Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

Family Matters

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Family Matters (2018) Angel Martinez (Brandywine Investigations)

This is three stories set in the same world as the previous book, Open for Business: Books, Bulls, & Bacchanals, Midwinter Dancing, Pack Up the Moon

Books, Bulls, & Bacchanals is Dionysus’ story. After an evening spent with his family, Dio decides he needs to find something to help him control his rages. So on the recommendation of several family members, he heads to the Eternal Library–a place he’s never been, since there is not drinking, dancing, or dalliance there. (At least not regularly.)

He takes with him his follower Meggie and his faun George, and discovers not a book with a solution, but Leander, the Minotaur librarian.

First, so much of this story is just plain delightful.

As long as George wore human clothes and a hat, they assumed he had deformed feet, which apparently made them so universally uncomfortable that they pretended the cloth-covered hooves weren’t there.

The library assistants? Are red pandas. How adorable is that? Just as adorable as you’d think.

And Dio squees abut eReaders.

“It’s kind of a minicomputer. But the best part is I can get books on here. Books without killing trees. I am so all about that. The not hurting trees. It’s the most wonderful thing. Ever. Whatever I want. Anytime.

There is murder here. And mystery. But it is a lot of Leander and Dio navigating their needs and anxieties and worries, and it’s one of the lovey things about this series, that beings who are seemingly incompatible on the face of it can work out their differences–and it is work and compromise, which I very much appreciate.

After all, Dio is the god of debauchery. It’s not like he’d be an easy person to have a relationship with.

Midwinter Dancing is a short story, telling how Ing met Artemis, and they both learned to dance.

Ing’s grandmother is possible the best part of this story.

Pack Up the Moon is the third and final story. Charon ends up helping Azeban, the raccoon god (and a trickster).

Az is very much a loner and a trickster, and his only friend the crow Kau, but he is content with his lot–except that SHE has been trying to find him, and he is running out of places to hide.

First, Charon is delightful.

Charon raised a hand and shouted, “Stay!” Ti froze and Nike skidded to a stop on the front hallway tiles. “Good girl,” Charon called to her. He patted Ti’s shoulder on the way past. “Good human.”

Second, Az has a very strong voice, which I enjoyed.

“I’ve enjoyed reading fiction ever since humans began writing their stories down.”

“See, that kinda made me sad. When they started doing that.” Azeban sat on his haunches like a proper raccoon, gesturing at the shelves. “All these stories are stuck. They can’t change. When humans used to tell each other stories, stuff changed all the time. It was exciting to hear what they’d do with a story. Now they write it down, and that’s it. That’s the story.”

Also, Az gets called a trash panda more than once (and he kind of deserves it).

I was a little worried about this story because it is clearly Charon’s tale, and Charon pretty much says in the first book that he’s an Ace. But these are M/M (or F/F) erotic romances, so I was rather concerned.

Yes, there naked body parts, but this story, like the first, is very much about negotiation and coming to terms with differences in a relationship, and I did think it worked.

Plus, we get a meeting of the Trickster gods.

Coyote faded out to leave his grin behind for a few seconds.

I did find it difficult at one point to accept that Az would take the actions he did, even under duress. But he IS a trickster god, and Kau truly is his only true friend (at least at the start of the story) so he probably would let the world burn for Kau.

He needed to say something, but words had become alien birds that wouldn’t sit still in his head.

There are so delightful things in this story, and pretty much everyone makes an appearance, so it was a lovely wrap-up to the series.

It is LGBT erotica, so be aware of that going in, but it’s also delightful and sweet and lovely.

Publisher: Mischief Corner Books, LLC
Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8.5/10, Ace, Fantasy, Good, LGBT, Mystery, Romance, Sexual Content, Supernatural     Comments (0)    

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