Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #1) by Ilona Andrews
Dina, the Innkeeper, is a delightful protagonist. She is equal parts sassy and competent - her character growth comes from being caught in precarious situations due to outside power, and not making stupid decisions. It’s refreshing how competent she is. She is virtually unstoppable when in her own inn, makes intelligent, rational decisions, knowledgeable about her magical world and motivated by the desire to find her parents (who vanished years ago).
Plus, there are delightful references to pop culture that goes over most of the characters’ heads, but hit home for the readers. :)
Andrews has done some unique world-building with the Innkeeper Chronicles. I love the unique take on werewolves and vampires - aliens from other planets with histories distinctly different from Earth. Like (some of) the characters, the reader discovers more about the vast world throughout the novel, but Dina is always grounded in her reality. (Hence, her competence.)
Did I mention she gets to walk around in a comfy robe (her official uniform) and beat intruders with her broom (it’s magic)?
I devoured this novel in 24 hours, eager for more.