Blue and Izzy’s new detective agency is going from strength to strength and has become a household name (even if your house is a shoe). They have offices now and a staff and are a growing success
But when one of their interns is murdered it looks like Blue could be the target – and even so, losing an employee just has to be investigated. But as they delve deeper the opposition becomes stronger as they uncover more connections with Blue’s mysterious past. And his curse.
The plot of this book is interesting but I’m in two minds about it. The whole mystery of Blue’s origin, how it fed the conflict between Izzy and Blue, the whole opposition against their discovery and how it pops up in several different ways all work really well. I like how it’s related to several parts of the story and is both part of their profession and personal lives and allowed for some character growth
It also has a series of excellent Noir-style cross and double cross as victim and suspect constantly changed and changed and changed again. It had some really good twists and unexpected endings. I honestly didn’t have any idea where it was going or who the culprit was and I was completely surprised several times. I appreciate that in any book, especially a book with a murder mystery. Being kept guessing is always an achievement.
So lots of positive. On the negative side I feel the ending was sprung on me without any real back up to it. I didn’t see it coming – but how could I? All the relevant information was dumped in the last part of the book – there was no way to extrapolate to this and that whole revelation felt abrupt and rather sudden. There’s a twist and an abrupt change of direction. Still I am curious as to what that means for the future
I also quite like the whole debate over whether Blue’s abilities are a curse or a blessing – and I think it’s actually done really well (after I’ve read a huge number of books where the “curse” has had no real downside).
For me there’s a strange disconnect with this book’s – this series’ – world building which I’ve touched on before. On the one hand, the original elements of the story are excellent. The whole idea of fairies that produce dust and need dentin to exist – that’s an excellent original concept I really like. It takes the idea of the tooth fairy and elevates it and explains it. It’s interesting and it’s original and there’s some genuine thought behind it that I appreciated. There are other hints of things that I think have high potential – like the very original Trolls. There’s a lot of really unique elements I’m interested in here
But there’s also a lot of fairy tale elements that don’t mesh well because they’re not remotely developed. I’m going to have to draw on how this is handled in other books to make my point clear. When Jasper Fforde write The Fourth Bear we had a Goldie Locks who was very picky and needed everything to be “just right.” While J.C. Nelson’s Grimm Agency had princesses who had powers and lives that mark that. In this book we have Goldie Locks who is… a woman with blonde hair. We have a reference to people living in a shoe but no development or explanation. We have women mentioned as princesses but it just seems like it’s being used as a synonym for “woman.”
I don’t understand why these fairy tale elements are there if they are literally just going to be used as words. Goldie Locks and Peter Rabbit could be called Susan and Fred if for all the meaning their names mean. It’s frustrating because I’ve seen how well this can be done and this book isn’t doing it
Blue has a lot of wrongheadedness when it comes to his attitudes towards Izzy. He is “protective” to the point of controlling, he tries to keep secrets from her for her own good and he is constantly trying to lock her up or keep her inside for her own safety. This could be seen as a general sense of caution when we consider the threats against him but he has absolutely no regard for his own safety at all – he is reckless to the point of foolishness and it doesn’t look like daring and pursuing a case despite the risk – it looks like defiant childish rebellion. His “protectiveness” of Izzy also comes with a huge amount of jealousy, even as he acknowledges he has no claim on her, he still stalks her and seethes over the possibility she may be in a relationship with another man