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Kat Richardson

Author of the Greywalker paranormal detective novels. Kat is a former theater brat and non-fiction editor who currently lives on a boat in Washington state with her husband and the ghosts of ferrets. She also rides a motorcycle, shoots target pistol, and makes trouble. In the past, she helped develop a fan-built PC game (T2X), wrote a short horror screenplay (The Glove), taught English Country Dance, fenced epee, broke both arms, wrote about diamonds, ate alligator (no, she didn’t kill it), sold dead lizards, pretended to be a nun, sang, and has been kidnapped by pirates! (well… maybe not pirates….) Read excerpts of the GREYWALKER novels at Kat Richardson’s website.

Click here for more stories by Kat Richardson.

Greywalker: A great opening to a refreshing series

Greywalker by Marion Deeds

This is not a traditional review of Kat Richardson’s Greywalker. I’m going to talk instead about the technique Richardson uses to introduce her paranormal world and her main character’s magical power.

Richardson’s premise is that abutting our dimension is a transitional dimension known as the Grey. Some creatures live in the Grey; some come through it from other places. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts and ghouls move about freely in it, and can shift easily from the Grey to here.

Most (not all) urban fantasies start with a character who is already magical. Harry Dresden is a wizard; October Daye is half faerie. Richardson’s first book is an origin story. It’s the tale of how Harper Blaine became ... Read More

Poltergeist: A confident second novel

Poltergeist by Kat Richardson

Poltergeist is the second Kat Richardson GREYWALKER novel. A few years have passed since Greywalker, marked by the growth of Ben and Mara’s son Brian from a babe-in-arms to a talking toddler, and Harper Blaine’s increasing proficiency in navigating the transitional dimension next to ours, called the Grey. Harper clinically died for two minutes, and during that time, “crossed over,” triggering this strange ability.

Harper is hired by an egotistical and unethical professor of psychology to vet the results of an experiment in the paranormal. Professor Tuckman has gathered together a group of eight people and is attempting to re-create the 1970s “Philip Aylesworth” experiment, creating an artificial ghost based on the group’s energy. Tuckman wants Harper to confirm that the results the group is now getti... Read More

Underground: Incredible sense of place

Underground by Kat Richardson

Underground is the third in Kat Richardson’s Greywalker series, which features Harper Blaine as a Seattle private investigator who can see the “Grey” — the borderland between reality and magic, life and death, past and present. Harper gained this ability when she died for two minutes in an attack by the subject of an investigation.

Underground starts so slowly that I feared Kat Richardson had lost her way. It’s difficult to imagine that a hard-working private investigator with plenty of work would dive into a case with no client, especially one that, like this one, poses considerable risk of physical harm to an already physically overstressed body. Yet not once in the course of the book does Harper even mention that a paying c... Read More

Vanished: Best Greywalker novel so far

Vanished by Kat Richardson

The fourth book in Kat Richardson’s Greywalker series, Vanished, is the best in the series so far. Harper Blaine, Richardson’s private investigator protagonist, gets a telephone call from an old boyfriend — not necessarily an unusual event, except that, in this case, the boyfriend happens to be long dead. He hints that there is much that Harper does not know that she needs to find out, quickly, and encourages her to come to Los Angeles to look into her past.

Los Angeles is not a place Harper enjoys visiting. She doesn’t get along with her mother, who appears to be weaving a net around husband-to-be number five. Mom is obsessed with appearances and materialistic in the extreme. But she holds information about Harper’s father, and, unknowingly, about Harper herself. It seems there was more ... Read More

Labyrinth: Dark, scary and suspenseful

Labyrinth by Kat Richardson

Kat Richardson’s Greywalker series is absolutely noir and it reaches the darkest tones ever in the fifth book, Labyrinth. In fact, this book is unrelievedly dark, scary and suspenseful. Richardson topped herself with the fourth book in this series, Vanished; now she has topped herself yet again.

Labyrinth requires one to have read the earlier books in the series; it does not stand well by itself. In fact, I was astonished to find how many clues Kat Richardson had lain about her fictional detective, Harper Blaine, as she told her earlier stories. The way she marshals all of the details previously set out reminded me of the way a lawyer writes a motion for summary judgment — grabbing this detail from that document, another from... Read More

Downpour: A competent addition

Downpour by Kat Richardson

Kat Richardson’s GREYWALKER novels reached a crescendo with Labyrinth, the 2010 entry in the series. It is not surprising, then, that Downpour, Richardson’s newest novel, feels anticlimactic. How does an author top killing and resurrecting her main character? It’s especially difficult when the character comes back a bit less than she was in the last book; Harper Blaine’s connection to the Grey in this book is considerably weaker than it was. But Richardson has surprises in store for her readers, as usual.

Harper is on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, doing some bread-and-butter investigation of a potential witness for a lawyer client. It’s apparent to her that something is wrong with a local lake — something to do with the Grey — but she can’t quite tell what it is, except that there seems to ... Read More

Seawitch: Trouble by land and sea for Harper Blaine

Seawitch by Kat Richardson

Kat Richardson’s GREYWALKER series perfectly unites the classic private investigator mystery with the paranormal fantasy. The mysteries are rigorous within the rules of the paranormal realm Richardson has invented; her background research is broad and utilized well; and her characters become deeper and more interesting with every new novel. The latest in the series, Seawitch, gives us insight into the character of Detective Rey Solis of the Seattle Police Department, who has been a pain in the side for PI Harper Blaine in the past, but who becomes more of an ally and even a friend.

Seawitch begins with Harper receiving an assignment from an insurance company: why has the yacht Seawitch returned to its home port 27 years after it went missing, presumably taking all of its passengers to a watery grave? The insurance company has... Read More

Urban Allies: Will please many fans of urban and paranormal fantasy

Urban Allies edited by Joseph Nassise

I’m always impressed when authors work together, and in Urban Allies, editor Joseph Nassise has managed to pair up twenty authors who not only collaborate, but merge their own characters into ten brand-new and original adventures. Each story shares a similar theme: popular characters from existing series or novels meet up and must join forces in order to defeat a common threat. Since these are urban fantasy authors, every story has a supernatural or paranormal aspect, though the situations and resolutions are completely unique to each tale, ranging the gamut from a haunted house, ghosts, magic of all stripes, plenty of demons, and much more.

As a genre, urban fantasy tends to feature protagonists who embody a certain type of wish-fulfillment, depending on the author and intend... Read More

Shadowed Souls: One way to audition a new Urban Fantasy series

Shadowed Souls edited by Jim Butcher & Kerrie L. Hughes

Shadowed Souls is an invitational anthology edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie L. Hughes. Butcher is the author of three fantasy series: THE DRESDEN FILES, THE CODEX ALERA, and THE CINDER SPIRES. Hughes is an established short fiction writer who has edited several anthologies including Chicks Kick Butt, Westward Weird, and Maiden Matron Crone.

The theme of Shadowed Souls is, “good isn’t always light and evil isn’t always dark,” and the eleven stories here showcase main characters — often from the writer’s series — who struggle not to give in to the monster within... or to keep it contained. While the stories are conventional, with conventional magic systems for the most part, this is a nice collecti... Read More