The Boundary Magic series has become my favourite series by Melissa Olson. Reading "Boundary Haunted", the fifth book of the series, was like settling in to watch a new series of a favourite show: I knew it would pull me back into a familiar world, with rules I understood and characters I cared about, and I trusted that it would surprise me with something new that moves all the characters along. It gave me a couple of days of solid entertainment and still left me hungry for more.
Part of the appeal is that I like Lex, the ex-soldier who discovered late in life that she was a Boundary Witch when she kept coming back from the dead, because, apart from being able to wield magic that allows her to press vampires, interact with ghosts, kill with a thought or raise the dead, she's a down-to-earth person, doing the best she can. She's tough but not invulnerable. She carries the scars of her past experiences with her and she tries to do what needs to be done.
My enjoyment was enhanced by the fact that "Boundary Haunted" takes Lex out of the now-familiar context of Boulder, Colorado and takes her to Atalanta, Georgia, which is pretty much like moving her to another planet. "The Old World" (vampires, witches, werewolves) here is very different from either Boulder or Los Angeles.
Melissa Olson makes very effective use of the huge scale of killing that took place in Atlanta during the Civil War history to get Lex involved with large numbers of a new type of ghost. She also builds a twisty mystery for Lex to solve about who it is who is attacking the ghosts and, via them, the Cardinal Vampire, who is a Confederate veteran. I became engrossed as Lex came to terms with the culture and personalities in the Atlanta Old World and slowly unmasked the threat to them.
As usual, Kate Rudd does a great job as the narrator of the series. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample.