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The Mysteries Paperback – December 27, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (December 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055358734X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553587340
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,356,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Despite its contemporary settings (Scotland, London and Texas), Tuttle's superlative dark fantasy, her first novel since The Pillow Friend (1996), draws on the classic, largely Celtic folklore of people who vanish mysteriously because they have gone to the realm of the sidhe—the fairy folk. Some never return, at least not to their families. Others can be found again, such as Amy Schneider, rescued by the engaging Ian Kennedy, who took up a career of tracing such persons after going in search of his missing father. Some, like the melancholy woman who calls herself Fred, won't stay in the mundane world even if you try to force them. Ian is afraid this might be the trouble with his latest quarry, the beautiful Peri Lensky. Complications arise when Peri's boyfriend, Hugh Bell-Rivers, says she may have gone off with a man named Mider, which happens to be the name of a sidhe king. All the while, Ian is tormented by the disappearance of his own true love, Jenny Macedo, some years before. Tuttle has total command of setting, style and her folklore sources. The ambiguous ending holds out hope for both Ian and the reader. In a field overflowing with sequels, it's refreshing to find a fantasy that truly merits one.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

The award-winning Tuttle, a native Texan who now lives in Scotland, has written 15 novels for adults and children, including Lost Futures and The Pillow Friend. The Mysteries proves she’s “at the top of her craft” (Rocky Mountain News). Mixing fantastical elements into a detective tale, Tuttle weaves a fascinating story of strange disappearances set against ancient Celtic folklore. She also delves deeply into Ian Kennedy’s psychology-the emotions surrounding his long-missing lover, his father’s disappearance, and his steadfast mission to find missing persons, at all costs. The brief chapters about past disappearances sprinkled throughout the narrative add interesting, if unrelated, subplots. Yet even these barely detract from a novel that, at its core, examines how we make choices that take us far beyond our earthly existence.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

Overall, the pacing of the story is excellent.
John W. Oliver
Other little things happen that aren't described well enough or simply too strange and out of place even for this book.
S. Morales
The ending was a disappointment, it's almost like the author just gave up.
S. peck

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John W. Oliver on May 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I picked up the book originally because. George R. R. Martin mentioned on his website that he was reading this book, and he seemed supportive of the author. Being a fan of the Song of Fire & Ice, I decided to check out the book.

I found the story to be very grounded in the real world, though it does end up being a faerie story. She works in the faerie aspect rather well, not having it overwhelm the development of the characters. The development is also very grounded in myths and that both site and even told at times. Through this method, she helps support the plausibility of the story.

Overall, the pacing of the story is excellent. The interspersing of flashbacks, folklore and the current narrative was excellently done, introducing information at the appropriate time as well as developing Ian and the setting.

My one complaint is that I am not sure I like the ending in the fact that there is no final resolution for Ian. He is left hanging with decisions unmade. While it does spark the imagination of the reader and I definitely wondered what would happen in a number of possible scenarios, I found the end unfulfilling.

In the end, I would definitely recommend this book. It is an excellent read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on October 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this genre, but well written fantasy is not so easy to find. Usually I have to wait for a new DeLint, Blaylock, or Powers (and a very few others). But this author, who is new to me, just blew me away with this lovely story of a man who, having had a traumatic sudden disappearance of his father, now spends his life finding people (he is a PI). But some people don't want to be found; and some people may have travelled to the world of the Sidhe. I loved the end, even though it was indeed ambiguous. It is as though the main character has a sort of ADHD of the heart or of life... but it works. I would love to see a sequeal.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Book Reviewer 2009 on January 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
An okay book that leaned a little too heavily on Celtic mythology for my tastes. I think the whole Tam Lin story has been completely run into the ground by now.

Our hero is an American detective living in London who specializes in missing persons. He's a 40 year-old man who feels slightly too restrained and under-drawn. He's hired to find the gorgeous daughter of a gorgeous woman his own age.

While doing so, he uneasily wrestles with his past which includes his father ditching the family and disppearing into a new life, and his girlfriend running out on him. There is a parallel story involving the star-crossed lovers Eidain and Miter, which serves to illustrate what our hero must do to rescue his quarry according to the standard Tam Lin premise: grab the abductee in Fairyland when she appears at Halloween and hold her through all her shapechanging until dawn to break the spell. Can our hero do it?

In terms of his love life, the story ends too ambiguously for me: his former girlfriend inexplicably makes contact. I'm not sure if he's going to go give her another chance or follow up with his gorgeous client. Oh, well. It's a fairly engaging read, but perhaps you should seek it out at the library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Addison Phillips on April 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Lisa Tuttle's MYSTERIES is a wonderful bit of craftsmanship, an "urban fantasy" (if you have to categorize it) with more than a dash of Raymond Chandler to it. The main character, one Ian Kennedy, ex-pat American detective, has both past and current "missing persons" mysteries in his life, including a current case which might involve, well, fairies.

What glistens here is the book's focus away from fairyland. The main concentration being on the interplay between the characters and their backstories (involving disappearances and what might-have-been), rather than wallowing in the details of the little people. This gives the magical more room to breathe and thus more impact.

Each chapter in the story is separated by a short chapter taken from folk/ghost stories involving disappearances, a device which gives nice punctuation. And there is a nice tension between the main character and several of the female characters which is just right. The ending has a nice twist to it.

Very nice.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
American Ian Kennedy is a private detective in London specializing in finding missing people. Fellow American Laura Lenski hires him to find her daughter Peri who has been missing for two years. Ian reads Peri's journal and talks to her former boyfriend Hugh; he realizes that once again he is dealing with a case of the Otherworld.

When he first came to the United Kingdom, he was hired by Amy's mother to look for her daughter. He meets a woman who explains how he can keep Amy in this world since she already appeared to him asking for his help before disappearing before his eyes. Peri went willingly with Mider, a fairy lord who believes she is the reincarnation of his wife Etain, who was changed into a fly by the sorceress who loved him. Peri's true love Hugh believes in the Otherworld because he has the Sight and sees the fae when no other mortal can. He an Peri also met and dealt with Mider who used magic to make Peri want to leave Hugh and go to the Otherworld with the fairy. Ian, Laura and Peri return to the place where Peri disappeared but it is not Laura or Hugh who has the best chance of finding and keeping Peri but Ian who knows how to deal with fairy glamour.

It has been a very long time since a Lisa Tuttle fantasy was published but it was well worth the wait. THE MYSTERIES is a subtle but powerful work that allows the reader to savor the lyrical prose and delight in the ways fairy interacts with mortals. Readers don't actually see the Otherworld as the author leaves that up to each person's imagination to picture it as they would like it to be. THE MYSTERIES is a special book that ensorcels the audience.

Harriet Klausner
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