The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin

The Grendel Affair (SPI Files, #1) by Lisa Shearin

Title: The Grendel Affair
Author: Lisa Shearin
Series: SPI Files #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 18th – 21st August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Because I’d failed.


We’re supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…

When I moved to New York to become a world-famous jounralist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change my career path from trashy reporter to undercover agent. I’m Makenna Fraser, a seer for SPI. I can see through any disguise, shield, or spell that a paranormal pest can come up with. I track down creatures, and my partner, Ian Byrne, takes them out.

Our cases are generally pretty routine, but a sickle-wielding serial killer has been prowling the city’s subway tunnels. And the murderer’s not human. The fiend in question, a descendant of Grendel – yes, that Grendel – shares his ancestor’s hatred of parties, revelry, and drunkards. And with New Year’s Eve in Times Square only two days away, we need to bag him quickly. Because if we don’t find him – and the organization behind him – by midnight, our secret’s out ad everyone’s time is up.


I read the novella Lucky Charms a very long time ago. By the time I got this book, I’d honestly forgotten how much I liked the story and idea of Mac the seer and special agent. It didn’t take me many pages to regain that sense of happiness and intrigue inspired by my first taste of Lisa Shearin.

I always love stories that just drop you straight into the drama. The Grendel Affair does this – it starts with Mac hunting a gnome creature with booze. So yeah, it also started with a good, fun dose of humour. Nothing like some sass and off kilter hunting humour to start a novel and truly pull you in.

As the story unfolds, you can feel the partnership between Mac and Ian strengthen. It was really nice starting the tale with Mac being seriously insecure and a little uncomfortable around her partner. Then slowly building that trust between them. It makes me ridiculously keen to dig into the next book in this series so I can see how their relationship and partnership continues to grow.

I’ll admit, I’ve never read Beowulf (it’s on my very long list). But I immediately recognised the name Grendel. And I knew that it was Scandinavian. The way that Shearin uses this mythos and literature is incredibly fun and a perfect blending of lore and contemporary reality. I seriously loved this mix and can’t wait to see what happens next (although I might miss the mad Scandinavian Rolf in The Dragon Conspiracy).

<- Lucky CharmsThe Dragon Conspiracy ->

Image source: Goodreads

11 thoughts on “The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin

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