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Dead man's hand
2022
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Library Journal Review
DEBUT Auditors, the most skilled magical beings, are enforcers of the magical community in Boston for The Department of Unorthodox Affairs. Grimshaw Griswald Grimsby spent his youth training to become one of those elite, only to be dismissed by Samantha Mansgraf, one of the most powerful witches in the Department. When Mansgraf is found murdered, Grimsby becomes a suspect. Clearing his name will take all of Grimsby's talent, along with some assistance from the legendary Huntsman and an unusual resident of Elsewhere, the magical space that overlays the regular world. As Grimsby searches for the truth, he will discover a complex plot that would not only take away his freedom, but impact both the supernatural Unorthodox and common Usual residents of his city. Butcher's outcast protagonist and city setting ground the prose even as the mysterious Elsewhere introduces even more unusual action and questions for the future. VERDICT This debut from Butcher (son of "Dresden Files" novelist Jim Butcher) hits all the right notes for an entertaining urban fantasy series. Readers will want to see what happens next.--Kristi Chadwick
Publishers Weekly Review
Butcher, the son of bestseller Jim Butcher, puts a fun twist on hard-boiled urban fantasy thrills in his debut. Hero Grimshaw Griswald Grimsby is a failure who was scrubbed from the Auditor program of the Department of Unorthodox Affairs and now uses his meager magical talents to entertain children at Mighty Magic Donald's Food Kingdom. Despite his paltry skill set, Grimsby is implicated in the murder of powerful Auditor Samantha Mansgraf, who, in her last moments, used her own blood to scrawl his name. Mansgraf's retired ex-partner, Leslie Mayflower, aka the Huntsman, rapidly concludes that Grimsby would have been no threat to Mansgraf, but as the Hunstman isn't magical himself, he reluctantly brings Grimsby along to search for clues in Mansgraf's lair outside of Boston. Together, this unlikely duo find reference to a mysterious Hand and face off against mechanical/magical constructs, succubi, and Department personnel on their way to solving the crime. While not a true coward, Grimsby's understandable fear in the face of players who are all more powerful than he is makes him an accessible hero ("He tried to steel himself, but it ended up feeling more like tinfoiling himself"). This is sure to capture genre fans. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary. (Oct.)
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