USA Today Bestselling Author
Lucy Corentine, Vampire Detective, is content that all the mysteries in her personal life are solved.
Except one. Where did the blind cat delivered to her doorstep come from? A clue left in the box Jester came in leads her to one of her Grandmother’s old friends, and on the search for a secret room.
Can Lucy find the answers she’s looking for, or will she end up sending Jester back where he came from?
An Origin Tail is a happy-ever-after companion story to the Vampire Detective series and is set approximately a year after the events of Fangs For All. It contains minor spoilers for the series, but can be read on its own.
I read this story as part of the Talons and Tails limited edition anthology. It inspired me to buy the trilogy and read it before reviewing this one.
As this opens, Lucy and William are now married but the vows also included the others in her life, Mika, Watt and Derek. Her cat Jester still prefers anyone but her, so now she’s determined to find out where he came from.
She finds a note that has been overlooked all the times she looked at the box he came in, it’s addressed to her grandmother. In the basement where her grandmother is in her Everwake she reads the note. Doris didn’t sign with a last name so now she has to find out who Doris is. Lucy enlists Mika’s aid in going through her grandmother’s room where they find a bunch of business cards.
This is a favorite scene as they go through them.
I opened a cabinet, coughing as it blew more dust at me. “Anything that might give us a clue to who Doris is.”
She nodded and pulled open a dresser on her side of the room, her hands light and gentle. Respectful. Just watching the way she touched Grandmother’s things, I knew I’d chosen the right person for the job.
After searching through a couple of boxes, I ended up in front of the large closet. Given that Grandmother never mentioned Doris, she must have wanted to keep it a secret and there was only one place where she kept those. In the closet, together with the skeleton. Now I thought about it, that was the only place she could be keeping secrets. It would certainly be where I’d hide them. A skeleton is always a good way to put people off prying too much.
Before I pulled it open, I prepared myself mentally for what I’d find in there. I gathered a deep breath and pulled the two doors open. The wardrobe had a couple of old coats and some formal jackets that were so old, they’d come back into fashion. Probably. I had to admit that I wasn’t very good at keeping up with the trends. Hidden behind the clothes, there was a wooden box with a metal lock.
Carefully, I lifted the box and put it safely on top of the dresser. It rattled slightly but I didn’t need to open it to know what was inside. Daisy.
With her safely put aside, I rummaged through the rest of the closet. It didn’t take me long to get through the contents, but there was nothing of any particular note. Just shoes that had seen better days, an odd umbrella stand that seemed as if it would be more at home in the entrance of the mansion than hidden away in the master bedroom, and a box of old business cards and diaries.
On second thought, the business cards could be useful. And the diaries were in an odd place too. Grandmother kept most of the things like that in her office. I’d already been through a lot of them while trying to find clues to help me bring down Radcliffe.
“Hopefully these will get us somewhere,” I announced, taking the diaries and cards. I didn’t want to stay and disturb the room any longer than needed, so Mika and I went back downstairs to look through the stuff in the living room. The fact that there was less dust in the main room which would mean less of a risk of constant sneezes was only a welcome side effect.
William and Watt were still sitting exactly where I left them, but this time, Watt was reading the newspaper and William was…
I frowned. What was he doing? It looked like he was doing nothing but he’d insisted multiple times nothing was something. Men.
I shook my head. I needed to focus on the mystery I already had to solve, especially because it would no doubt prove easier than demystifying male vampires. They were a strange species at the best of times.
Though they’d probably say the same about me, but that was just their weirdness talking.
I set the box of business cards on the coffee table and sat myself down on the floor. Mika did the same and started to help me spread them out across the table.
A soft smile spread over my face at the sight. I loved her in a different way than I loved the three men in my life, but it was just as strong. She knew things about me in a way that they couldn’t and would often start doing tasks I was thinking about without me voicing them out loud. Perhaps it was her fake-blood-slave training that meant she was good at guessing what people wanted, but I didn’t think so. She’d slipped up in her servitude role often enough for me to get suspicious. This was different. She knew me in the way only someone with a deep emotional connection could.
After five minutes or so, the guys’ curiosity got the better of them. Watt closed his paper dramatically and came to join us, with William hot on his heels.
The four of us worked in comfortable silence to spread the cards out so that we could check them all. It was a shame Derek wasn’t here to make things even more perfect. Then again, he’d probably have started tinkering until he made an invention to sort the cards that ended up blowing up in one of our faces.
Even the thought of it made me smile. There was something endearing about how badly many of his inventions went.
“Elizabeth Von… I don’t even know how to pronounce that,” Watt read from one of the cards. “A lawyer.”
“I’ve got a… Tina.” Mika hummed. “Wow, this is old. It has a fax number on it.”
“Old? Fax is the height of new technology,” I countered.
Mika raised an eyebrow. “No, Lucy, it’s not.”
“It is,” Watt defended me. “They just brought out that machine…”
Mika rolled her eyes. “Vampires,” she muttered. “I hope I’m not like this in another hundred years.”
“If you mean awesome, then I’m sure you will be,” I promised.
“Janice, Jones, Julie… Are these alphabetical?” William inquired as he flipped through the stack of cards closest to him.
“Doesn’t look like it. That would’ve been too easy,” I responded, riffling through more cards. Why were there so many? Grandmother had an address book, it seemed much more practical than this pile of cards we were having to search through.
“What was the name you’re looking for again? Doris… Doris what?”
I shrugged. “No idea, the letter was just signed Doris.” I loved a good mystery that made me work hard to solve it, even if it was bad for my case closing rate.
“I can’t recall any vampire noble named Doris so we should assume she isn’t part of society,” he reasoned.
“Me neither,” I agreed. Though that didn’t mean much. I could be forgetting someone. Or she could be a foreigner.
Doris wasn’t really a continental name, which left Australia or America, both of which were a little big to be searching even with an extended life.
We continued to flick through the cards and journals for a clue to who this mystery cat person was, chattering away about nothing in particular as we did so. It helped soothe some of the tediousness of the task. Not that I’d admit that out loud. As far as I was concerned, everyone was going to think I was having the time of my life.
“Hey, what about this one. Doris Singleton,” Watt chirped, waving a stale card around. “It has a local address.”
He handed me the card and I examined both sides, only to find myself disappointed by the distinct lack of information. All it had was a name and the address. There was a possibility that this wasn’t even the right Doris. But There was only one way to find out and it wasn’t as if we had any other leads.
I smiled. “Who is up for a little road trip?”
Laura Greenwood & Arizona Tape. Talons & Tails: A Limited Edition Urban Fantasy Anthology. An Origin Tail (Kindle Locations 601-655). Kindle Edition.
Doris is a quirky old woman but she wants a favor before she will tell Lucy anything about the relationship with her grandmother. She also has more cats than could possibly be lawful.
This is a fun and enjoyable read. Lucy’s revelation regarding Jester, leads to her not only keeping the cat but something more as well.
5 Contented Purrs for Arizona and Laura!
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Laura is a USA Today Bestselling Author of paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she can be found drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, trying to resist French Macaroons, and watching the Pitch Perfect trilogy for the hundredth time (at least!)
A creator at heart, Ari has always been in love with the idea of turning nothing into something. She wants to conquer the book world with stories that focus on inclusivity and diversity, writing what she likes to read. Whether it’s adventure or romance, dragons and vampires, or princesses and students, there’s something for everyone.
Born in China, raised in Belgium, and currently living in the United Kingdom with her girlfriend, Ari is a citizen of the world and loves discovering new cultures. Luckily, her crazy imagination lets her discover places she’s never been to, meet people that don’t exist, and talk to readers from all over the world.