STARRED REVIEW
July 2019

Mysteries with a fantastical twist

Feature by
A nontraditional take on Holmes and Watson and a sci-fi thriller overflowing with attitude will hook any reader.
STARRED REVIEW
July 2019

Mysteries with a fantastical twist

Feature by
A nontraditional take on Holmes and Watson and a sci-fi thriller overflowing with attitude will hook any reader.
July 2019

Mysteries with a fantastical twist

Feature by
A nontraditional take on Holmes and Watson and a sci-fi thriller overflowing with attitude will hook any reader.
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A nontraditional take on Holmes and Watson and a sci-fi thriller overflowing with attitude will hook any reader.


In Khelathra-Ven, a city surrounded by portals to other universes, the only limit to the types of people one might meet is the imagination. Alexis Hall’s The Affair of the Mysterious Letter finds Captain John Wyndham, a war veteran with few options left, returning to Khelathra-Ven and moving into an apartment at 221B Martyrs Walk. However, his new roommate is different from any other he’s had, because Miss Shaharazad Haas is a sorceress. A consulting sorceress, to be precise. Unpredictable and strong-willed, Haas immediately pulls Wyndham into solving the case of who’s blackmailing one of Haas’ former lovers. Traveling across the multiverse and getting into more than a little bit of trouble, Wyndham and Haas must discover the identity of the blackmailer before the ever-
changing reality of Khelathra–Ven obscures it forever.

A Sherlock Holmes story through and through, The Affair of the Mysterious Letter takes the idea of homage to a completely different level. The genius of it is how closely Hall sticks to the voice of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. The book is written as though Wyndham is writing a retro-spective serial for a future publication, so his words are straight out of Victorian England. He even eschews any foul language and inserts his own editorial filters for the sake of sparing his audience. Of course, ghoulish apparitions, necromancers with low self-esteem and other interdimensional nightmares contrast completely with his tone, leading to some absolutely hilarious juxtapositions. Wyndham is just as prudish as Watson, and reading his reactions to some of Haas’ theatrics will have readers in stitches. This book is simply magic from cover to cover.

Equally unique in tone is Jackson Ford’s surprising The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t With Her Mind. Teagan Frost, a young woman with telekinetic powers and a sarcastic streak, is part of a clandestine operation run by the government. As she’s considered to be one of a kind, Teagan is the star of the show until a man is murdered in a way only a telekinetic could achieve. With the government assuming her guilt, Teagan has just one day to discover who the murderer is and clear her name. But at the same time, she secretly hopes she will find something else—someone like her.

Teagan has such a strong identity, complete with the typical slang and profanity of any 20-something living in Los Angeles, that the reader is totally immersed even as the action charges forward. Ford’s breakneck pace keeps the tension high, and the thrills coming the whole way through. Every decision or mistake feels incredibly impactful as Teagan and her team avoid the cops while searching for the answers they desperately need. Teagan’s jokes, internal monologue and pop culture references are sure to please those looking for an adventure with a digestible amount of sci-fi thrown in.

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