I knew Helen Harper could write original, compelling, dark, angst-ridden Urban Fantasy, her Bo Blackman series proved that.
I didn't know that she could also write light, witty, laugh-out-loud, ever-so-slightly-RomCom Urban Fantasy.
I know it now.
"Slouch Witch" is a delightful piece of comedy that twists and tickles Urban Fantasy, odd-couple buddy movies and RomCom tropes until they collapse in a fit of giggles, while still managing to build a credible magical universe and deliver a satisfying whodunnit plot.
This is clever stuff that Helen Harper makes look completely effortless.
Ivy Wilde drives a taxi in Oxford, but it would be a mistake to think of her as a taxi driver. She's a witch. True, she's not in the Order like other witches, at least not anymore and her favourite occupation is watching "Enchantment" from the comfort of her sofa while eating food that has been delivered to her door, but she's still a witch who knows a thing or two.
A misunderstanding compels her to work with a senior witch in the investigative arm of the Order. He is everything Ivy is not. Although he is many things Ivy finds attractive.
As the two of them track down wrong-doers within the order, sparks fly, spells are cast, karaoke is performed and a great time is had by all (well, not the bad guys of course, but everybody else).
This is escapist fun at its best. I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by Tanya Eby. She's a talented narrator and does a great job but I'm puzzled as to why Ivy seems to have an American accent when the story is set in Oxford, is laced with English vernacular and where the other characters are given some form of English accent. I forgave this after a while because Tanya Eby's comic timing is perfect. I'm happy to listen to her perform the next two books in the series.