24) Urban Shaman, by
The first of C.E. Murphy’s stories about Joanne Walker, policewoman and reluctant gateway to the spirit world. I had previously read the next two in the series, which is certainly the wrong order; while the others are self-contained narratives, there is important back-story here which would have helped me enjoy the other two even more. (Also I hadn’t picked up on Joanne being unusually tall from the other two – in my mind’s eye she looked rather like her creator!)
Anyway. What I particularly like is that the spirit world of Murphy’s books is a cheerful synthesis of Celtic and native American mythic elements, not making the mistake of being earnestly evangelical about any particular pagan mythos. Here she has the Wild Hunt spilling onto the streets of Seattle, with Coyote as her heroine’s spirit guide. Also the family and professional dynamics she describes are perfectly believable once you accept the supernatural edge to the setting.
Top UnSuggestion for this book: The Idiot, by Fyodor Dostoevsky