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by Simon R. Green

Pub Date: June 3rd, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-451-41431-1
Publisher: ROC/Penguin

A likable addition to a supernatural series (Casino Infernale, 2013, etc.; each volume is understandable even if you haven't read the others) about Eddie Drood and his family, whose self-appointed vocation is to protect ordinary humans from otherworldly nasties.

This time out, Eddie, in his private-eye persona of Shaman Bond (modeled on James Bond, of course), must go to London’s Wulfshead Club, where a series of unfortunate information leakages has taken place. He soon solves that one, but there are plenty of other items on the agenda. His recently deceased grandmother, the Drood Matriarch, bequeaths him a mysterious box that she promises will make him Patriarch of the family. Such a prospect holds no appeal, so Eddie takes the box but doesn’t open it. The Merlin Glass, the magical doorway that allows Eddie to hop between dimensions, appears to have developed a will of its own. Worse still, Eddie and sidekick/girlfriend/witch Molly Metcalf are summoned to the government’s Department of Uncanny, where Eddie’s grandfather is Regent of Shadows—or, rather, was, since the supposedly unkillable Regent is now dead, slaughtered horribly along with his entire staff. And everybody who's anybody is blaming Eddie and Molly. Next, a disembodied Voice announces that it's kidnapped Eddie’s parents, and if he wants to see them again, he'd better locate and hand over the Lazarus Stone, an object that has the power to bring people back from the past. To learn more, our heroes must interrogate the dreaded Drood in Cell 13. Via some patient—well, OK, violent—sleuthing, Eddie and Molly learn that the irresistibly alluring and unfortunately elusive Lady Faire has the item in question—and she’s not about to let it go. Tons of plot, nonstop semicomic action, and further revelations about the entire Drood brood and their mysterious mission—what’s not to enjoy?

Close to the best of a fun series.