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Black Magic Woman (Morris and Chastain Investigation #1)

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  1,560 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
Occult investigator Quincey Morris and his "consultant", white witch Libby Chastain, are hired to free a family from a deadly curse that appears to date back to the Salem witch trials.

Fraught with danger, the trail finds them stalking the mysterious occult underworlds of Boston, San Francisco, New Orleans and New York, searching out the root of the curse. After surviving a
ebook, 454 pages
Published September 16th 2011 by Rebellion Publishing Ltd (first published January 29th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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This was a good book, and I didn't like it. I'm trying to figure out why.

Morris is a sort of modern Van Hellsing, or more accurately, a modern Quincey Morris, Van Hellsing's American counterpart. (But really, who remembers Quincey Morris?) Like the back copy says "Quincey Morris and his "consultant", white witch Libby Chastain, are hired to free a family from a deadly curse that appears to date back to the Salem witch trials."

Not mentioned is a parallel story about African American FBI agent Dal
David Townsend
I was given this book to check out. It only got finished as I was short of reading material and it ended up in the bag on a couple of train journeys. I wanted to see what happened in the end which is probably the best thing I can say about the book. Meandors from start to finish, with probably the biggest anti-climatic finish of any book I've ever read. You read the climatic chapter and think "ah there'll be a twist... er no", and the tidy clean up of the plot at the end is almost comical, as if ...more
Missy Ann
Gave up on it around page 70 or so.

1. People in Texas do not talk like that.

2. Exposition much?
2b. Show me, don't tell me.

3. Podner? Seriously. See #1.
*Rating* Still debating between 3, 3 1/2 and 4 stars.
*Genre* Dark Fantasy


Black Magic Woman is the first book in the Quincey Morris series by Justin Gustainis. Even though the story is clearly supposed to be about Morris and his white witch friend and partner Elizabeth “Libby” Chastian, Gustainis ends up folding two separate stories into one bringing in several other characters that have their own investigation to deal with.

Morris is an occult investigator and private contractor who, when
I gave it a 3, but it's a weak 3. It was just really weird, because it's really two almost entirely unrelated books, making each part feel incomplete. First you have the parts with Quincey and Libby and their paranormal investigation. It started off way too slow, with way too much background on Quincey and just took forever to get into their "case" and to introduce Libby, at least for a book that was billed as being about "the exploits of investigators Quincey Morris and Libby Chastain." I thoug ...more
I found myself eating through this book like chocolate at the beginning. I was savoring the little bits about Quincy's past, and enjoyed the prologue. The LaRue family haunting was interesting, as well as the run in with a house of vamps. All of that set up for a great book, but it turned out to be a long drawn out chase scene in the end. I loved the investigation that lead Quincy and Libby around from Satanic cults to demon infested investigation agencies. Unfortunately, when it came time to ac ...more
Feb 22, 2009 Felicia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-paranormal
Er I dunno. I WANTED to like this book a lot. It started out well. I can't put my finger on WHY I didn't get hooked in. I think it was the character work, we never went very deep with the two lead characters in a way that felt a bit shallow to me. It was as if he was deliberately trying to avoid anything intimate between the two of them. I understand trying to avoid all the sex and stuff that's normally in books like this, but no tension at all? And if not between them, maybe between them and OT ...more
Apr 26, 2008 Reed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a Jim Butcher fan, it was hard to ignore the Butcher quote on the cover "Best manuscript I've ever been asked to read".

Perhaps I expected too much. I did enjoy the book. Gustainis created two strong characters in Quincy Morris--descendant of the Morris who hunted Dracula--and Libby Chastain, white witch.

I think Butcher gave the book such praise because, well, the book "felt" like one of his own early novels. Which is not a bad thing, mind you. Though a bit cliche in parts, something getti
Oct 10, 2010 Lesli rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I was a little annoyed with the "Texan" accent in the first few pages. Then the "podner" affectation was like nails on a chalk board. Followed by the smarmy comment about string ties. However, what put paid to trying to read this pile of crap was a single word: Wiccunt. Seriously? Wiccunt. That's really beyond obnoxious. Save your money and your time. Don't bother reading this.

Attempted 10-24-2010
Joseph Teller
This is the first book in the Morris & Chastain investigation series, a step into a the dark side of human nature, where a few uncommon folks face off against the sort of persons that live breathe and risk death to inflict pain, terror and death in the name of family feuds and a grasping for power and money.

