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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Soul of the Sword, The Suffering of Strangers, Murder at the British Museum

Last year, I read Shadow of the Fox, the first in this series.  The story proceeds in Soul of the Sword as kitsune shape-shifter Yumeko and her companions continue their journey to the Steel Feather Temple.  

But--the demon Hakaimono escaped and possessed Tatsumi, the young warrior who was protecting Yumeko. This complication, which occurred at the end of The Shadow of the Fox, causes more difficulty and danger in Yumeko's quest.  (I found the added pov of Hakaimono actually slowed things down a bit.  I much preferred getting back to the sections with Yumeko and her little band because I'm much more involved with them.)

If you liked Shadow of the Fox, you will be sure to enjoy Soul of the Sword

itsune (狐 or きつね, Kitsune) is the Japanese word for fox. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore; in English, kitsune refers to them in this context. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. According to Yōkai folklore, all foxes have the ability to shape shift into men or women. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.

 My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho is one of my favorite Korean dramas.  The nine-tailed fox is a gumiho in Korean (kitsune in Japanese).   

NetGalley/Harlequin Teen/Ink Yard Press
Fantasy/Mythology.  June 18, 2019.  Print length:  304 pages.

Caro Ramsay makes few concession to readers, and it would be best to start with the first book in the series.  When I read The Sideman, I felt exactly the same way.

Ramsay has a number of well-drawn characters that are interesting
(the snarky DI Costello is the most vivid, but I like the other characters as well). 

While The Suffering of Strangers can be read as a standalone, it would be smoother sailing to begin with the first book in the series to become accustomed to Ramsay's writing style and have a better grasp of the characters.

from the description:  "When a child abduction and sexual assault case overlap, Glaswegian police team Costello and Anderson team up to crack the cases.
DI Costello faces a disturbing child abduction case; a six-week-old has been stolen and replaced with another baby. The swap took cold and meticulous planning, so Costello treads the seedy, Glaswegian back streets for answers. She’s convinced that more than one young life is at stake.
Promoted into the Cold Case Unit, Colin Anderson reviews the unsolved rape of a young mother, whose attacker is still out there. Each case pulls Anderson and Costello in the same direction and, as their paths keep crossing, they begin to suspect their separate cases are dangerously entwined."


Police Procedural.  2018. Print length:  356 pages.

from description: 1894. A well-respected academic is found dead in a gentlemen's convenience cubicle at the British Museum, the stall locked from the inside. Professor Lance Pickering had been due to give a talk promoting the museum's new 'Age of King Arthur' exhibition when he was stabbed repeatedly in the chest. Having forged a strong reputation working alongside the inimitable Inspector Abberline on the Jack the Ripper case, Daniel Wilson is called in to solve the mystery of the locked cubicle murder, and he brings his expertise and archaeologist Abigail Fenton with him. But it isn't long before the museum becomes the site of another fatality and the pair face mounting pressure to deliver results. With enquiries compounded by persistent journalists, local vandals and a fanatical society, Wilson and Fenton face a race against time to salvage the reputation of the museum and catch a murderer desperate for revenge. 

I haven't read any others in this series, but I have enjoyed a couple of Eldridge's DCI Paul Stark books set in the 1920's.

Murder at the British Museum kept me entertained. :)  I found the supporting characters and the plot interesting, and I like learning things while enjoying myself.

NetGalley/Alison & Busby.
Historical Mystery.  July 18, 2019.  Print length:  318 pages.  

Tom Gauld created some funny taglines for novels.
I like "Occasionally-putdownable" best. :)


  1. That's an interesting variety of books you read, Jenclair! My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho is one of my favourite Korean dramas, too! Also, I've received your letter. :)

    1. :) My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho was so much fun! It has been several years since I watched it, but I may have to watch it again. :) Yay--glad my letter arrived.

  2. Love those bookish taglines! The one about being "possibly worth buying..." totally made me laugh. The others were great, too. :D

    1. They reverse the typically grandiose taglines and make me smile! :)

  3. Oh, if only some of those book stickers were actually used! LOL

    That's a nice eclectic mix of novels. I love the idea of kitsune shape-shifters.

    1. So much more realistic than some of the taglines we often see! :)

  4. LOL The 'You won't like it..." tagline is hilarious! I enjoyed reading your reviews for these -- they're all new authors to me.

    1. I was thinking that one was for Ulysses--or anything by James Joyce. :)