Friday, June 20, 2014

Inspector Hobbes and the Curse by Wilkie Martin

Main character:  Andy Caplet, a 30-something out of work journalist; Inspector Hobbes, unhuman policeman 
Location:  Sorenchester, a small village in England 
Time period:  contemporary 
Genre:  Humorous supernatural British cozy mystery 

What a mash-up this is! A British cozy mystery with a supernatural element and a lot of word play.  I found it delightful, but I'll admit it won't necessarily appeal to every taste. 

From the beginning, there is a definite call-back to the Sherlock Holmes template.  You have your all-knowing yet unknowable detective, the biographer side-kick, and the incomparable housekeeper.  In this case, the detective in Inspector Hobbes, a large man who is an excellent Inspector, incredibly long-lived (he fought in the First World War) and definitely unhuman, though we don't know exactly what he is.  We do know that he's not a werewolf, however.  The sidekick is Andy Caplet, a 30-something out-of-work journalist who was has been welcomed into Hobbes' household.  Andy is terribly klutzy, socially awkward, and not always very sure of Hobbes.  But he's got a good heart.  And in the Mrs. Hudson role, we have Mrs. Goodfellow--an excellent cook who teaches karate and collects teeth as a hobby. 

I missed the first book in this series, so I don't know if we learned anything more about Hobbes there.  I suspect that there will be slow hints parceled out over the entire series, however long it lasts. 

The peaceful village of Sorenchester is being threatened.  The wealthy London businessman Felix King has his eye on certain properties and he doesn't take no for an answer.  At the same time, people begin reporting two large cats--panthers, maybe--attacking livestock on the edges of town.  The mystery is not that challenging, but this is the kind of mystery book where the mystery is not the most important thing--the characters and the humor is.  

I quite enjoyed Inspector Hobbes and the Curse; it was just what I was in the mood for at the time.  I read it as an e-ARC from NetGalley.

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