The concept: Magic exists. It's always existed. What are you, stupid? But mages and other magic users come under the dominion of the shadowy Circle, an organization that brooks no observation or interference. Their judgement reigns supreme when it comes to magical crime, and anyone who wants to argue... well, they just shouldn't, if they know what's good for them.
Enter the Department of Magical Crimes and Mischief, run by Rhys Owens, a crusty two-thousand-year-old mage with a dislike for the Circle and a desire to see true justice done. His goal is to ensure that magical criminals (ranging from mages to hedgewitches to necromancers to vampires to werewolves) should get their rights and their just desserts. After all, everyone deserves a fair trial, and he doesn't think the Circle cares much about that.
The other members of the decidedly unorthodox DMCM are Theo Sammeth, the son of a former god turned head of the Circle, the Fraser triplets- Adrian, Adrienne, and Adrianna, and the Delvar twins Kale and Trever. The first book brings two new members, Alec Troven and Lan Petrov.
In the first book, the team splits up- one group to investigate a series of ritual murders, and the other to investigate a cave that appears to have been transplanted from northern Wales to the coast of Maine.
In the second book, the team has to deal with two divisive additions to the department as well as some other stuff.
- Abusive Parents: The Fraser's parents are implied to have been like this.
- Action Girl: Adrienne Fraser is the most combat-oriented member of the team, having majored in War Magic in university. She outclasses both her brother and her fiance when it comes to the battlefield.
- Affably Evil: The villain of the first book.
- Amazonian Beauty / Amazon Chaser: Adrienne Fraser is six feet tall, in shape, blonde, gorgeous, and kicks ass both physically and magically. There's no question as to why Theo's attracted to her.
- Bald of Awesome: Rhys. Just Rhys.
- Big Brother Mentor: Adrian has to teach Alec about ritual magic, and this is closest to their relationship. Later it takes on hints of Lover and Beloved, although Adrian is only about ten years older than Alec.
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: Piss off Melkor and you will find yourself ceasing to exist- no one remembers who you are, your bank account doesn't exist, your social security number doesn't exist, and not even your dog recognizes you. Unless you're Rhys. See Unperson below.
- Black Magic: Theo's specialty, though subverted in that he's definitely on the side of good. His father, who shares many of his powers, is more morally ambiguous.
- Bungled Suicide: The victims of the ritual killings in the first book are people who attempted suicide but did not succeed.
- Cast Full of Gay: Rhys, Kale, Adrian, Lan, and Alec are all gay, Adrianna is a lesbian, and Ash is bisexual, which leaves Theo, Adrienne, and Trever as the major straight characters, and if Ash gets his way, Trever will be bi too.
- Cats Are Mean: Veena, Trever's cat familiar causes trouble and tends to be quite selfish. She later has a litter of teleporting kittens.
- Cool Old Guy: Rhys is really old. He's also pretty cool.
- Cool Shades: Theo always wears sunglasses, even at night and indoors. It's because his eyes are highly sensitive to light and without them he's blinded. On the other hand he can see in the dark.
- Cult: Theo has his own cult. He's managed to get them to stop sacrificing virgins to him. They now send him holiday cards and the occasional goat sacrifice.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Theo Sammeth may give off creepy vibes and raise zombies and those pesky undead wards always try to keep him out, but he's a good guy, through and through.
- Everybody Hates Hades: Subverted. Retired death god Melkor isn't a Satan clone or evil, though Rhys, at least, seriously questions his motives. Nor does he go in for fire, brimstone, horns, or pitchforks. Mel is a fairly amiable guy who does a good job of governing the Circle and is fond of his son's fiancee. There's nothing so bad about that, right?
- Extreme Omnivore: Mayhem, one of Veena's kittens, turns out to be this. He eats anything without regard and without harm. It probably helps that he's got some goblin in him.
- Familiar: Veena is Trever's familiar cat. Although she doesn't talk, she does teleport and is quite capable of thinking on her own and causing trouble. Trever carries a photo ID for her.
- Fantastic Religious Weirdness: Christianity exists because Melkor accidentally raised Jesus, but no one believes it. He's rather embarrassed about the entire incident.
- Fluffy Tamer: Trever majored in Magical Species Zoology in college, and it shows. In one of the first scenes in the novel, he's seen befriending a lake monster and is told that no, he can't take it home with him.
- Functional Magic: There are many different kinds of magic, quite a few of which fall under this heading.
