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Burning Water (Diana Tregarde #1)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  4,778 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
A sexy witch who writes romances and a police detective who sees more than mortal man team up to battle an ancient Aztec god!

Dallas Police Detective Mark Valdez isn't just any cop, he's a psychic who knows that the cattle mutilations and torture murders he's been investigating are somehow tied together. He also knows that his meager psychic abilities aren't enough to ident
...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Tor Books (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jim
Oct 21, 2014 Jim rated it it was ok
I've enjoyed Lackey's fantasy books, but never felt a burning urge to read them all. They're enjoyable, but not my first choice. This series is paranormal & was done before it was really cool, so I give her a bonus for that. It wasn't badly written, but I just never developed much interest in any of the characters nor was the end ever in doubt. Actually, the script of the book wasn't in doubt.

Diana, the heroine, is tough, smart & pretty powerful. I expected to like her, care & worry
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Kelly H. (Maybedog)
I am so bored by this book! They never do anything, just sit around and talk about the case or how great Di is. The only action is from a victim's perspective, usually a loser or a jerk or both so I don't even care about them. It's also ridiculous how quickly a small Texas town Sheriff accepts her. And if I see just one more word unnecessarily italicized I shall go batty!

Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 27, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Urban Fantasy
This is the first novel by Mercedes Lackey involving Diana Tregarde. There are two others, Jinx High and Children of the Night.

I read somewhere they didn't sell relatively well, and because of that Lackey doesn't intend to write more of them. I consider that a shame. Lackey is a favorite author and the Tregarde books are among my favorites by her. Before LK Hamilton's Anita Blake, before Buffy, Lackey was writing an appealing, strong heroine in Urban Fantasy and she was unusual back then in pre
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David Caldwell
This series first came out in the late eighties and early nineties. I always meant to read it since the mid nineties but just never got around to it. I finally saw it on sale for the kindle and decided it was time to give it a try. Needless to say, it is showing its age somewhat. Computers were still fairly new for most people and there is comments about using a modem and diskettes. The economy is suffering because gas prices have dropped so low. (Wouldn't you like to have that problem now?) One ...more
Adrienne Crowley
Mar 05, 2009 Adrienne Crowley rated it really liked it
The original "urban fantasy" series. Its really too bad that people decided that Mercedes Lackey was obviously a demon worshipper or satanist because we might have more of this awesome character to read. She was a bad ass female lead before Buffy, or Anita Blake, or Xena!
Alexandra
1st in series.

Kindle Daily Deal 2/21/15 $1.99.
***Dave Hill
Dec 25, 2011 ***Dave Hill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text
I first read this book more years ago than I care to contemplate, and fell in love with it. The admixture of urban fantasy noir with neopagan dialectic and some cool Meso-American mythmaking was utterly awesome, and I practically wore out my first copy.

I've revisited it a few times in subsequent years, and, alas, it's not aged well. The story dwells a bit too much on the gruesome Aztec sacrifices dotting the Dallas area (and on the sacrificees, almost all of whom are folks who nearly seem to kar
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Gewbook
Oct 05, 2011 Gewbook rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
A fun read, but not as good as the other Diana Tregarde mysteries for me. This was the first of these that Lackey wrote, but the third that I've read (Children of the Night and the novella in Trio of Sorcery, which is what made me pick up the others). I wish I had read this one first because I was disappointed that the character of Diana Tregarde wasn't who I had gotten to know in the other books. I think that's just because Lackey didn't know her that well yet either. She was just starting to w ...more
Stephanie Jobe
Diana Tregarde is a romance novelist, that is what pays her bills but her greater duty is within the realm of the supernatural as a Guardian. Mark Valdez is still a Catholic but this detective went to college with Diana and learned that there are other powers out there. A major case has undeniable traces and so Diana is called in to consult but she is in a strange place with unfamiliar traditions. Searching for and fighting unfamiliar magic will not be easy.

Over a decade ago my sister handed me
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Latham
Apr 30, 2015 Latham rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-5-stars
This isn't the first time I've read this. I went through a craze several years ago where I tried to read everything Mercedes Lackey had ever written, and this one, along with select books out of the Heralds of Valdemar series, is one of the ones that I still like.

The good? It's a portrayal of strong women written in the eighties, when the rapetastic Old Skool romances were still being written (not that they're not being written now, unfortunately, it's just a much less widespread phenomenon. Als
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Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Burning Water is just a fun book. Fun not as in making me laugh or anything, but fun in the sense that it was just a good old adventure/occult fiction story. I happen to really like that type of book and a person can't read literature all of the time!