It's an urban horror setting, where vampires might try to wipe out an entire small Texas town and turn them into ravenous monsters to serve their needs or a witch descendent from the earl
Jun 03, 2009 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s a quote from Jim Butcher on the cover of this book. And since I’m a Harry Dresden (and Harry Potter) addict, a favorable quote from Jim Butcher has to catch my eye. “Keep an eye on Justin Gustainis,” he says. I certainly will. And I’ll be looking out for more in this series.

…So anyway, there was this American called Quincy Morris chasing Dracula long, long ago, and somehow I’d forgotten him. But now his descendant chases evil across America, with the aid of an intriguing white witch call
Nov 21, 2011 Tejus rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up after reading the quote from Jim Butcher 'Best manuscript I've been asked to read'. Either Jim Butcher was drunk when he wrote this or he has not been asked to read a lot of manuscripts!
The story itself was kind of bland. A supernatural investigator (Descendent of a hunter of Dracula) and his white witch associate are called in to protect a family who, thanks to the wife, are at the mercy of a black magic practitioner. The wife is descended from a white witch who during the sale
Supernatural Book Club
When I read the title of this book I had my doubts "Black Magic Woman"? That's a pretty poor title for the book, and that picture on the front? After reading the book I still can't figure out who that is supposed to be. The title and picture did not accurately portray what the book was about, BUT I can get past that. The one thing that gave me hope that the book might not be so bad was the endorsement on the front by Jim Butcher, and reading in the acknowledgments section that Gustainis aspires ...more
This was a good first novel. I enjoyed the story and I look forward to reading the next in the series. However, there were a couple things that really didn't sit well with me. First, Qunicey calls some of his clients "podner". As a Texan, I don't know ANYONE who calls anyone "podner". How fake is that?

Another thing that didn't quite fit were the remarks made about Libby's sexuality. The timing and "banter" about her bisexuality seemed very contrived.

I also would have liked more links between the
Jul 16, 2010 chucklesthescot rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I liked the vampire hunting part at the beginning of the book and I think I'd have liked this book if that had been what his cases were. I liked the Salem witches link. I liked our hero.
So why then did I abandon the book?

Well the second story about the South African agent hunting down the voodoo woman totally bored me and I wanted to skip these sections every time they appeared. The two cops were one dimensional with no personality and the plot died with every appearance by the Chuckle Brothers.
Mr. Matt
May 28, 2013 Mr. Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-urban, 2013
I enjoyed this book immensely despite some initial misgivings. My issue with the book is that it threw a great deal at readers early and it is almost too much. In the first 30-40 pages we are being introduced to multiple characters and two main story lines. I frequently found myself wondering exactly who this character was or how that person related to the story. It made for some hard reading. The good news is that if you stick with it you are in for a real pleasant reward. The book's two story ...more
Apr 11, 2010 Donnelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been looking for a truly good dark fantasy-type of book, and I'd just about given up hope until I came across Black Magic Woman. Gustainis' novel has it all - intrigue and suspense; some truly creepy moments; and dark, biting humor. What truly impressed me was how real Quincy and Libby seemed, not only on an individual basis, but in their interactions with each other. They're flawed people with good intentions and dry wit, which is always a good combination, in my view. The plot itself was ...more
Nichole Mohler
Aug 28, 2015 Nichole Mohler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A woman is killed in the Salem witch trials. She vows that all in the line of her accuser will die. Present day, a family is being terrorized in their home. They turn to Quincey Morris, and occult investigator for help. With the help of Libby Chastain, a powerful white witch, they promise to find who's responsible. Meanwhile, the bodies of children with their organs removed are turning up. Are they connected? Are Morris and Chastain powerful enough to stop them? I saw that this book didn't get t ...more
Jun 17, 2008 Bitten_by_Books rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rachel
I ran across Black Magic Woman online quite by accident. This is the first book in the Quincey Morris supernatural investigator series. Honestly, I tend to gravitate towards female paranormal authors first (sorry guys), yet something about the title just grabbed my attention...

For the entire review please go to the Best Paranormal Review site on the web, Bitten By Books for the review of Black Magic Woman in it's entirety. You won't be sorry.

Mar 23, 2009 Ladiibbug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: UF / Paranormal Fans
#1 Quincey Morris Supernatural Investigation UF series

Vampires, curses, demons, witches (black and white), voodoo, werewolves ... you name the supe, the reader will most probably encounter it in Black Magic Woman.

