A Country House Murder Mystery with a Supernatural Twist
Ishmael Jones is someone who can't afford to be noticed, someone who lives under the radar, who drives on the dark side of the road. He's employed to search out secrets, investigate mysteries and shine a light in dark places. Sometimes he kills people. Invited by his employer, the enigmatic Colonel, to join him and his family for Christmas, Ishmael arrives at the grand but isolated Belcourt Manor in the midst of a blizzard to find that the Colonel has mysteriously disappeared.Simon R. Green, the author of this book, is a very prolific science fiction and fantasy author. Many of his series also have an element of mystery.
I have enjoyed several books that mix mystery with fantasy or science fiction. Green's books are a little too heavy on the fantasy side for me, but I still found this to be a very enjoyable read. I love the way Green tells a story, and I have no problem suspending my disbelief. In The Dark Side of the Road the pacing was good; the story never drags. There are touches of humor, although not the laugh out loud type. However, the story does turn dark fairly quickly. There was too much of a romance element for me, but it did not take over the story. A plus is that it is set at Christmas, and I always love a Christmas story, even in mystery novels where the crime usually overpowers the joys of the season.
I have read two other books by Green, both from the Secret Histories series. The main character in that series is Eddie Drood, a secret agent also known as Shaman Bond. My review of Daemons are Forever is here. I liked this book better than the book in the Secret Histories series, probably because of the setting, a large mansion out in the country in the middle of an impenetrable snowstorm. They are similar in many ways. This book is not totally serious, but it relies a lot less on humor than the Eddie Drood books.
This is the first book I have read for the Once Upon a Time Challenge, hosted by Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings.
Publisher: Severn House, 2015
Length: 224 pages
Genre: Fantasy / Mystery
Source: Provided by the publisher for review.