn was trying to be ethnically sensitive when she call them the Otherworldy. That was too much of a mouthful for me - I called them demons. Not that I thought they were creatures from Hell - I didn’t know what they were or where they came from. They could be aliens from outer space for all I knew. But with their pointed teeth and glimmering eyes, demon seemed a fitting description.

And a little later on, Welch provides some more description of her demons.

I would never call a demon cute. Incredibly handsome. Charming. Deadly. Not to be trusted. According to Lynn, they did not blatantly lie but could do so by omission when it suited them. And you could ask them a question and they would answer in such a way that, without exactly lying, they didn’t give you the truth.

Tiff stays as far away from these demons as she can, but to her chagrin is partnered with Royal Mortenson, of the Clarion PD to work on the missing child case, and he is a demon. While wishing that she could shoot him instead of partnering with him, Tiff becomes suspicious of Royal, who has been moving from police department to police department, never staying too long in one location. She suspects that he may be involved in this missing children case from an inside perspective.

Linda Welch pens a engaging tale, full of action and adventure. A definite page turner full of twists to keep you guessing until the end.

2 Responses to “Review 70: Along Came A Demon by Linda Welch”

  1. Well done Linda! I couldn’t put the book down and am soon to read the sequel.

  2. I’m waiting on the 3rd in the series. . .and then the 4th (and so on)

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