Seattle, 1929—a bitterly divided city overflowing with wealth, violence, and magic.
A respected magus and city leader intent on criminalizing Seattle’s most vulnerable magickers hires a young woman as a lady’s companion to curb his rebellious daughter’s outrageous behavior.
The widowed owner of a speakeasy encounters an opportunity to make her husband’s murderer pay while she tries to keep her shapeshifter brother safe.
A notorious thief slips into the city to complete a delicate and dangerous job that will leave chaos in its wake.
One thing is for certain—comeuppance, eventually, waits for everyone.
It’s 1929 in Seattle where magic is everywhere. Dolly white, at least that’s what she’s currently calling herself, has been hired by Mr Earnshaw to look out for his daughter Fiona, ensuring she stays on the right side of the law and marries the man he has arranged for her. But there is more to Dolly than we originally know. With help from allies in the magical community, Dolly puts her plan into place. A plan she hopes will end the reign of terror currently following any shifters in the city, as well as getting revenge for some young women who no longer have the ability to do it themselves. But Dolly isn’t wholly good, she has her own motives for helping, she just has to make sure her plan goes off without a hitch or there will be more than her social standing in danger.
Comeuppance Served Cold is told from two POV’s. Dolly, our main protagonist, and someone whose motives we know little about until quite late on in the book. She wears her disguises like hats, knowing when to seem prim and proper, and when to let the real Dolly show. She is masterful at getting people to help her, using them to her own advantage, but she also has the magical communities best interests at heart. Violet is the owner of a speakeasy, as well as a black woman which makes her rather scandalous in high society, but she has a tragic past, one that Dolly knows she can use to gain Violets help and, through her, access to the magical community. There are a multitude of side characters from Violets shifter brother Phillipe, to Fiona, the woman Dolly is watching over and, although we may not know it at first introduction, they all play a large part in the story to come.
This isn’t your typical heist story. We get little to no set up of the heist, no discussions, no trial runs, no idea on what truly is going to happen until fairly late on in the book. Instead Commeupance focuses on the characters, their goals, their wants in life and their reasoning’s for taking part. Thanks in part to the mystery that surrounds her characters and the fact that the plot jumps backwards and forwards, noted thanks to highly useful dates at the start of each chapter, Deeds managed to make the story thoroughly engaging with very little action actually happening on page.
While Deeds does a superb job with the world building and magic system, no info dumps here friends, I just wanted more. Don’t get me wrong, she gives us every bit of information we need to get through this book, I just want more. I would love more Novella’s or even a novel set in this world so that we can explore the magic system more. Deed’s writing style and the overall pace of the novella make for an incredibly quick read, one I seriously struggled to put down thanks in large to the reality she portrays through the story. Yes, I do know magic isn’t real, but Deeds brings to life a fairly on point 1920’s Seattle filled with prohibition, speakeasies, racism, sexism and the after effects of the stock market crash. Because of this I couldn’t help but get invested in the story and want both Dolly, Violent and even Fiona to get their happy endings.
If you’re in the mood for a fast paced fantasy to whet your appetite, filled with strong and witty female characters who aren’t always what they seem, a brilliant and well developed magic system as well as a story that just leaves you wanting more, then look no further. I do hope the author gives us more books in this world, and I will certainly be checking out anything else she writes.