The Bowl of Night is third in the Bast mystery series. This series features a pagan amateur sleuth solving mysteries within the community. I had read the first two books as a teenager (Speak Daggers to Her and Book of Moons) and liked them very much. Somehow, until a month or so ago, I was not aware that a third book had been added. I found out because there was a Bast short story in an anthology I read recently - just don't ask me which one - which referred to the series as a trilogy. Any road. This third book is about the murder of a fundamentalist Christian at a pagan gathering. Cliche, to be sure. It was clear to me from the second chapter who the murderer was, but that wasn't really why I was reading - I was more interested to see the way Edghill would describe things playing out in the community. Wow. She and Bast both have a pretty cynical view. I found the book rather bleak. Probably the saddest thing about it is Bast's lack of faith in the community. She is so sure that she will be judged for her actions that she doesn't even speak out for herself. Now, I'm not saying the community is eternally free of faults. But people can't act well unless you give them chances to do so. Maybe this is Edghill's way of portraying karma? Anyway, it was compelling and felt very real. Three stars.
When a NY resident is murdered, suspects include witches, a magician, a survivalist, a dominatrix, an ex-boyfriend and some would-be Klingons.