Book Review – Avenging Spirit by Cristelle Comby

Vale Investigation #3
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 173
Characters: Bellamy Vale, Zian, Candice Kennedy, Yukina
POV: 1st
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Series

He can’t be killed. But that protection doesn’t extend to his friends…

PI Bellamy Vale may have sold his soul to Hell, but his heart’s in the right place. So when a friend reaches out for help to find his missing niece, he readily agrees. But the straightforward case takes a dark turn when he discovers deadly ancient rituals and a mysterious vigilante prowling Little Japan.

Pushing hard to uncover the truth, Vale gets trapped by a supernaturally connected crime boss and faces a choice: steal a powerful rare artifact or say goodbye to his buddy. To disobey will end someone’s life, but giving in could summon an underworld force that not even Lady McDeath’s mighty powers can defeat…

Will Vale put his immortal status on the line and save the world from a fate worse than death?

Avenging Spirit is the third book in the hard-boiled Vale Investigation urban fantasy series. If you like smart-mouthed detectives, Japanese lore, and page-turning action, then you’ll love Cristelle Comby’s noir adventure.

Buy Link


As with other stories in this series, this one opens with Bellamy Vale in trouble, and throws him and the readers right into the action.

I love this series and its characters, and it’s on my list of would like in hardcopy. Vale narrates in first person and I love his tone and the feel it gives the story. Although he’s the main character, this is very much an ensemble story with Zian and Kennedy in the thick of the action and helping Vale and Yukina defeat the big bad. The scene with Kennedy and her niece was fun. The little girl is definitely already a chip off her aunt’s block. Zian’s one of my favourite characters. I love his geekiness and his trying to stay under his father’s radar, yet Hermes always finding out and having one of those conversations with Vale.

The world building is fabulous. I love the premise of Vale’s inability to die, but that doesn’t mean his injuries don’t hurt—a lot! I liked the introduction of Yukina in this story, and I hope we see her again. I also liked how the author weaved Japanese mythology into the storyline. The premise of the ghost brides was chilling.

The action scenes are edge-of-seat and had me turning pages. I always read these books quickly and over a couple of late nights as I can’t put them down. I also like how there are consequences for what happens and that Vale doesn’t come out this one unscathed, and how the ending sets up for another adventure. Can’t wait.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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