When humans forsake the temples, the gods need to find other employment. Hades opens Brandywine Investigations after his divorce and his subsequent move to the modern world. If he was hoping for boring infidelity cases and lost dogs, he’s sorely mistaken as murder and mayhem find his agency and his extended family at an astonishing rate.
Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses: Brandywine Investigations #1
No Enemy But Time: Brandywine Investigations #2
Dragons, Diamonds & Discord: Brandywine Investigations #3
Gods, Dragons, Chaos. Oh, my.
This book, Brandywine Investigations: Open For Business, represents a collection of the first three books in the series. If you’re going to dive into this world (and I heartily suggest you do!), this would be the perfect compilation for you. As it is three books, I’m going to do each story as its own mini-review.
Book One: Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses:
When I was younger, I loved Greek mythology. As is evidenced by a recent FB post, I seem to have forgotten some of it, but this book sparked that interest once again. Hades, lord of the Underworld, has been served his walking papers. His wife, the lovely Persephone, has told him she wants out, and Hades is flummoxed. Obviously Angel’s taking existing stories and sending them off in a whole new direction, and I’m perfectly okay with that. The Greek myths were like a soap opera, and Angel’s stories certainly pick up that feeling. There is death. There is rebirth. There is moving on after a change that you weren’t expecting.
I absolutely LOVED Hades. He’s grim, dour, and lost in a new world that has moved on from what he recognizes. Still, he’s going to adapt, and he will make a life in this new world, even if it kills him. To that end, his family has gathered to ensure the transition is smooth–even if they’re probably more sticking points than anything else–and painless. Hermes, Dionysus, Hestia, and more appear. Even those who don’t show up on page aren’t forgotten and we get a little update on them. I devoured this book. I couldn’t put it down, because it’s so tightly written. And then we meet Tiberius, a young homeless man who has more of an effect on Hades than he expected.
Book one deals with the killing of homeless people. Each one seems random, and as they’re throwaway people, they don’t look too deep into any possible connections. Hades doesn’t have that distinction. They were people and they died. He wants to know why, and he needs to ensure that Ti is safe as the killer closes in.
Book Two: No Enemy But Time
Oh my gods…this book absolutely killed me, but it was so damn good, I couldn’t put it down.
We meet Zack and Michael in this story. Zack (Zagreus) is in love with Michael, a fallen angel who was cast out for daring to fall in love. The two of them are beautiful together. They click so well, that you can’t help but feel the warmth that comes through when they’re together. Of course this is when everything goes to…well, hell.
It begins with a death, and Hades needs his son’s help. The two are somewhat estranged, and Zack is not enamored of his father’s choice in a new lover. But, with Michael’s urging, he agrees to see what can be done to help. Though it’s against his better judgment, Zack agrees to let Michael go along with him. When they get together with Hades, they find out that something is afoot that will affect people who have a link to Michael. There will be more deaths, and more anguish. The ultimate comes when Michael himself becomes the target, and Zack has to make a horrific decision about the love of his life. Will Zack be able to do what he must, or will he lose everything in an effort to protect his family?
Book Three: Dragons, Diamonds, and Discord
If you asked me who my favorite characters were in this series, I would be hard pressed to answer. I loved everyone I met, including the amazingly deadpan Charon–who I really hope gets to find a love of his own–but this book brought me to fits and giggles over the coupling of Hermes with Fafnir. Hermes has a mind that moves faster than his feet, and Fafnir isn’t sure how to handle the fleet-footed god. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Hermes, for those who don’t know, is the god of many things: herds, trade, heralds, athletes and thieves. It’s this last one that we deal with in this book, because someone has dared to steal from the god of thieves, and it’s not something Hermes is likely to take sitting down. With the help of his family, Hermes is able to track down the perpetrator and what he finds out is how we truly begin this story.
Someone is sowing the seeds of chaos and discord, and Hermes needs the help of his family–including Michael, the fallen angel from book two, who really broke my heart in this story–to protect the city they call home, but also the one person in the whole world who means something to him that he thought he could never have again after the…well, after he lost something precious centuries ago.
Will Hermes and his family be in time to avert a crisis, or is the beginning of Hermes’s relationship the end of everything else?
If you like mythology, magic, gods, or just a really amazingly well-written book, then I think you’ll enjoy this every bit as much as I did.
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