May Day by Josie Jaffrey is the first book in the Seekers series — a thrilling mystery filled with the supernatural.
Josie Jaffrey very kindly sent me a free copy of May Day in return for an honest review.
This novel is set 20 years on from the events of the prequel novella, Killian’s Dead. Jack is now a member of the Seekers, an organisation that investigates and resolves situations where the Silvers (or vampires) risk being exposed to humans. That’s the only law that the Silvers have — as long as they are not discovered, everything else is fair game. Set in Oxford, May Day is a huge celebration for mortals, with residents staying up all night to hear the choristers singing on May Morning. The story follows Jack and her team’s investigation after a body is thrown from Magdalen’s Great Tower down to Magdalen bridge in front of all the human crowds in a shocking murder.
From the very first chapter, I loved Jack’s character. The book is told from her perspective and she has a very dry, blunt sense of humour that I could really relate to! I also really liked that, as a younger Silver, she has kept her sense of morality. I also appreciated that despite the time that’s passed, she still remembers (and mourns) Winta, her lover from the prequel novella, Killian’s Dead.
I loved the lore of Silvers (or vampires) in this book and the way that Josie has written how they manage to live around humans without being caught. They can go out in sunlight, and while they do drink blood, Silver stores and restaurants sell bags of blood which have been taken from blood banks and those donating organs. It’s a neat way to get around the difficulty of how they could explain away all the dead bodies with modern day forensics being what it is!
This book does have a love triangle, which is usually a trope I dislike. However, I felt that in this book it was well-handled — with one relationship being more of a love/hate romance, and the other being the one she has real feelings and connection with. I thought this was well-written and both relationships felt so believable! Jack’s colleagues are all great characters too, who all felt realistic and well-rounded.
The story and the mystery that the Seekers investigate had me totally hooked. I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next, and Josie’s writing kept me totally absorbed throughout the story.
This is a fantastic supernatural mystery with memorable characters, and I can’t wait to read more of Josie’s books! I loved the twists as Jack learned more, and the ending was particularly good — I love books that leave you feeling slightly unsettled and questioning your own moral values.
The blurb for May Day
If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.
It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.
When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.
To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.
Body bags on standby.
May Day is the first book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekers series, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.
About the author, Josie Jaffrey
Josie is the author of nine self-published novels plus short stories. She is currently working on a range of fantasy and historical fiction projects (both adult and YA), for which she is seeking representation. Ultimately, she hopes to be a hybrid author, both traditionally- and self-published.
After finishing her degree in Literae Humaniores (Classics) at the University of Oxford, Josie wasn’t sure what to do with her life.
She slogged through a brief stint working for an investment bank in London during the 2008 credit crunch, then converted to law and qualified as a solicitor specialising in intellectual property. She worked at a law firm for five years before moving to a UK-based international publisher in 2016. Whilst she loved law, in the end she didn’t love it quite as much as writing, which she now does almost full time.
Josie lives in Oxford with her husband and two cats (Sparky and Gussie), who graciously permit human cohabitation in return for regular feeding and cuddles. The resulting cat fluff makes it difficult for Josie to wear black, which is largely why she gave up being a goth. Although the cats are definitely worth it, she still misses her old wardrobe.
You can find out more about Josie and her work on her website, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads to keep up with the latest updates. You can also support Josie’s writing through her Patreon from just £1 per month.