Rating: 5 stars out of 5 ★★★★★
When humans forsake the temples, the gods need to find other employment. Hades opens Brandywine Investigations after his divorce and his subsequent move to the modern world. If he was hoping for boring infidelity cases and lost dogs, he’s sorely mistaken as murder and mayhem find his agency and his extended family at an astonishing rate.
Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses: Brandywine Investigations #1
No Enemy But Time: Brandywine Investigations #2
Dragons, Diamonds & Discord: Brandywine Investigations #3
Please note: The stories in this omnibus have been reedited, and expanded by about 18K (total.)
Its no secret, if you’ve been reading this blog, that I’m a huge fan of three things: fantasy, mythology, and the author that always manages to combine them in her imaginative and often addictive novels, Angel Martinez. So, I was thrilled to see a omnibus of tales that I had not encountered before, Brandywine Investigations: Open for Business (Brandywine Investigations #1-3) by Angel Martinez. What I found was pure Angel Martinez heaven.
While the main focus is the Pantheon of Greek gods, others like the Egyptian god Set for example make appearances, along with the Gilgamesh mythic figures, and norse legends, all set elements of a Martinez narrative. The author takes the whole of world’s theology and mythology and weaves it together in a wonderful literary tapestry, connected by larger than life characters as well as human. Then she makes them so real, so heartstopping believable that you fall deeply in love with them and boom, the connection between you and the characters and their world snaps into place.
The stories are stacked logically and chronologically. I would rate them all equally, really I had no favorites here. I loved them all.
Canines, Crosshairs & Corpses: Brandywine Investigations #1: This one introduces all the characters and sets up a mystery that will thread itself through all the stories. Here we meet Hades and Charon shortly after Persepherone has asked for a divorce. It was, as we all know, never really a love match but Hades is bereft and has left the Underworld. Martinez makes us believe in his emotional devastation, his climb to understanding and rebuilding his “new God life” and the street boy Ti he rescues. The emotions here are killer, in so many ways. There is humor, pain, angst, and yes, love.
No Enemy But Time: Brandywine Investigations #2: This involves all of the characters from the first story, but the focus is on Hades’ son, Zack (short for Zagreus, God of the Hunt or Resurrection) and his fallen Angel lover, Michael). This is one for breaking your heart several times over. Turns out that Michael was Zack’s guardian angel but fell in love with his charge. That cost his his wings. Not in a nice way but in a come down from heaven and cut them off your body in front of your lover while you are screaming sort of way. Still they have been happy. But there are other fallen angels in the city and someone has been killing them and now they are coming for Michael. The mystery is a wonderful one, the entire family comes together for Zack as its a race to help figure out who’s behind the plot against the fallen angels and how to stop it. Just a 5 star story all around.
Dragons, Diamonds & Discord: Brandywine Investigations #3: The collection ends with this story that pulls all 3 together, tying up the plot lines, the family stories, several relationships and ending with an altogether wonderful storyline about a dragon childrens author and Hermes, (yes that Hermes) nephew to Hades, corporate CEO and member in a band. Really there is no end to Angel Martinez’ imagination, or depths to her stories.
Each line here sparkles with humor, a touch or more of pathos, swathed over with layers of mythology and appreciation for the finer points of storytelling and relationship dynamics. All that and a great tale too. Plus dragons. I get dragons!
I don’t know if there are other Brandywine Investigations stories out there. I certainly hope so, Angel Martinez has barely broken the surface of gods she can pull into Hade’s and Charon’s circle. I know I need to know more. And check in to see how Hades and Ti are getting on, along with Zack and Michael and the rest of the gang.
Do I recommend Brandywine Investigations: Open for Business (Brandywine Investigations #1-3) by Angel Martinez? I absolutely do. Its plain out terrific in every way.
Cover Artist: Mila May. I am only so so on the cover. I really don’t believe it does the stories justice, It was the title and author who grabbed my attention, not the cover which I would have passed on.
Published April 27th 2016 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC
Original TitleBrandywine Investigations: Open for Business
SeriesBrandywine Investigations #1-3