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Literature / Morris and Chastain Investigations

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The Morris and Chastain Investigations are a series of paranormal detective novels by Justin Gustainis.

Quincey Morris is a jack-of-all-trades, supernaturally speaking, and Libby Chastain is a white witch. They work together, for hire, to protect people from black magic.

The book series consists at this point of:

  • Black Magic Woman
  • Evil Ways
  • Sympathy for the Devil
  • Play With Fire
  • Midnight at the Oasis

This series contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Blood Magic: Used by both black magic practitioners and white, for different reasons and with different results.
  • Catchphrase: Morris has a number of folksy Texas turns of phrase, such as "podner," "y'all" and "howdy".
  • Crazy-Prepared: Maybe not to Batman levels, by his own admisssion, but Quincey is very, very careful when casing his targets. Libby is also her own sort of prepared.
  • Damsel in Distress: Libby ends up in mortal peril once a book so Quincey can ride to the rescue, but she subverts it by trying to rescue herself when she can.
  • Demonic Possession: How demons prefer to operate to accomplish their goals.
  • Eye Scream: A possession victim rams her fingers into the eyes of one of the priests performing an exorcism on her, destroying them completely.
  • Fair Cop: Colleen O'Donnell.
  • Follow That Car: Lampshaded by a cabbie who thinks the person making the request is joking with him.
  • Guns Akimbo: Hannah Widmark is trained in using handguns this way.
  • Newspaper-Thin Disguise: It was actually a copy of Forbes magazine.
  • No Bisexuals: Subverted. Libby Chastain's preferences indicate she has romantic interest in both men and women.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Morris and one of his friends intentionally invoke this trope for various reasons, putting accents on and off as needed.
  • Paranormal Investigation
  • Professional Killer: A handful of them go after Libby's co-practitioners.
  • Revenge: Lots and lots of it.
    • Garth's motive for coming to America to help with a serial killer case in the first book, and although he's also partly interested in protecting others from the killer, it's still mostly Best Served Cold when he finds the bad guy.
    • Likewise, Pardee picking a particular victim for his ritual is also revenge.
    • And Hannah also has some revenge motive.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend / He Is Not My Boyfriend: Multiple times a book.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In Evil Ways, Quincey and Libby head to a certain pub in Chicago to meet up with a certain local, Harry the wizard who can't easily be reached by phone.
      • They then proceed to a supernatural-aware bar that is designed to dissipate magical energy released on the property, and that has been declared neutral ground to the supernatural community. The Clincher? It's run by a man named Mac. Practically the only difference between the two stories is that in this one Mac does talk.
    • Also in Evil Ways, Quincey, Libby and Hannah seek out a man named Frank who owns a quiet little joint, The Ouroboros Bar & Grille. Upon leaving, Hannah exchanges a fist bump with Frank, along with the words, "This is Who We Are" (Millennium (1996)).
      • Libby and Quincey are stalked by Hit Men Charlie and Lee, who strongly resemble the eponymous characters of the 1964 film The Killers. Charlie's dying words to Libby, "Lady, I haven't got the time," are almost identical to the character's last line in the film.
      • A pair of Hit Men named Winter and Kittredge stalk and kill white witches. These names are the aliases used by Detroit "torpedoes" Wint and Kidd in the James Bond novel Diamonds Are Forever.
    • In Sympathy for the Devil, a politican makes a speech at Bannerman High School in Castle Rock, Maine, setting of many of Stephen King's stories.
  • Spin-Offspring: Quincey Morris is the several generations removed great grandson of the Quincey Morris who faced Dracula.
  • Telecom Tree: The white witches in Evil Ways bring one to action when they perceive a threat against them, although theirs is magical.
  • Theme Naming: The titles of the novels in the series are from song titles. The first two are by Carlos Santana, the second two are by the Rolling Stones, and the fifth one is by Maria Muldaur.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Subverted! Libby doesn't use the, er breast pocket, she instead keeps a charged wand up her vagina for emergencies and when her body is unoccupied due to astral projection.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Quincey actually has a phobia for snakes, after being bitten by one as a child. Libby's is for bats.
  • Wunza Plot: He's a cowboy detective! She's a white witch!