Monday, July 13, 2015

The Deathsniffer's Assistant

I just finished doing the dishes from dinner.  I made a breakfast dinner (one of my parent's favorites).  I am trying to fatten up my parents and the best way to do that is by cooking them special dinners (instead of popping a TV dinner in the microwave).  My father especially needs to gain a little weight and keep up his strength (he has heart issues).  The dogs enjoyed the dinner as well (even the eggs).

The Deathsniffer’s Assistant by Kate McIntyre (Faraday Files Book One) is a novel set in a Victorian-type world where people have unique abilities (they also have flying carriages and salamanders that provide electricity).  Everyone (except the very rich) are categorized (to see what their abilities are and have them registered).  Christopher Buckley (just nineteen) has been raising his sister, Rosemary since the death of their parents six years earlier (with the help of their financier, Fernand Spencer).  Their parents died in the notorious Floating Castle incident.

 Christopher has been classified as a word weaver (one of the lowest classifications) and has been desperately trying to find a job (their family money is nearly gone).  Christopher responds to an advertisement as an assistant to O. Faraday, Deathsniffer (which is a truthsniffer who deals with murder investigations).  Most people look down upon deathsniffer’s, but beggars cannot be choosers.   Christopher arrives at the interview and meets Olivia (he does not put it together that she is O. Faraday).  She likes him and agrees to hire him (that is when he finds out that she is the deathsniffer).  Olivia is quite flamboyant, energetic, and intelligent.  She does not hold with all the conventions of society (politeness, etiquette, and rules) which Christopher (and most of society) like to follow.

Their first case together is the murder of Duke Viktor val Daren.  His wife, Evelyn wants to find out who killed her husband (deathsniffer’s work with the police to solve crimes).  Olivia dives immediately into the investigation.  They interview the wife, the daughter (Lady Analaae val Daren), the current mistress (Vanessa Caldwell), and the daughter’s boyfriend (Ethan Grey) as well as the man to whom the val Daren’s owe money.  Things are pointing one direction, but Olivia feels that something is off.  She is determined to figure it out.  However, the killer is now threatening Christopher and Rosemary (his sister).  Then Lady Analaae is found murdered in a brutal fashion.  Olivia and Christopher need to solve this case quickly.  Who is the killer and will they find him/her in time?

Christopher is also having to deal with his sister, Rosemary and her talents.  Rosemary is a binder as well as a wizard (a strong one).  Talents are decreasing in people, so someone with strong talents is desperately needed.  Rosemary is only thirteen and Christopher wants to protect her.  If the wrong person gets ahold of his sister, they will use her up (and toss her away).  Christopher employs a governess, Rachel Albany to educate his sister and help keep her safe.  Will they succeed or will Rosemary get into the wrong hands (of course, they also have to keep her safe from the killer)?

I liked The Deathsniffer’s Assistant (especially the murder mystery), but did not love it.  It is a very confusing story and it is lacking in explanations (about the magic, the time period, and the different categories).  Olivia is an over-the-top character (though I do enjoy some of her phrases) and goes into long detailed speeches (we also get extremely detailed information on each and every outfit she wears).  I believe the book could do with some editing (eliminating many paragraphs).  It has the makings of a great book and the beginning of a delightful series (just needs a little tweaking).  I give The Deathsniffer’s Assistant 3.5 out of 5 stars.  The mystery (despite some misleading clues) is very easy to solve.  Follow your instinct on who the killer really is and you will probably be right (the deathsniffer may not always be right)!

I received a complimentary copy of The Deathsniffer’s Assistant from Curiosity Quills Press in exchange for an honest review.  The review and opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you.  I do have some great news to share.  I have been lucky enough to have been picked to be on two review crews.  The authors are Ellery Adams and Diana Lesire Brandmeyer.  Ellery Adams writes cozy mysteries (and you know how much I love cozies) and Diana Lesire Brandmeyer writes Christian fiction.  Have a relaxing evening and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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