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Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

Open for Business

Friday, June 21, 2019

Open for Business (2016) Angel Martinez (Brandywine Investigations)

Mythological beings.
M/M romance.
Murder and mystery.

That noise?

Those were a bunch of my buttons being pushed all at the same time.

This is three separate stories.

Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses, No Enemy But Time, and Dragons, Diamonds & Discord.

Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses

Hades (that Hades) doesn’t know what do with himself.

(Orpheus) kept skimming even as he spoke, turning pages faster and faster. “Guys, this is bad.”

“How bad?”

“Epically bad.” Orpheus dropped the divorce papers on the table, shaking his fingers out as if the words had singed him. “(Persephone)’s kicking him out, too. Keeping the palace and the dog.”

So Hades and Charon set up house and he decides to become a PI. And the first case he decides to take is to determine who has been murdering homeless men.

which is how he meets Ti.

Neither one of these dudes even smirked, like Tiberius was as normal a name as Mark or Tom and pairing it with Snyder wasn’t at all absurd, like he was the Roman Emperor of potato chips.

Ti is a homeless alcoholic, but he’s also a witness to the latest murder, so Hades decides to sober him up and see what he knows.

I really like Ti. He’s a street person, but he doesn’t make excuses for himself–he has just tried to stay safe, which is difficult to do on the streets.

We get mythology and the underworlds here, which if you’ve known me for any length of time, you know I remain fascinated by comparative theology and the rituals of death and dying.

The domains ruled by Osiris and Yama, by Ereshkigal and Tuoni— Heaven, Valhalla, all of these places are where human souls go until they’re ready for the next stage of existence. Eventually, regardless of whether the soul has been punished or blessed, when they’re ready, every soul vanishes from its chosen resting place and moves on.”

Besides that, I liked that Hades didn’t miraculously cure Ti of his alcoholism and the effects of living on the streets. Yes, he calls in his extended family members, who help Ti through the worst of the withdrawl, but the rest requires work from Ti–and it’s not easy for him. (I also have a thing for broken people and they work they do to fix themselves.)

This was my favorite story of the book.

Hades was still trying to fathom the mind capable of such idiocy. Benny’s parents had ordered him to leave the house because he had been caught kissing another young man. How this could bring a family shame, he couldn’t understand and how you could simply harden your heart and abandon your own child was something he would never understand.

No Enemy But Time

The second story seems to be a continuation of a previous story, with Hades’ son Zack (Zagreus) and the fallen angel Michael as the main characters.

This story is really dark and difficult.

Terrible things happen to both characters, and although things are better at the end of the story, things are in no way really truly resolved.

Love wasn’t the answer to everything. That was a hard lesson to learn. But it was more than enough for sitting in the sun, pulling weeds. It was more than enough to start the seeds of two new, stronger hearts growing again beside the butterfly garden.

That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good story about having to make difficult choices. But it was a hard story.

Dragons, Diamonds & Discord

The third story is about Hermes and Fafnir (clash of mythologies here as well, which I find awesome).

We see more of Michael and Zack’s story, which we very much needed after the close of the previous story, but we also see Hermes finding his true love, who happens to be the mythical dragon Fafnir, who is also something of a resurrection being (having been killed more than once).

“F. B. Dreki. What’s the ‘B’?”

Fafnir growled as the doors opened on his condo, but it was a soft rumble, not a threatening one. It might have been a laugh. “Brenna.”

“Really?” Hermes knew his Old Norse and nearly laughed, too. “Fafnir Burning Dragon?”

“Firedrake, I think would be a better translation, don’t you?”

There’s a bit in this story that I loved, where there is a meeting (as in a business meeting) of a bunch of chaos gods.

“So these are all chaos gods?” Fafnir asked when he’d gotten his fire under control.

“More or less,” Hermes answered. “Eris does discord, which is a kind of chaos. Kisin is a god of death, but he’s one of destruction and plague. Pikuolis, likewise, though he tends toward darkness, torture, rage, those sorts of things. Apesh the turtle is a god of evil. Amatsu Mikaboshi is an ancient being of stars and night, so yes, born of chaos. The goat headed person Michael described is probably Aka Manah, who is a lord of deceit and evil intent. Pretty chaos-driven. The being that resembled a cow is most likely Gaueko, who simply hates everyone. And Set, of course, is Set, the Lord of Chaos himself.”

I’ll be honest, I thought the solution to dealing with the chaos gods in the end was a little too easy. And I’m not quite sure how they covered up the battle in the museum, but it was fun.

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books, LLC;
Rating: 7.5/10

Categories: Fantasy, LGBT, Mystery, Romance, Sexual Content, Supernatural     Comments (0)    



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