Quincey Morris and white witch Libby Chastain investigate a Wisconsin family's evil ghost/poltergeist/entity, and must deal with a whole host of exciting creatures.

Very good UF - I'm looking forward to #2 Evil Ways.

Did I mention toads raining from the sky?!
Mar 05, 2015 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My introduction to the works of Justin Gustainis was through his three-part "Occult Crimes Unit Investigation" series. I was impressed enough with that series to devour them back to back.

So, at the outset of a another Gustainis series, I have to say that my sentiment is much the same. I am thoroughly impressed! I am looking forward to working my way through this series with the same zeal in which I tackled the previous.

A fine start to another series!


Mike (the Paladin)
I wasn't that impressed. If you want another magic detective with witch might find it your cup of tea. I got through it. Readable.
Fangs for the Fantasy
Because I seem to love reading things out of order, I have already done a review of Justin's second book in this series, Evil Ways. In this book, we are introduced to Quincy Morris a sort of psychic investigator/problem solver, Libby Chastain his white witch friend and partner, as well as Dale Fenton an FBI agent, in the Behavioral Science unit. Each one of these characters has a very unique part to play in the story.

Someone is killing children by removing their organs while they are still alive
Mar 19, 2008 Kit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 16, 2013 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This review is for the series as a whole.

There are high point and low points for these books.

The high:
Good action writing. The action scenes in these books are paced just right. It doesn't move so fast that I feel like my reading can't keep up, but they don't drag on and on either. The characters do their things, and even though one is actively engaged in the fighting and one is not (speaking of the two main characters) you know that each is vital and what they're doing in presented in an inter
I enjoyed this book. I think it's a promising start to a new series. I'll be curious to see if Libby Chastain is a reoccurring character. She certainly seemed like an important character who would be reoccurring, but the series is called the Quincey Morris Investigations, not the Morris & Chastain Investigations. Still, she strikes me as an even bigger part than, say, The Dresden Files' Murphy so I'd be surprised if she doesn't show up again. Then again, the premise might be a new partner/ty ...more
Tahieuba Chaudhry
Gustainis has currently written five Quincey Morris books alongside three Occult Crimes Unit Investigation books. This is the first book in Quincey Morris series (Morris and Chastain Investigation).
There are two main parallel stories in this book. Morris is the great grandson of Quincey Morris from Bram Stoker’s Dracula (but he is like a modern day Van Hellsing) and alongside his consultant, white witch Libby Chastain, are hired to free the LaRue family from a deadly curse that appears to date
An Abundance of Books
The story starts with a nice bit introducing Quincy, his knowledge, fast thinking, and talents as a problem solver. A small town has been overtaken by vampires. The original exterminators hired to take care of the problem get tied up with another job - so the exterminators ask Quincy to help out the town. Instead of a caravan of 18 wheelers, loads of people and ammo, this overrun little town gets one guy in an old car. I thought this was a very good introduction to the character. There is a simi ...more
Jennifer  (Books That Hook)
Review Courtesy of: Books That Hook

There is so much going on in Black Magic Woman. It is easy to get confused because there are a lot of characters, multiple points of view, and a lot of flashbacks. Despite this, I want to continue reading this series.

What really sold me on this story are a few of the characters, especially the consultant Libby. Quincey is okay, but I don’t feel like he has much personality of his own. He’s just a reflection of his ancestors. I hope future books give Quincey a l
Apr 29, 2009 Phil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. My curiosity was piqued at the start by the shout-outs to other infamous stories, such as The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror: I like the way it was implied that they are factual rather than fiction in this book's universe. I was slightly confused by what seemed to be a vague reference to Vampire$ but I'm willing to just go with the flow: it worked in context, and gave the book a good starting point. I also liked the hark-back to Dracula for deep back-story.

One thing
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Justin Gustainis was born in Northeast Pennsylvania in 1951. He attended college at the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university that figures prominently in several of his writings.

After earning both Bachelor's and Master's degrees, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the U. S. Army.

Mr. Gustainis currently lives in Plattsburgh, New York. He is a Professor of Communication at Plattsburgh State U
More about Justin Gustainis...

Other Books in the Series

Morris and Chastain Investigation (6 books)
  • Evil Ways (Quincey Morris, #2)
  • Sympathy for the Devil  (Quincey Morris, #3)
  • Play with Fire (Quincey Morris #4)
  • Midnight at the Oasis (Quincey Morris, #5)
  • Strange Magic (A Morris and Chastain Investigation Book 6)

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