I've been reading. A lot. And I mean a lot. (Gosh, writers read? Who'd've thunk it?) And one of the absolute best urban fantasy series I've read recently is Elaine Cunningham's CHANGELING DETECTIVE.
The first book, Shadows in the Darkness (out in both hardcover and in paperback), introduces us to former cop and current P.I. Gwen Gellman. She's a kickass heroine who will do whatever it takes to get the job done. There's more to Gwen than meets the eye, and in Darkness, we learn exactly what that is. Lush with vivid imagery, fabulous supporting characters, and some of the best writing in the genre that I've seen, Darkness is a terrific kickoff to the Changeling Detective series. (And dude, there's even a strip club. The Jezzie in me is so psyched!)
In the second book, Shadows in the Starlight (out TODAY, right NOW, in paperback, as well as in hardcover), Gwen's coming to terms with the truth about what she really is...and is discovering some spiffy perks along the way. I tore through Starlight in one day, and God damn it, I want the third book! Now, now, now!
Why do I like Gwen Gellman? You remember when Anita Blake wasn't all about getting laid all the time--when she helped solve crimes and used guns as well as tapped into her powers, when she was a real person and not a caricature? That Anita Blake would have gotten along famously with Gwen. Hell, Edward would have gotten along with Gwen.
If you miss the old Anita Blake, adore Harry Dresden, and are passionate about gritty urban fantasy that's written so compellingly you will happily sacrifice sleep to keep reading, you will love Elaine's Changeling Detective series.
Added bonus: Jezebel interviewed Gwen today on Cat and Muse. Come on over, meet Gwen.