As a crime wave breaks in the quiet Cotswold streets, Andy Caplet, a failed reporter, is reluctantly immersed in Inspector Hobbes's investigation. Allergic to danger and exercise, Andy is thrown into grave confusion as he discovers not everyone is human. Not only must he come to terms with Hobbes's extreme oddness, and the tooth-collection of Hobbes's housekeeper, the indomitable Mrs Goodfellow, but he must work out if a suicide, a murder, and several robberies are connected? And what is the connection?
Hobbes goes missing. The cops decide he's big and bad enough to look after himself, but Andy, striving against deep-rooted incompetence and clumsiness, sets out to find him. With a big bad dog to assist, armed only with a leg of lamb, and despite losing his trousers, he discovers the key to the mystery is in the blood. But whose blood? Where is Hobbes? And can he catch vampirism off false teeth?
This is the first in Wilkie Martin's unhuman series of fast-paced, comic fantasy crime adventures, with lashings of great food.
'Odd, inventive, and genuinely very funny indeed' Cotswold Life
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was disappointed with this book, on the whole, as I was expecting something along the lines of Ben Aaronivitch's PC Peter Grant series and this really isn't that. On the surface they seem to have a similar premise - all is not what it seems and myth and magic collide just out of sight of human eyes. It is just a shame that Me Martin's take on this is much less well thought through and the myth and magic is just bolted in to a regular small town scenario. There are also no real reveals in the book, hinted at heavily but no outright acknowledgment. Initially this works well as Andy is more than a bit gormless so you go with it as we are seeing things from his perspective. As things progress it starts to become a wee bit tedious, it is obvious what Hobbes is and now Andy has met the Ghouls and The Olde Troll why not just fess up? The crime caper element of the story is marginally more successful with home break-ins, a daring raid on the local museum and even a smash and grab at the local church. What do the items stolen have in common? Why did the thieves not cover their tracks by taking a selection of random items to hide what they were really up to? The second question, alas, is never answered but the first one is with a great big shovelful of related, but worthless, information accompanying it. The only thing that really saved the novel from being unfinished and flung in a corner was the characters. There are definitely a large number of eccentrics living in this sleepy little town. Hobbes and Andy are the central characters but they are somewhat eclipsed by Dregs The Dog, who steals each and every scene he appears in. Even after a whole book I still don't really know Hobbes, which is a problem when it comes to making you want to pick up the next in a continuing series. This is doubly so when the main character is so hopelessly bumbling that all I really want to do is shake and slap him. I think I may have been over-forgiving when I jotted 3 Stars down in my notebook against this title. However, that was my immediate reaction on completing the book so I will stick with it. Must say I am regretting buying the boxed set of the first 3 books now as reading another doesn't fill me with joy.
I bought this first book just on a hope it would be something special, little did I know it was a start of a great adventure! The narrator is a complete failure in most things in life who is a reporter for a local paper in a weird English town that seems different from any other. He is sent to work with Inspector Hobbs as either a joke or an mean prank. Hobbs has been working with the police for a long time, barely aging and most of the reporters are afraid of him. But this reporter will find him to be generous, kind and giving, as well as scary, and nothing like anyone he has ever met. He seems to cover cases that are just weird and the people involved are not normal humans. In fact he learns that there are citizens who are not regular humans but they seem decent and he sees no reason to out them to others. He loses his job, comes to live with Hobbs and the true adventure into the world of fantasy people who turn out to be real begins. Hobbes' housekeeper takes him under her wing as well and he is fed and clothed in a manner he has only dreamed of. If you like paranormal mysteries that are not frightening but instead, full of wonder and interesting creatures, you'll love these books. You will laugh often, but they do have good mysteries as well. Welcome to a world you have never dreamed of but once you find it, you'll wish it were true.
I love this series. Andy is just hilarious. Hobbes is scary and funny. ???