PW #428: Adult Urban Fantasy/LGBT: THE MEASURE OF A MONSTER

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Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Julie Sondra Decker
Mentee Name: Lynn Forrest
Category: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy/LGBT
Word Count: 81,000


Detective Ian Rinaldi gets all the weird cases. Weary of investigating supernatural murders alone, Ian unwittingly partners with Blake Winters, a lesbian half-monster posing as a human folklore expert. When Blake blows her cover saving Ian’s life, she also blows their alliance—but in the battle against Blake’s otherworldly kin, Ian must defeat a monster by trusting one.


April 11
11:27 p.m.

Blood trickled into a nearby storm drain. A decapitated corpse sprawled across the asphalt, its head twelve feet away. Rows of shark-like teeth had devoured most of the man’s face.

A manticore attack. But why would a manticore leave the head behind?

Detective Ian Rinaldi wiped away the rain dripping into his eyes as he surveyed the murder scene. His damp sleeve merely smeared the water over his clammy skin. He shivered.

“This is your specialty, isn’t it,” Officer Kendall said. It wasn’t a question.

Ian knew better than to rise to his goading. “What makes you say that?”

“Don’t play dumb with me. They sent you even though your shift ended hours ago.”

“I was in the area.”

Kendall snorted. “Out here? At this time of night?”

“It could happen. Who reported the victim?”

“Don’t know. Dispatch got an anonymous tip.”

Why the hell wouldn’t someone leave their name after seeing something like this? “Seriously?” he asked.

“Yeah. She only gave the location and the state of the body before hanging up.” Kendall shuddered. “Dispatch said she sounded pretty calm. That’s insane. I would’ve been totally freaked out if I’d stumbled across this.”

Ian bit back a curse. He didn’t want to confirm Kendall’s suspicions. He didn’t like his own. The evidence implied that a manticore had been chased away by something. Something that made a manticore look like a house cat.

Something that could call 911.


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