Got a book recommendation for you this morning.
Back Cover Blurb
When the Night Foxes boldly break into the Fourth Precinct’s Evidence Building, it causes quite the stir. The break-in is daring enough, but their method shreds the magical wards and protections on the building like confetti paper. To say the police are ‘alarmed’ by this is the understatement of the century.
As a Magical Examiner, Henri Davenforth is of course immediately called in. Quite to his astonishment, Captain Gregson has him work the case like a detective. Even more astounding, he assigns Henri a partner.
The Shinigami Detective.
The woman is famous for killing the most destructive rogue witch of the century, and no one is quite certain where she’s from. Every officer in the precinct is either in awe of her or a little frightened by her. Henri is just baffled. What is he supposed to do with a partner?
Hopefully killing one witch makes Jamie Edwards enough of an expert on magic to be helpful, as the thieves aren’t content to just break into one building. They in fact seem to have an agenda, as with each theft, they take magical objects. It’s all mounting to a dangerously powerful magical construct capable of toppling the wards on any building.
And no one has any idea what the thieves’ true target is.
This is one of those odd books that’s difficult to explain. Technically speaking, there is no twist here. It is exactly what it says it is – Jamie Edwards, an FBI agent, is transported to a world similar to Ankh Morpork on the verge of industrial revolution but without the blistering social commentary. She can’t go home, so she becomes a detective in the local police force and partners with Henri Davenforth, a CSI wizard. We’ve seen stuff like this before. The mystery is well done, although the conclusion needed to be stronger, but again, there is nothing about the plot or setting that makes for an effective elevator pitch.
Yet there is something about this book that made it an instant comfort read for me. Seriously, I couldn’t stop reading the damn thing. The other day I was exhausted and I’m on a diet so no sweets or processed carbs, but I was so mentally wrung out that I needed something. I made a cup of green tea and stole a Madeline cookie from the kitchen. I drank my tea and ate my cookie and it was almost medicinal in its effect. This book is like that.
I think it must be the characters. Both Jamie and Henri are just so likable and so very human.
Jamie’s been dealt a crappy hand and she’s making the best of it in a society where dwarves and werefoxes are common place but women in pants are not. She’s managed to not only survive but succeed, and she does it with a sense of humor and commitment that makes her admirable. You know instantly that if you’re in trouble, Jamie will run through a wall to save you – literally, there is some magic involved – and she would do it without ever asking your name. Just the fact that you are in trouble is enough.
Henri Davenforth is a genius wizard, a gentleman in the traditional sense of the word, and a food fiend. The man knows the menu of every good restaurant int he city off the top of his head. He also possessed an innate sense of fairness.
The interactions between the two are hilarious. At some point Jamie offers to pay for her food, and Henri’s brilliant brain explodes because he can’t compute that a lady would ever purchase her own meal when a gentleman is present. Then she drives him around the city in a car and he nearly has a heart attack, because 35 miles per hour is a ridiculously reckless speed and no sane person could possibly volunteer to go that fast. There is clearly an attraction between the two but it is the slowest slow-burn in history, because Henri is very much a gentleman and he spends a lot of the novel trying to keep Jamie alive. But she stole his chocolate and lived, so there must be something there.
For me, this will likely be something I reread once in a while. As always, your mileage may vary. The book is pricey by self-pub standards, clocking at around $6.99, so I strongly recommend reading the sample before you commit.
Author’s website: http://www.honorraconteur.com/