The smell of Eucalyptus always made me think of Southern California, my home away from home;

Wait, what is her home if SoCal (where she actually LIVED) is not her home? She lived there before, and has legally been living there since (albeit in somebody else's movie star mansion).

now it might forever be entwined with the scent, of blood.

Misplaced comma, mention of blood.... ladies and gents, this is a bona fide LKH book!

I stood there with the strangely hot wind rustling through the high leaves.

She's in SoCal... what is STRANGE about a hot wind? And what have the leaves been smoking?

It blew my summer dress in a tangle around my legs,

I'm sure it, like half the male faerie population, feels right at home there. And if the wind is rustling the high leaves, just how short is Merry's dress?

and spread my shoulder-length hair in a scarlet web across my face.

So she's hanging around a crime scene with her hair flying all over the place, wearing a sundress. But of course she's a Super PI/princess which means she can't POSSIBLY be sprinkling her DNA (and that of her last dozen paramours) all over the crime scene.

I grabbed my hair in handfuls so I could see, though maybe not being able to see would have been better. The plastic gloves pulled at my hair.

And now she's getting her DNA all over the gloves, which she'll then use to poke and prod and play with the dead bodies. Please God, let Merita get arrested because her DNA is all over the bodies.

And for that matter, who has "handfuls" of shoulder-length hair? Mine is shoulder-length and can be gathered quite easily.

They were designed so I didn't contaminate evidence, not for comfort.

How inconsiderate of the cops. They should have provided gloves for her majesty's personal comfort, not to keep the evidence clean.

We were surrounded by a nearly perfect circle of the tall, pale tree trunks. In the middle of the natural circle were the bodies.

... because if you're going to kill someone, obviously you'd put the bodies in the most conspicuous spot UNNOTICED.

Another point: Eucalpytus trees don't grow "naturally" in California, so by definition it's not a "natural" circle - it's a carefully organized landscape.

And for that matter, why the hell is Merry involved? Yeah, she's allegedly a PI - but she's spent the whole series lounging around and getting boinked by faerie studs, and she's supposed to be the most famous celebrity evah. I can't see the police taking a faerie socialite seriously, especially if she's pretending to solve their crimes.

They were tiny by human standards, so tiny, the size of dolls; none of the corpses were even a foot tall, and some were less than five inches."

This fragmented rambling sentence is making my brain stagger and puke. It would be so, so easy to simplify it into something readable.

At least this actually explains why they would call in Detective Fairy Kardashian rather than just dealing with it themselves. It does not explain, however, why she's supposed to be the sole authority on these matters, rather than a special division devoted to faerie matters. But then, this is the author who has marginalized, ignored were/vampire crime units just so her heroine can be the speshulest awesomest expert ever.

They lay on the ground with their bright butterfly and moth wings frozen as if in mid-movement.

I'm not sure how this could happen, because generally when winged creatures are lying on the ground, either their wings are folded or they're sort of squished up against the ground. If these creatures were dead, you'd expect butterfly/moth wings to be crushed or flat.

Their dead hands were wrapped around wilted flowers like a cheerful game gone horribly wrong.

In case you haven't noticed, LKH is dark and likes to poke holes in cheery light bright things. Cuz she's dark. And angsty. And brooding. And... you get the idea.

They looked like so many broken Barbie dolls, except that Barbie dolls never lay so lifelike, or so perfectly poised.

Generally dead bodies don't have poise. Because they're dead. Especially when somebody has died in a violent manner.

No matter how hard I'd tried as a little girl, their limbs remained stiff and unyielding.

An LKH heroine admitting to playing with dolls, rather than little toy guns and zombie dolls? Or in Merry's case, anatomically correct multicolored dolls with floor-length hair? Shockity boo!

Detective Lucy Tate came to stand beside me.

Ahoy, mateys! We have woman-bashing to the starboard bow! Either that, or more lesbian flirtations.

She was wearing a pants suit complete with jacket

A pantsuit INCLUDES a jacket. Without a jacket, it's just pants. She just HAS to put the word "complete" in every clothing description, doesn't she?

and a white button-up shirt that strained a little across the front because Lucy, like me, had too much figure for most button-up shirts.

SUUUUUURE. Believe it or not, LKH, but there are quite a few button-up shirts that busty women can wear. Not all professional clothing in the world is intended for men, and women with breasts don't just have to walk around with bras showing and buttons popping.

But I wasn't a police detective so I didn't have to pretend I was a man to try to fit in,

Neither do female police detectives, unless they're as insecure and misogynistic as LKH and her heroines. Yo, LKH, these women don't pretend to be men and they don't need to if they're capable of doing their jobs. That's because female cops are PROFESSIONAL and have some measure of personal security and dignity... meaning that they can see worth in themselves based on something other than how MANLY they are.