Synopsis:
There is a bizarre killer on the loose in the Dallas TX area. People are turning up dead everywhere, with the only clue left at the scene usually some flower petals. Mark Valdez, a detective in the police department, knows that these killin
...more
Lauren
Apr 11, 2014 Lauren rated it it was ok
I like Mercedes Lackey but this book was not as well written as some of her latter works. Plus it lacked her voice. The story dragged a bit and was not as sharp. I came into this novel backwards, I read a short story prequel about our heroine and liked it a lot.

This book starts off with an earthquake in Mexico which leads to ritual killings in Dallas, Texas. Our protagonist is called in by a college friend. There is some occult mixed in with the police procedural drama. There as a lot of dead b
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NanLT Pagan Witch
May 02, 2016 NanLT Pagan Witch rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pagan-fiction
I have read and reread Burning Water, and the others in the series over and over again since I first discovered it on the shelves back in the early 1990s.

My only dislike is that Mercedes Lackey didn't write more in this series. I would be deluding myself if I thought that Diane Tregarde's calm, commonsense approach to magic and witchcraft didn't influence my own practice as a Pagan witch.

Nearly 2 decades before urban fantasy books hit the shelves author Mercedes Lackey gave us Diane Tregarde,
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Traci
Jan 30, 2016 Traci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Dallas Police Detective Mark Valdez isn't just any cop - he's a psychic who knows that the cattle mutilations and torture murders he's been investigating are somehow tied together. He also knows that his meager psychic abilities aren't enough to identify the killers, much less stop them.

Luckily, Mark has an ace up his sleeve: an attractive young romance novelist who happens to be a practicing witch. And not just any witch, either - Diana Tregarde is a Guardian, charged with protecting the Eart
...more
June
Sep 17, 2014 June rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lackey and strong female, supernatural, mystery fans
Sometimes Lackey can be a bit much for me in terms of the emotions and gore/violence but then you have her explanation of religion and it all seems worth it.

“First commandment: there ain't no such thing as "one true way" and the way you find is only good for you, not anybody else, because your interpretation of what you see and feel and understand as the truth is never going to be the same as anyone else's.
Second commandment: the only answers worth having are the ones you find for yourself.
Third
...more
Autumn
Jan 26, 2015 Autumn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Did not finish, abandoned about halfway through. Every time I get in the mood for a trashy paperback, I neglect to remember that these things don't hold my interest. There were some interesting elements here- I liked the main character and the magical storyline, but overall it was pretty slow and just really started dragging for me and feeling like a chore. Oh well.
Eli
Feb 05, 2016 Eli rated it liked it
This is a fast read as it’s easy to follow and action-packed. While it stumbles a bit, with some grammatical mistakes, overall it was enjoyable. And, as with the previous book by this same author I just finished, the pace and the interest level starts to pick up about halfway through. For the first half of the book I liked it but was sort of ‘meh’ about, but once I hit the midway point I couldn’t stop reading!
The good-natured joking between all the friends was enjoyable and relevant.
It’s mildly
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Mary
Sep 05, 2014 Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I have read a lot of Lackey over the years, but I had not read this series. Diana Tregarde is a romance writer to pay her bills, but she is also a paranormal investigator (and exterminator when you get right down to it) Mark Valdez is a detective in TX who worked with her in college. She comes across as a bit annoying, since she seems to know everything - except what she actually needs to know to figure out who the culprit is.

One thing I like to do with a mystery is pit my wits against the dete
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Janelle
Feb 16, 2016 Janelle rated it liked it
This was an enjoyable book written before the current trend in urban fantasy full of witches and the paranormal. Diana Tregarde is a romance writer by trade but is also a witch of considerable power sworn to help those in need. When an old friend asks her to come to Texas to investigate a serial killer with a gruesome methodology, she takes the first plane out. They quickly realize that they may be in over their heads with an ominous deadline looming and a foe that is older than anything anyone ...more
Lindsey
Mar 05, 2016 Lindsey rated it really liked it
I really really liked this book. And I loved the different perspectives. I don't think you witness the world from the main characters perspective until half the book has gone by. I love Mercedes Lackey though period and would recommend her to anyone. She is a brilliant author and I've never read anything by her that wasn't at least a three stars of entertainment (more often then not four or five!) Didn't realized I had read the second book of the Diana Tregarde series. So I will have to go back ...more
Kathy Davie
Sep 05, 2010 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
You'd never believe it was the same author. A bit like Anita Blake but much softer although just as deadly.
Dee
Jun 27, 2015 Dee rated it liked it
I read an interview with Mercedes where she said she stopped writing the series because it didn't sell well - I can see why. Although technically the story is about Diana, she's almost a secondary character. The story focuses on Mark, with cameos from a lot of the victims - and those cameos in no way made me have sympathy for them, but instead seemed like victim-blaming justifications for why they were killed.

