The Purple Door Detective Agency exists to help witches, shape-shifters, vampires and other magical creatures and beings that humans only think of as “fairy tales” and fictitious to solve mysteries. That’s right. Their magic and insight can’t solve everything. It is run by a purple-clad witch who drives a purple convertible who loves the color purple by the name of Sunshine Merryweather. After her boyfriend, a werewolf, is torn to pieces by an unknown killer, others begin being killed in the same manner.
Enter Aine, an ancient Irish Beane Sidehe of Ulster who comes to the agency in need of help finding the last of the family she serves after having been put under a sleeping spell (unwillingly) for the last two hundred years. Reluctantly at first, Sunshine takes on Aine’s case and also adds her to the agency as an employee after another employee, the mysterious “Mr. Bad”, instructs her to do so. With Aine’s help, Sunshine and Jane, the shape shifting mouse-lady, not only help find the last O’Neill but get closer to discovering the reason behind the unusual shredded remains.
Aine of Ulster finds the police officer, Sean O’Neill, and pledges to stay with him and serve as his Beane Sidehe, warning him of his death and then taking him to the underworld when the time comes as she has for his ancestors before him. Unlike the other times she served the O’Neill family however, Aine feels differently toward him. Could a corpse fall for the living and vice versa?
With O’Neill’s help, Sunshine, Aine and Jane discover the truth about the murders through magic and modern technology. They also find out several truths about themselves and others around them. A big reveal is made toward the end that comes as a shock to many as Sunshine and Aine become the most unlikely friends. Their banter back and forth is humorous throughout the book as Aine learns about the new, modern world and Sunshine learns to open her eyes to the ancient world she didn’t know still existed.
This book was both well written and entertaining. There was never boring moment. The Lavene’s brought to the forefront, a story to the modern world about an ancient fairytale that those of us who are of Irish decent have always heard about. I loved how they kept her true to the folklore and expressed her different personalities. With my family (O’Hagan) having hailed from Ulster and having served under the O’Neill family themselves, this book was a true treasure. I have been to the castle ruins and could imagine Aine there as my family is buried just down the hill from the remaining circle of stones and trees. I feel great affection for the character of Aine, the Beane Sidehe. This might be, by far, my favorite book. Well done. Thank you for introducing Aine to the world. The next in this series cannot come soon enough.