Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Burning Water (Diana Tregarde, #1)” as Want to Read:
Burning Water (Diana Tregarde, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Burning Water

(Diana Tregarde #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  5,371 ratings  ·  141 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
Paperback, 314 pages
Published February 15th 1989 by Tor Books (first published 1989)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Burning Water, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Burning Water

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,371 ratings  ·  141 reviews

More filters
Sort order
This is the first book in the Diana Tregarde series but the book didn’t quite feel like Di was the main character. It was more about Mark and his observation of Di as she helps him solve some killings in Dallas. The book was released in 1989 and you can tell it was. There are some definite points that show its age but that also help give it a fantastical feel which is exactly what this book is – paranormal goodness.

The book is really good and full of action, history and relationships. The story
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!

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
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Adrienne Hautamaki
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!
I love the Diana Tregarde books, and this one is 2nd only to *Children of the Night*.
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
Jan 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Stephanie Jobe
Feb 28, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Sep 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
***Dave Hill
Dec 25, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 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!

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
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
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.
Kathy Davie
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You'd never believe it was the same author. A bit like Anita Blake but much softer although just as deadly.
I enjoyed the Aztec flavouring.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rereading this after a few years solely because of how much I loved Diana despite not remembering a single thing about the books, so now to give it a proper review. This book is listed as number 1 in the series, due to it being published as such. However, I accidentally read Children of the Night, the second book in the series before this one, and I'd recommend going that route. Children Of The Night is actually a prequel to this, explains a lot of stuff that was only referenced vaguely here, an ...more
Angel Ludwig
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book

My caveat is that the Kindle version appears to be a scanned upload of the hard copy version and they didn’t QC the scan very well. Having read this when it originally came out,and knowing a lot of the issues arising from HC scans, I can tell it needs a serious edit pass. Probably two, to fully clean it up to the original’s standard.

That said, love the characters, she found a solid way to wrap up her expert’s lack of semi-immediate tracking to the correct mythology so she could legitim
Liane W
This is the first by Mercedes Lackey I have ever read, and for the most part I enjoyed it. Of course, it's pretty dated now since I think it was published in about 1988. I was interested in the story, and it flowed along pretty well until the end, at which point, it just....ended. It seemed really abrupt to me, like the author thought that it was time for it to be over, so it just was. There really wasn't much closure in the story in my opinion. I have a compilation of these books so I will read ...more
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maddie Cramer
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is a fast-moving book compared to what I've been reading recently, but it's surprisingly detailed for a mystery novel. There are a few digressions and a bit of dated language, but Lackey's writing is compelling as well as realistic. Mark and Diana are both organic and fully developed, which drives the plot. Quite a bit of dramatic irony at the end, but that only made it more exciting to read. I'd give it four stars just for the realism, but it has a well-crafted plot to go with it. A good p ...more
Nov 16, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book because I liked Firebird so much but her storytelling skill just doesn't translate as well to modern times. It's hard to explain but the reason the mystery doesn't get solved is literally "magic made me forget to check the most obvious thing." I love a good mystery and that does not make a mystery good.

Oh, and she compares Wiccans to Holocaust survivors. I have no words.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This novel reads like a police procedural. Follow a detective and his witch assistant solve a string of murders involving supernatural elements. The reader is clued in at the beginning who the killer is but the dynamic duo, Diana Tregarde and Detective Mark Valdez, take nearly the whole book to solve the puzzle (because magic!). One of Mercedes Lackey's earlier works, and if you love her writing you might like this book.
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Overall this was a really good book. Great magic system, and really interesting storyline.

One minor quibble was the repeated use of an old British slang term from WW I by the Dallas PD which just seemed really REALLY out of place. May be accurate, but didn't work for me.

But all in all it was really enjoyable. Still need to find the 3rd, but at least I've got the next book in the series.
I really wanted to like this book
It was really boring, I had to force myself to finish
I liked the premise, a medium and a witch but the chapters dragged on and on with heavy descriptions, no action.
All talk no play.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed a different universe. Reading it decades later made the “real world” setting feel like a fun throwback.
(Oops- checked pub date. It was kind of a throw back setting. Still, a lack of ubiquitous cellphones and old computers)
Good mystery with a seriously creepy villain. Interesting detecting processes. The author had to have done a ton of research into the practices of the ancient Aztecs, which were gruesome, and she presented it well, blending it into the mystery in an interesting way.
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely love this series; I wish Lackey had written more.
DNF 36% (at Ch. 6)
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Urban fantasy. [s] 5 30 Aug 09, 2019 09:18AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Valdemar Companion
  • Long Hot Summoning (Keeper Chronicles #3)
  • In Celebration of Lammas Night
  • Tiger Burning Bright
  • Elvenborn (Halfblood Chronicles, #3)
  • Bedlam Boyz (Bedlam's Bard, #3)
  • If I Pay Thee Not in Gold
  • Spiritride (SERRAted Edge #7)
  • The Ship Who Searched (Brainship, #3)
  • Black Magic Woman (Quincey Morris, #1)
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

Diana Tregarde (5 books)
  • Arcanum 101  (Diana Tregarde, #0.3)
  • Magic 101 (A Diana Tregarde Investigation Boxset)
  • Children of the Night (Diana Tregarde, #2)
  • Jinx High (Diana Tregarde, #3)
“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.”
“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.” 39 likes
More quotes…