BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, October 19, 2015

Bea Reviews A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca

Series: The Maradaine Constabulary #1 
Publisher: DAW 
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Challenges: NetGalley and Edelweiss ARCs
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit*   | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

A Murder of Mages marks the debut of Marshall Ryan Maresca’s novels of The Maradaine Constabulary, his second series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine. A Murder of Mages introduces us to this spellbinding port city as seen through the eyes of the people who strive to maintain law and order, the hardworking men and women of the Maradaine Constabulary.

Satrine Rainey—former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty—has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family.

Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector and an Uncircled mage—almost a crime in itself. Nicknamed “the jinx” because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them.

Their first case together—the ritual murder of a Circled mage— sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics he’s desperate to avoid. As the body count rises, Satrine and Minox must race to catch the killer before their own secrets are exposed and they, too, become targets.

Bea's Thoughts:

I love murder mysteries and when it's combined with a fantasy world, I'm in heaven. "A Murder of Mages" is a police procedural with a lead character, Minox, who reminded me strongly of Sherlock Holmes; amazingly observant and a firm believer in reason, deduction, and investigation. He also seemed to have some autistic tendencies, such as a difficulty reading people's emotions and obsessing on certain topics. While that can make him difficult to get along with, his obsessions, at least, work to his benefit as an investigator. But he has a reputation as a jinx as his previous partners had a tendency to get hurt.

His new partner, Satrine, is desperate. Her husband, also a member of the constabulary, was injured and is in a vegetative state. They have two school-age daughters and no income. If her husband had died, she'd receive funds but there's nothing for disability. So she lies her way into a job as an investigator and becomes Minox's new partner. It's rare for a woman to be on the force so reactions are mixed when she's hired. She has a background that give her useful skills in her new job and to Minox's surprise, Satrine is actually quite good at the job.

Maresca creates a fascinating world. It's not set on Earth but has a similar feel. The city is a lot like London in the 18th or 19th centuries but with differences of course. Parts of the world were well thought and developed while there are gaps in some areas. Presumably, those holes will be filled in as the series goes along. The mystery was well done, though I do think the author could have given us a few more clues as the solution, and the villain, seemed to come out of nowhere. The lead characters, Minox and Satrine, are fleshed out but will lots of room for revelations and growth. The mage politics and magic system were fascinating and I want to know more. The story didn't grab me right away but it didn't take long before I was pulled in; I read the book in one afternoon. I'm looking forward to the next one. :)

22 comments:

  1. I remember seeing this earlier this year and being unsure about it. It sounds like a lot of fun though and I do like a good mystery mixed with magic ;-)

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    1. I was unsure too; it sounded promising but I hadn't seen any reviews for it. I'm glad I went for it.

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  2. Hmmm... I like a good mystery set in another world, but I hate when the villain just comes out of nowhere.

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    1. Yeah, I didn't like that part. :(

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  3. I don't think I've ever read a murder mystery in a fantasy setting! It sounds intriguing. I love the Sherlock comparison and the chemistry between the two main characters sounds tense. Going to add it to the TBR.

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    1. Oh, it's become a thing, a whole subgenre, and I'm loving it. I hope you enjoy the book.

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  4. A murder mystery fantasy? Sounds perfect. Hopefully this series goes on to expad and grow into something lovely.

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    1. I hope so too. It has a lot of potential.

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  5. Not usually something I'd read, but it's a mystery. So maybe :)

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    1. Yes, it's as much mystery as it is a fantasy. It blends both well.

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  6. oh this soundds like a super fantastic read here!!! I love the mix of mystery and fantasy---they just go so well together. Maybe I will try it sometime when I am in the mood for a story like this.

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    1. I agree; the genres work well together and I love the mix.

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  7. A different type of fantasy! I love mysteries and sometimes fantasy, so the combo sounds great-- I must check it out further. Thanks for the good review. Now I have a better idea of whether I would read it, and that's probably yes.

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    1. I love the blend of mystery and fantasy and this was well-done. I hope you like the book.

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  8. Oh, I'm glad you enjoyed this! I love fantasy and mystery and when this came up on NetGalley, I jumped on it... only to have it fall victim to the "I have too many books to read" syndrome. I keep trying to get back to it, and now I have even more incentive.

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    1. Yeah, I have more than a few of those books. :( This wasn't great but it was good and has lots of potential. I think you'd like it.

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  9. I liked this book a lot, too, Bea. Glad it worked for you. I'm looking forward to more books in this series to see how the characters develop.

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    1. I am too. I didn't see any info on GR about another book so I hope there will be one.

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    2. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27249016-an-import-of-intrigue

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  10. Added it to my Goodreads list, sounds very good! :)

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