I worked at a private detective agency that used the fact that I was Princess Meredith, the only American-born fey royal, and back working for the Grey Detective Agency: Supernatural Problems; Magial Solutions.

A misspelling and colon abuse in one line! Ding ding!

And I don't know about you, but I wouldn't hire someone whose only qualifications are being born to royalty to find my CAT. It would be like going to the Kim Kardashian Detective Agency, or Prince Harry as a hard-boiled PI.

People loved paying money to see the princess, and have her hear their problems; I'd begun to feel a little like a freak show until today.

So in other words, like Anita, she doesn't do any actual detective work. She's too awesome and famous to deign to do such things. Wow, that's definitely going to convince us that Merry is like a REAAAAAAL detective.

Today I would have loved to be back in the office listening to some mundane matter that didn't really need my special brand of help, but was just a human rich enough to pay for my time.

"Waaaaa! I don't like sitting here listening to rich people! Waaaaaa! I don't wanna do P.I work! WAAAAAAA! I HATE WORKING AT ALL! I JUST WANNA LIE THERE WITH MY LEGS OPEN AND BE GIVEN GODDESS POWERS!"

That said, I'm not sure why the cops would call her in at all. It makes sense that they'd call in an expert on the subject, but I DON'T see why they'd call in a brainless lightweight who puts the well-being of her harem above everything else. Surely they could get SOMEONE who has an ounce of professionalism?

I'd have rather been doing a lot of things than standing here staring down at a dozen dead fey.

Like boinking boytoys, whining, boinking boytoys, swanking around in too-tall shoes, boinking boytoys, reflecting on how HAAAAAARD it is being a famous princess, acquiring new boytoys to boink....

"What do you think?" she asked.

Not much, sadly.

What I really thought was that I was glad the bodies were small so that the trees covered most of the smell,

Yup, we have a professional here. The only thing that matters after a murder is Her Majesty's personal comfort - she isn't horrified by what she sees or sad because they've been murdered, just uncomfortably because the stink is annoying her perfect fairy nose.

but that would be admitting weakness, and you didn't do that on the rare occasions you got to work with the police.

I somehow doubt that a plumber hired by the cops has to pretend to be invulnerable and invincibly tough, or that the cops are all these steely immovable statues and expect all others to be the same. And I REALLY doubt that a sparkly celebutante would be someone they would expect to be Tuff'n'Strong.... especially since she basically is at that PI agency to be a money magnet.

You had to be professional and tough or they thought less of you, even the female cops, maybe especially them.

Because of course all female cops are being tuffer-than-thou because they have to compensate for not having a penis, because of course all dangerous hard jobs are MALE and you must be as manly as possible or nobody will respect you.

Hey, here's a revolutionary thought, LKH - maybe women who become cops don't act exactly the way you do when exposed to REAL COPS or REAL MILITARY, and perhaps they don't live with a seething knot of insecurity because they weren't born a six-foot-tall musclebound man? And... maybe, just maybe, cops don't think all civilians who work with them have to be tough as petrified jerky.

“Is what?” I asked, looking at her. Her dark brunette hair was cut shorter than mine, and held back by a thick band so that nothing obscured her vision, as I still fought with my own hair. She looked cool and professional.

Because of course the case has everything to do with a detective's hair and how short it is. Note how it's perfectly okay - even good - for a woman to have ubershort hair, yet a man who has the same haircut is mentally ill and self-mutilating.

I was a civilian, and I had been very aware of that as I walked through all the police on the way to the center of all this activity.

Wanna bet that soon Merry will be given an honorary FBI agent position, since she's so awesome and such a devoted detective that her only case thus far has involved getting date raped?

The police were never that fond of the private detective, no matter what you see on television,

Which raises the interesting question - why would they call her in? She barely qualifies as a PI, let alone a consultant.

Of course, if I’d been human they wouldn’t have called me down to the murder scene in the first place. I was here because I was a trained detective and a faerie princess. One without the other wouldn’t havegotten me under the police tape.

The problem is that there's nothing at all in this case thus far that requires Fairy Kim Kardashian's input - they have a serial killer, but does the killing of members of one racial group mean that you call in a PI of that racial group because nobody else could "understand" the crime?

Are we seriously supposed to think that after TWO CENTURIES in the Americas, the fairies are such a mystery that no cop knows what's what with their magic, their physiology, or much of anything about them?

So anyway, the cop holds out a page from a picture book that shows - oh shockity-boo - dancing faeries with little flowers.

