Review: Cherries Worth Getting (Keith Curry’s Case Files Book 1) by Nicole Kimberling

Rating: 4.5🌈

Nicole Kimberling is such an amazing author. I adored her Bellingham Mysteries and then lost track of her writings. But happily I’ve found her again through her series about a other-realm investigator who used to be a chef. That’s Keith Curry’s Case Files.

I believe the series started in a collection called Irregulars, 4 short stories by 4 authors about NIAD. That’s NATO Irregular Affairs Division. They police other-realm traffic, beings, and artifacts that come through portals to this world. The division’s are made up of many species including Faerie lawyers, rumpled magicians, business witches and weary specialists human agents.

That’s where Keith Curry comes in.

We get Keith’s dramatic and sickening introduction to the agency and how he came to be recruited here. To be honest, parts of the book aren’t for those who have a weak stomach or are highly sensitive. We are talking about cannibalism here as part of the mystery and narrative. Just a Fyi.

There’s several elements that are raised throughout the narrative that challenge Keith’s vision of himself as a neutral investigator. Species bigotry is brought up and examined through the viewpoint of different characters, very effectively. Whether it’s goblins or vampire, it forces Keith to look at his own judgments and review them for reactions he’s thought he’d worked through.

There’s reasons for his reasons. It’s in his past. And understandable by any standards.

It’s his new teammate and former hookup , Gunther, who has been assigned to help Keith figure out where the human dead (and butchered) bodies are coming from. A fellow agent who will make Keith aware of his suppressed feelings towards other species.

Kimberling sets her story in and around Portland, Oregon and her familiarity with the city and deep roots with the place shows. From the markets to the food trucks, it’s realistic, even when run by goblins. I found the idea of a goblin race that transformed to conform in utero a thought provoking idea. I’m certain this is just the beginning of this thread.

The author crafted so many interesting elements to fold into the story and world building of the series. We got just hints here and there about a topic, enough to pique our interest and imagination, but not enough to satisfy. Hopefully we’ll get more in the coming stories.

The mystery and investigation was crisp and complicated. I loved following the clues along with Keith and Gunther, his fellow investigator and perhaps future boyfriend.

Especially as the relationship that’s just starting here between Gunther and Keith continues.

Now I really need to locate that original collection as well. I’m sure that’s Keith’s origin story. Yikes.

And I’m onto the next in his series. But do be aware, unlike the Bellingham Mysteries, Keith Curry seems to see the absolute worst and often stomach churning cases . Be forewarned.

If you’re ok with that, I’m highly recommending this!

Keith Curry’s Case Files:

✓ Cherries Worth Getting #1

◦ Magically Delicious #2

◦ Grilled Cheese and Goblins:

Adventures of a Food Inspector

◦ Irregulars -a 4 story collection

Amazon.com › Cherries…Cherries Worth Getting (Keith Curry’s Case Files Book 1) – Kindle edition by Kimberling …


NATO’s Irregulars Affairs Division is a secret organization operating in thousands of cities around the globe. Its agents police relations between the earthly realm and those beyond this world, protecting us from terrible dangers as well as enthralling temptations. Agent Keith Curry is a former carnivore chef turned vegetarian. Keith must navigate Portland, Oregon’s culinary underworld to catch a killer bent on harvesting human flesh. But things get complicated when he hooks up with an old flame who he’s never been able to refuse.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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