- God in Human Form: Theo's dad and Ash-Erikigal both fall into this category, though Ash's powers are far more limited than Melkor's since before the first book he made a nearly-successful attempt to return to full godhood that would have turned the western coast of the United States into a wasteland and the DMCM stopped him.
- Government Agency of Fiction: The Department of Magical Crimes and Mischief, a fictional department of the FBI.
- Happily Married: Adrienne and Theo in the second book.
- Healing Hands: Adrianna's most obvious power.
- Interservice Rivalry: Black Company of the Army and the DMCM often tread in the same areas and neither of them are happy about running into each other.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Theo's mother was originally Ash's fiancee but fell in love with his brother Melkor instead. After sulking for a while, Ash forgave them both and just wanted her to be happy... and encouraged their son Theo to embarrass his father regularly.
- Ley Line: When these start moving, it's a sign that something is going very wrong. Adrian and Rhys are the only team members who can use them.
- Magitek: Kale specializes in creating this.
- Masquerade: Averted, as magic and magical creatures have been a part of everyday life since the world began.
- Missing Mom: Subverted. Theo's mother died in a car accident when he was eight, but Melkor raised her as a ghost and she still helped to raise him.
- Morality Pet: Although he spends a lot of time annoying the members of the DMCM and his status as morally grey is inarguable, Ash-Erikigal really loves his daughter Maya and tries to make sure that her life is as normal as a daughter of a downgraded god's can be.
- Nice Character, Mean Actor: Although known for playing heartthrobs and heroes, Ashley Carrey is a womanizing jerk.
- Noodle Incident: Being exceptionally old and siblings, Ash and Melkor have many of these things which they bring up at times.
- Older Than They Look: Mages and gods in human form are immortal, which means that Melkor, Ash, and Rhys are all far, far older than they look. Melkor and Rhys appear to be in their forties while Rhys is two thousand years old and Melkor is... older, and Ash appears to be in his late twenties and is the same age as Melkor.
- Parental Abandonment: The Fraser's parents died when they were in their teens in a gas leak. Adrienne insists she had nothing to do with it and that nobody can prove anything.
- Playing with Fire: Adrienne's favourite toy. Though a blonde and not a redhead, she fits the fiery personality part of the trope to a T.
- Power Trio: The Fraser triplets, with Adrienne as the Id, Adrian as the Superego, and Adrianna as the Ego.
- Psychic Powers: New DMCM member Lan Petrov has these, including telepathy, empathy, and psychometry. His overuse does occasionally come with nosebleeds but he tries to avoid the stance.
- Official Couple: Theo and Adrienne, since before the first book.
- Reincarnation Romance: According to Ash this is what Trever is for him. Trever refutes this. Though this doesn't stop them from ending up in bed together once in a while. There's just a morning after of 'oh hell, not again'
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Melkor's way of doing things sometimes.
- Sharp Dressed Woman: Adrienne and Adrianna wear suits while on the job, and they're both hot blondes.
- Skunk Stripe: In the same ley line incident that bleaches Adrian's hair, Alec acquires one of these.
- Stalker with a Crush: Since Ash-Erikigal firmly believes that Trever is his reincarnated lover he follows him where ever he goes to be with him.
- Technicolor Eyes: Theo and Ash both have silver eyes, stemming from their divine (or partly divine) natures.
- A sign of a mage-thief is silver sparkles in their eyes which they get after they've recently 'fed' on another mage. Alec has these when he first meets Rhys.
- The Chick: Adrianna Fraser serves as the healer and emotional support for the team, and she's not even as action-oriented as her brother is. However, when she has reason to- and it's difficult to get her to this stage- she can take you apart as easily as she can put you together.
- The Fashionista: Adrienne loves clothes and the fact that being engaged to Theo gives her tons of opportunities to dress up.
- The Twink: Alec and Lan could both fall under this heading.
- Team Mom: Adrianna takes good care of the rest of the DMCM and even some of their family members. She keeps them organized and on-task, and usually cleans up the mess when something goes awry.
- Theme Triplet Naming: Adrian, Adrienne, and Adrianna. Says Adrienne, 'Our parents didn't have much imagination'.
- Unperson: What Melkor does to you when you Really Piss Him Off.
- Virgin Sacrifice: A component of some rituals, specifically the fertility rite that Ash-Erikigal used to ensure that the blight that came from his draining the West Coast's life energy to return to godhood wouldn't spread too far. He says the virgins were willing, but it's uncertain.