I stared from one to the other again, those laughing happy faces in the picture and the very still, very dead ones on the ground. Their skin had begun to change color already, turning that bluish- purplecast of the dead.

You'd sorta think that SOME part of the process would be different for the fae - like they turn into leaves and blow away after a certain time period. Instead, apparently they die and rot just like humans. How boring.

“He, or she, had to dress them,” I pointed out. “No matter how many illustrations you see with these little blousy dresses and loin-cloth things, most demi- fey outside of faerie don’t dress like this. I’ve seen them in three-piece suits and formal evening wear.”

Which is an unintentionally hilarious mental image - just think of the demi-fey trying to squeeze themselves into the cheap polyester Barbie and Ken clothes.

“We were thinking he lured them down here with a promise of an acting part, a short film,” she said.

Which actually makes a lot of sense, and therefore is totally not Merry's idea. I'm sorry, but why did they bring her here again? Are we supposed to believe that after two centuries, not ONE of the cops has ever met a demi-fey or any other kind of fairy, there hasn't been any anthropological study of them, and nothing about them has been documented for reference?

Wait wait, my mistake. If that happened, then Merry couldn't be called in as an expert.

Anyway, the cops' idea makes way too much sense. Since that excludes Merry knowing everything, she starts rambling about how demi-fey love to dance in circles and how probably this guy was stalking them beforehand. While the cop keeps options open for the "Short film" idea, Merry keeps harping on about the Evil Stalker idea... because obviously she must be right. Because she's a PI. And a fairy princess.

I just realized something - we've been through pages of this crap, and we STILL don't know how the demi-fey died. Were they stabbed? Poisoned? Clonked on the head? Jabbed with thick pins? WE DON'T KNOW.

“You’re right, I don’t. Are you assuming that the killer isn’t human?”
“Should we be?” she asked, her voice neutral.

Uh, YEAH. Why would a fae creature be focusing on a children's picture book made for HUMANS?

“I don’t know. I can’t imagine a human strong enough or fast enough to grab six demifey and slit their throats before the others could escape or attack him.”

Finally, after six pages of drivel we finally get a cause of death. And boy, are they trying to be dumb? What about drugging?

“So we aren’t looking for a human?”
“I didn’t say that."

.... because Merry and Anita never simplify matters - they only offer even more possibilities without evidence, proof or any kind of helpful info whatsoever.

“What kind of magic?”
“I don’t have a spell in mind. I’m not human. I don’t need spells to use against other fey, but I know there are stories of magic that can make us weak, catchable, and hurtable.”

So in other words, she doesn't know what spells might have been used, she doesn't care, and she vaguely knows that there are stories that may or may not be true which MIGHT hold the answer... or not. Wow, it's SO good they called Faerie Kardashian in on this case, or it might never get solved.

Their immortality wasn’t what it used to be, but we had not publicized that to the humans. One of the things that kept us safe was that the humans thought they couldn’t hurt us easily.

It seems that LKH isn't quite clear on "immortal" vs "invulnerable." And I thought Merry's magical vagina was turning them perfect in every way once more...

Or had they been immortal and magic had stolen it away?

Their immortality and implied invincibility can't have been worth much if it could be negated so easily.

“Merry, you in there?”

... why are the cops calling her by her first name?

Anyway, the female cop is actually being nice, and not portrayed as an evil jellus butch hater who secretly wants in Merry's extremely crowded panties. However, she is still portrayed as essentially an idiot who needs Merry to tell her everything.

We’d killed the sidhe who did it, although he said that he hadn’t meant to kill her.

Yay for the fae. Why are we supposed to like these people again, if they just execute people for ACCIDENTALLY killing others, or even for killing when there is some doubt about their intentions?

No one likes to talk about the fact that their people are losing their magic and their power.

I'd be even more embarrassed by the fact that my people were regaining it due to a fairy socialite's magical vagina.

The court that I had been offered rulership of and given up for love.

Or rather, because the author didn't want to end the moneymakers.

The tabloids were still talking about the fairy- tale ending,

Because lest you forget, LKH's heroines are more famous than any grouping of A-list celebrities. The tabloids care DEEPLY about their lives of lying flat on their backs with their legs in the air, with magical powers flowing out of their hoo-hahs.

and, like most fairy tales, it had been more about blood and being true to yourself than about love.

... what fairy tales is SHE reading? Yeah, a lot of the older fairy tales are gruesome compared to the Disneyfied variety, but they aren't all about blood. And she wasn't being true to herself, she just selfishly decided, "Screw healing my entire species and restoring the land of Faerie! I want my pet penis back! NOBODY takes away one of my penii!" If "true to yourself" means selfish and shortsighted, then yeah...