A Fresh and Enticingly Queer Detective Story: Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk

Release Date: November 8, 2022
Publisher: Tor.com Publishing
Genre: Historical fantasy


A magical detective dives into the affairs of Chicago’s divine monsters to secure a future with the love of her life. This sapphic period piece will dazzle anyone looking for mystery, intrigue, romance, magic, or all of the above.

An exiled augur who sold her soul to save her brother’s life is offered one last job before serving an eternity in hell. When she turns it down, her client sweetens the pot by offering up the one payment she can’t resist–the chance to have a future where she grows old with the woman she loves.

To succeed, she is given three days to track down the White City Vampire, Chicago’s most notorious serial killer. If she fails, only hell and heartbreak await.

My Review

Helen, as an ostracized warlock, a soulless augur, and a lesbian living with her lady lover, is about as antihero as it gets. Marlowe’s offer tosses her into the middle of a battle she didn’t even know was raging and only her wits and sense of justice will get her out of it. While she is perfectly willing to cross the line for what she believes, she also has a strong moral compass; she draws a line not between good and evil but right and wrong. By putting Helen in the role previously occupied by Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe and adding dustings of romance and fantasy, C.L. Polk twists the hardboiled detective subgenre into something new and fresh and enticingly queer.

To read the rest of my review, head over to Tor.com.

Buy it at Bookshop.org (affiliate link).

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