Mini Reviews April 2019

Yeah. I’m still alive. Only busy due to surprise!new job and the cross country move that goes with it. (Well, not quite cross country but far enough to be stressful). So things will be quiet here for a while but I do have a vague hope that the next post won’t be the mini reviews for May.

Enough talk: now for the reviews. This time all novellas by one author: Jess Faraday, who writes about gays and lesbians solving crime with and without magic and that should be so my thing that not being overwhelmed by any of them was slightly depressing.

Jess Faraday – The Affair of the Porcelain Dog

That was nice, nothing more and nothing less. I’m all there for crime novels that just happens to feature a gay character without being a romance but this simply didn’t captivate me. Ira wasn’t particularly likeable, the plot average and a bit too much “Lone wolf character hasn’t slept in ages and got beaten up repeatedly is still running around, gets into fights and solves everything alone”.
As a first novel, it was decent and if you’re into lone wolf stories you will probably enjoy this more than I did.

Jess Faraday – The Left Hand of Justice

Well…this was The Affair of the Porcelain Dog but lesbian, with steampunk, in France and with an inexplicable Inspector Javert as side character. Which sounds like it would be very different but the bare bones are the same: lone wolf against the whole world and all odds. This time our lone wolf even gets a trophy girlfriend at the end, without any real development of their relationship during the book. They meet. She’s hot. She gets abducted. MC saves her. Happy end for everybody.

I know there are people who are into that sort of thing, and I don’t deny that it made for some nice airport-reading (or train-reading in my case) but it was only interesting enough that I preferred finishing it to going through my e-reader library to search for something else.

Jess Faraday – The Strange Case of the Big Sur Benefactor

Unlike the two other two, this isn’t a lone wolf story. The heroine – Rosetta Stein, a translator, yes you can groan now – teams up with her brother Franklin (Frank for short, so he’s Frank Stein, yes you can groan now) and his boyfriend to solve a case. They also get some help from their butler that’s described as ‘as faithful as a hound’ and called Baskerville (yes you can groan now) and after some reluctance also from a Dr Hyde who has some aggression problems (yes you can groan now).

I should be so there for that except…it’s also not really a story. It’s scenes of people interacting and then some background plot thrown in but that gets mostly glossed over/summed up. That’s just not enough. As charming as the characters are, I need an actual plot and not some “oh and by the way then this happened”