I also really struggled to keep the characters straight - it just felt a bit all over
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L.E. Doggett
Sep 08, 2016 L.E. Doggett rated it liked it
Not bad. Good writing, personally there were parts of it I didn't like which is why I gave it only three stars instead of four. I might have made it three and a third if I could have.

There is something Lackey hints at more than once, but then doesn't go through with it. A very minor plot point but still disappointed me.

It is very dark, which doesn't usually throw me off a book, but this time it seemed to for some reason. Description are good, the hero is likable, it has everything you want wit
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~Anita~
Mar 03, 2013 ~Anita~ rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the Aztec flavouring.
M
Dec 22, 2014 M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this started out a bit slow, in the end I really enjoyed this book. Diana Tregarde is a pretty great character. I love the idea that she writes romance novels to make a living, and effectively has fighting magical evil as a side job. She's generally well written and entertaining, and it was fun to read about her. I also really appreciated that one part of her arc in this book was trying to find help for a friend with AIDS. Also, I'm looking forward to reading about her college adventure ...more
Bibliotropic
Jul 21, 2016 Bibliotropic rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Mercedes Lackey admitted to writing the Diana Tregarde books because paranormal investigations were big at the time and she had no problem with making a little cash by playing the fads. I'm glad that she did, because although the series isn't fantastic, it's still very entertaining to read through. In this one, Diana is called upon to help with a police investigation of a serial murder, and ends up getting tangled up in the middle of a plot to resurrect ancient Aztec gods into modern-day (or rel ...more
Phoenixfalls
I'm reading the Diana Tregarde novels in chronological order, rather than publication order, so I came to this novel after Children of the Night. Given that, it does feel like a stronger novel -- I was involved right away, rather than spending the first 1/3 wondering if I should bother. Part of that is that I was now used to Lackey's rather purple style, but part was also that there is far less of the stream-of-consciousness italics that so bogged down Children of the Night for me. Part of it is ...more
Angela
Amazon blurb: A sexy witch who writes romances and a police detective who sees more than mortal man team up to battle an ancient Aztec god!

Dallas Police Detective Mark Valdez isn't just any cop, he's a psychic who knows that the cattle mutilations and torture murders he's been investigating are somehow tied together. He also knows that his meager psychic abilities aren't enough to identify the killers, much less stop them.

Luckily, Mark has an ace up his sleeve: an attractive young romance noveli
...more
Ward Bond
Nov 01, 2014 Ward Bond rated it it was amazing
A sexy witch who writes romances and a police detective who sees more than mortal man team up to battle an ancient Aztec god!Dallas Police Detective Mark Valdez isn't just any cop, he's a psychic who knows that the cattle mutilations and torture murders he's been investigating are somehow tied together. He also knows that his meager psychic abilities aren't enough to identify the killers, much less stop them. Luckily, Mark has an ace up his sleeve: an attractive young romance novelist who happen ...more
Jessica
I had a difficult time getting into this book. Why can I completely relate to modern writing and even old style, like Lovecraft or Austen, but give me something after the invention of television but before the Internet, and I am just lost.

Robert and Sherry don't have an ideal marriage. He has talent but no fame and a wandering eye. She has a little boy, a stifled need to create, and turns a blind eye. So when the exotically beautiful Lupe introduces them to her sisters and offers to be Robert's
...more
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Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70's she worked as an artist's model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts &am ...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...

Other Books in the Series

Diana Tregarde (5 books)
  • Arcanum 101
  • Magic 101 (A Diana Tregarde Investigation)
  • Children of the Night (Diana Tregarde, #2)
  • Jinx High (Diana Tregarde, #3)

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“First commandment: there ain't no such thing as "one true way" and the way you find is only good for you, not anybody else, because your interpretation of what you see and feel and understand as the truth is never going to be the same as anyone else's.
Second commandment: the only answers worth having are the ones you find for yourself.
Third commandment: leave the world better than you found it.
Fourth commandment: if it isn't true, going to do some good, or spread a little love around, don't say it, do it, or think it.
Fifth commandment: there are only three things worth living for; love in all it's manifestations, freedom, and the chance to keep humanity going a little while longer. They're the same things worth dying for. And if you aren't willing to die for the things worth living for, you might as well turn in your membership in the human race.”
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“Established religion is like established anything else. It's easy. It offers answers you can get prepackaged and predigested, right off the shelf, and the same for everybody. No thinking required, much less hard thinking. Like a board game--you follow the rules, you go to heaven. That's why established religion gets the assholes. They aren't "good" Christians. I rather doubt they ever gave up a thing they valued for any reason or anybody. People like that aren't good anything. What they believe, they believe because it's appropriate; it's what everybody believes because it's the right thing to do--in short, it's easy. Our way isn't easy. We get assholes too, but they usually give up and get out, or get it knocked out of them.” 37 likes
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