Beyond Books

Unsympathetic Magic

Unsympathetic Magic (Esther Diamond, #3)
by Laura Resnick

Overdressed zombies, vicious gargoyles, a severed hand… and the night is still young!

Acting jobs don’t just grow on fire escapes… so struggling actress Esther Diamond is outraged when her guest role as a hooker on The Dirty Thirty, a controversial TV drama, is jeopardized by zombies, angry spirits, and a voodoo curse.

Meanwhile, the talented teens whom Esther is coaching at a Harlem cultural center are also being attacked by the sinister supernatural power that’s spreading through Manhattan. And Esther’s love life goes from bad to worse when her bed bursts into deadly mystical flames while her would-be lover, Detective Connor Lopez, is trying to get her into it!

Since the show must go on (and the rent must be paid), Esther boldly helps her friend Dr. Maximillian Zadok, a 350-year-old sorcerer whose day job is protecting New York City from Evil, combat the supernatural forces at work in Harlem during a sweltering summer heat wave. But will Esther’s courage lead her to becoming a human sacrifice on the altar of Evil’s voracious appetite? (

Ok, I’m warning you now… I ended up buying all available books in this series each time I finished one. So, after this, expect my post on Vamparazzi and then you get a small break since the fifth book only comes out the first week of November. It really wasn’t my plan to buy all of the books within a week and a half, but they are so much fun and I needed a pick-me-up. Once I was finished with one I knew I needed to read the next one.

I don’t think I’ll spoil too much about the book, so if you haven’t read this series yet and want to, it should be safe. The cool thing about these Esther Diamond novels is how each book can be an individual entity. You can start anywhere in the series and still enjoy the book. There are quick recaps to previous books and (I have noticed) some foreshadowing to what the next book might be about. The secondary characters (not counting Max and Lopez) are always new to the story and since each book is its own mystery and mystical element, you’re not going to be confused or lost. Of course, I am reading them in order because I am OCD like that, and it’s certainly more enjoyable because you’ll get some of the one-liner references that are tossed out, but it’s not 100% necessary.

In Unsympathetic Magic we’re dealing with Voodoo and zombies. I was a little wary going into this one because I tend to not find Voodoo stories all that interesting. Whereas I will go crazy for witches or faeries, I’m not big on other supernatural creatures. But this story was actually pretty funny and there are some hot scenes between Esther and her cop-almost-boyfriend, Lopez. (But always in the PG rating… I love that there are no graphic sex scenes for the sake of having sex scenes in a book!) This lack of sex scenes in the books actually makes those scenes much hotter. But trust me when I say, if you’re picking up these books for love scenes and romance, you’re going to be sorrily disappointed because that’s not what they’re about at all.

Once more I laughed out loud quite a few times as I read about Esther’s mystic misadventures in NYC as she tries to help defend her city from Evil AND maintain gainful employment as an actor. I’m also a huge fan of Max and his familiar Nelli. Whenever they are in a scene I will inevitably giggle. And if Detective Connor Lopez is in a scene, I will swoon. He’s got the same sex-appeal as Ranger in the Stephanie Plum books, but Ranger mixed with Morelli. (Which leads me to believe that Stephanie might just dump both those men for Connor Lopez if she met him, as he’s the best of both worlds!)

I specifically went out at lunch on Tuesday to buy the next book since I’d read this one cover to cover on Monday. I don’t know how many more books there might be after the fifth, but I suppose I’m stuck waiting a year between novels like everything else I love. I am happy I decided to read this at this time of year though – not just because I only have a 2 week wait for the newest one to publish, but also because they are atmospheric enough to tie in with Halloween! This makes my OCD voices very happy. 😉

Esther Diamond Novels

  1. Disappearing Nightly
  2. Dopplegangster
  3. Unsympathetic Magic
  4. Vamparazzi
  5. Polterheist
  6. The Misfortune Cookie


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