The Death Sniffer's Assistant
by Kate McIntyre
Curiosity Quills Press (Division of Whampa,LLC)
Copyright 2015 Kate McIntyre
ISBN 978-1-62007-908-9 (eBook)
ISBN 978-62007-909-6 (paperback)
ISBN 978-1-62007-910-2 (hardcover)
Amazon Kindle version $4.99 / paperback version $7.36
Elemental spirits in the City of Darrington controlling the powers of air, water, fire, and earth bound by spirit-binders to serve men underscore this classic murder mystery. Rampaging elements are causing severe physical and structural damage in inverse proportion to mankind’s declining ability to bind them effectively. An early result of this decline was the crash of the ‘Floating Castle’ causing the deaths of all aboard including Michael Buckley, the leading promoter of the floating castle and his wife, Julia Buckley. Political chaos has reigned for the six years since the tragedy as the Traditionalists and the Reformists square off over the issue of continuing to use magic to bind elementals to do man’s bidding.
Chris Buckley, Michael and Julia’s son, assumes responsible for his younger sister after their parent’s death. Rosemary Buckley at thirteen, has binding powers that Chris knows must be hidden, but he has no idea how strong Rosemary’s powers actually are, or how determined Rosemary is to use them. Chris, normally a passive young man with a passion for excessive politeness, takes a job as an assistant to Olivia Faraday, a deathsniffer (a detective who investigates murders). Olivia’s matter-of-fact moody personality is a rude awaking for the extremely reserved Chris Buckley, as is the practice of deathsniffing an equally rude awakening for him; one that conflicts strongly with Chris’ polite personality and eventually leads him to death’s door. Working for Olivia also creates conflicts for Chris who sees his priority mission as protecting his sister from being caught-up in the political fight between the Traditionalists and the Reformists. Conflicts also exist with Rosemary who, politics aside, wants to use her binding powers to help keep the raging elementals under control.
Written with characters overflowing with personality and personal mystery; sometimes humorous but always practical and sometimes even sympathetic, the characters hold the reader’s interest. The story is entertaining and is a classical murder mystery sandwiched between slices of politics, elemental violence and the Buckley’s family issues. There is sufficient complexity and danger to satisfy adventure readers, a murder to solve to satisfy mystery fans, and enough magic to satisfy fantasy lovers –written as though the story occurred in the English Edwardian period. Altogether, it is an excellent book with plenty of room at the end for more. Five stars. Clabe Polk
Clabe Polk is into a second career as a fiction author. He has taken more than thirty-seven years of professional managerial experience, scientific background, a lifetime of practical skills, his love of reading, research and writing and combined them into action stories about real people told in a tongue-in-cheek style all his own.
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