- File Size: 2478 KB
- Print Length: 222 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press (June 24, 2012)
- Publication Date: June 24, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008E95C6G
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,712,560 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$14.99|
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The Stein & Candle Detective Agency, Vol. 2: Cold Wars (The Stein & Candle Detective Agency #2) Kindle Edition
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Disclosure: I received a free eBook copy of this novel from Curiosity Quills (the publisher) in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis: A wealthy Hawaiian hotelier is chewed to death by sharks - in his penthouse office. A traveling salesman goes missing - in a shady New England town full of monstrous fishmen. A new casino gets supernaturally good luck in Vegas - thanks to ancient Egyptian magic.
These are the cases taken by Morton Candle and Weatherby Stein. Mort's a hardboiled ex-paratrooper turned two-gun shamus. Weatherby's a fourteen-year-old wiz kid and heir to the greatest family of European sorcerers.
They met in the fury of WWII, when Weatherby and his parents were being held hostage by the Third Reich and Mort's squad was sent to bust them out. Now they're a pair of private detectives specializing in the paranormal, the supernatural and the just plain weird.
But sometimes, arcane evil goes back a long way and a dangerous force from deep in the past of Stein's family is about rise. Weatherby and Mort will put everything they have into stopping it - and it might not be enough
My Thoughts: I read and reviewed the first book in this series, The Stein & Candle Detective Agency: American Nightmares, 4/15/12, and really got a kick out of it. Additionally, I read this author's book Dinosaur Jazz 8/3/12 - Michael Panush is a very talented young writer (he's only 22) and based upon his work so far, I predict great things for him ahead. Thanks to Curiosity Quills for bringing us fresh, young talent like this, to entertain and edify.
Again, this book is a series of episodes where Candle and Stein solve occult crimes and fight paranormal creatures. Fans of Lovecraft will cheer over their adventure in Innsmouth, and the entire book has Cthulhian images scattered throughout. Included among the cases are a story about Candle's military unit rescuing Stein, and the story of how Candle and Stein teamed up as a detective agency.
There are a number of editing errors, but the stories are fast-paced and, like the first book, full of pulpy goodness. Suspension of disbelief is required, but it is an enjoyable read. If you enjoyed the first book, don't miss this one!
Well, as in vol 1, this book has lots of action, blazing guns, occult nasties and is mostly written with a touch of humour (although Crimson Catch gets a bit dark). And the best bit of that is, it's better written than vol 1. The stories flow better, the author really seems to have found his voice for Mort and this book is an easy read. Less typos too. I just love Weatherby, he's adorable: a hard-shelled, soft-centred kid doing what he thinks is right, and he even gets to meet a girl :). We also get an origin story for the S&C Detective Agency.
However, why I'm miffed comes in more than one packet, two to be exact.
SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT
The first one isn't really too big a miff, it's the story The Hollow, which I loved as a premise, but, really, was not much of a story for me, because it broke from the formula that I like about S&CDA. Biggie for me, Weatherby is hardly in it, sidelined for a preacher and Weatherby's sister, Selena. That's not my only problem with it though. Because it jumps in in the middle, it's quite difficult to get a feel for the bad guys (only a bit of tell, not showing about their history) and we jump right to the prep for the big confrontation, no build up, no skirmishes, nothing. So I was a bit disappointed. Although I did like the final battle, monsters gave me the creeps, even if Weatherby had been written out!
I will add that breaking from the formula is not all bad, it works sometimes, like in Business Proposition, where it's told from Weatherby's POV - that really worked.
My second peeve is a bigger one for me, because it is a pet peeve of mine. The last story, Crypt Crashers, is not a story in its own right, it's a starter for an arc. Now, I don't dislike arcs completely, what I dislike is when the reader (or watcher) satisfaction is sacrificed to feed the arc. And there was absolutely no reader satisfaction in this story, because it was failure for the heroes, not once, but three times. First, they ignore perfectly good warnings from someone they trust, when, really, they should at least have taken precautions based on said warnings. Second, they lose the first round, okay, not a deal breaker, could just be a set up for the next round, but when they lose the final round as well, I was left really let down. There should have been something, they should have come away having at least bruised the big bad, so that he was going away to lick his wounds, but no, they just lost, plain and simple, leaving me, the reader, feeling very flat - at the end of the book, no less. I wouldn't have minded the big bad getting away, it means they have a classic arch nemesis to pop up in the odd story, but just rubbing it in my face that the guy got away and beat them hollow and it was all their own fault, well, thanks for nothing!
So, I still love Mort and Weatherby. I like their adventures, I like the gung-ho approach to dealing with the supernatural. But 4 out of 5 rather than the perfect five, mainly because of the arc-teaser story at the end.
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