*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Know Your Rites – Book 2 of the Inspector Paris Mystery series by Andy Redsmith #Brainfluffbookreview #KnowYourRitesbookreview


I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, Breaking the Lore, so immediately requested the arc when I saw this sequel come up on Netgalley – and was delighted to be approved.

Inspector Nick Paris, now also known as ‘the one who stopped the demons’, has become an unlikely celebrity in the magical world. He is desperate to return to tackling more ordinary crimes on his home turf of Manchester. However, the fates aren’t in his favour when he is called upon again by his more unusual police colleagues to solve a gruesome killing. The only suspect is a dwarf trying to make it in the rap business. But are there more mysterious matters afoot? Paris is thrust back into the world of magic and murder – but who will face the music?

I remembered the first book clearly so it was a pleasure to be reunited with Nick Paris, his magical girlfriend Cassandra, Bonetti his rather thick sergeant, and the team who helped him in the last desperate adventure. Once again, I found the contrast between Nick’s worldweary, rather cynical outlook and the world of elves, dwarves and talking crows an enjoyable one. The storyline carries on from the adventures in the previous book, so my firm advice would be to read Breaking the Lore first, otherwise you will be missing too much of the backstory to make sense of what is going on.

Humour is highly subjective. What has one person roaring with laughter will leave someone else blank-faced and yawning, so do be aware of that with regard to my following comments. While I initially enjoyed the humorous aspect of the story, I quickly decided that Redsmith is trying too hard to make me laugh, rather than immerse me in an engrossing portal fantasy whodunit. There are too many times when scenes are included or extended for the sole purpose of yet another pun or wordplay, rather than for the sake of deepening the characterisation or advancing the storyline. Consequently I felt that the jokes got in the way of the story, rather than embellishing it.

That said, I still had no trouble turning the pages and finishing this murder mystery and will be very happy to read another slice in Nick Paris’s adventures. Recommended for those who enjoy paranormal murder mysteries – but please be aware that this series is nothing like Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant mysteries. The ebook arc copy of Know Your Rites was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest opinion of the book.

11 responses »

  1. Great point about humor! I generally enjoy humor in a book- but it as you say- it’s something that’s personal. There’s plenty of stuff I don’t necessarily find laugh out loud funny that others have enjoyed (Monty Python came up at work yesterday- that’s one instance) and plenty of things I find funny that others don’t.

    Either way- great review!

    • Thank you, Sarah. It’s fiendishly difficult to get right – I love Pratchett’s humour, for instance. But I’m with you regarding Monty Python – The Office is another I don’t like much…

      • Yup- I’m not a fan of The Office either. But weirdly I did like the spin off, Parks & Rec. I think that was more for the actors though then the humor (not Amy Poehler, who sort of drives me crazy).

  2. I get you about the trying to hard to be humorous. Just had that happen in a book I finished. Still enjoyed it but the pushing to make me laugh took away from the enjoyment of the overall plot.

    • Yes… I think someone along the line told him to be funnier – which is a shame. That said, I’m sure there are those out there who thought it hilarious…

  3. Oh, humor’s a tough nut. It should never be forced. That’s what makes, say, Die Hard work so well–the humor that arises is very true to character, but very fast, too; blink and you miss it.

    • Yes – and in the first book, it was far less intrusive, too. You’re right – you need to be ambushed by the joke and as you snigger, you’re caught up in the next event…

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