Yok is the final novel of the pseudonymous Swedish Davys’ “Mollison Town quartet”. The first three, Amberville, Lanceheim, and Tourquai, were reviewed here in January 2012. Each is set in one of Mollison Town’s four districts.
The quartet is unique among adult anthropomorphic fiction in featuring living plush animals, not the standard humanized “real” animals. Davys has established a complex history and biology for them (see the previous review for details).
Author Dawn Kravagna has released Murderous Critters, her first collection of Cattle Capers ™ mystery stories on-line at Smashwords. “Murderious Critters is a trio of outrageously funny mystery short stories, the first collection in a series featuring the zany comic animal characters from the world of Cattle Capers ™. A killer magician, rogue dinosaur skeletons, and roaming gunslingers are no match for bovine Master Detective Adam Steer and his goofy sidekick Crazy Cal.” The stories here include “The Magician’s Trick”, “The Dino Sore Mystery”, and “The Moontana Murders”, as well as the extra short story “Whopper Fish”.
There’s no way we could describe the new graphic novel District 14 any better than the publisher, Humanoids Inc., did in Previews magalog: “Follow Michael the elephant as he arrives to the city known as District 14, a labyrinthine metropolis where humans, animals and aliens all co-exist. A unique anthropomorphic mystery with an intricate plot and a fantastic cast of characters, this incredible French series is finally making its way across the Atlantic.” It’s written by Pierre Gabus and illustrated in black & white by Romuald Reutimann, and it’s coming out in hardcover this January.
Werewolf fiction is borderline-anthropomorphic, and Corpus Lupus is especially so. At least these werewolves are sentient, not feral dumb beasts. But the narrator, homicide detective Lieut. Larry Highridge, and his Pack spend most of their time in this novel in human form. It is a good murder mystery/horror novel, if a rather repulsive one; just not a very anthropomorphic one.
Corpus Lupus, first written between 1998 and 2000, has the reputation of being Phil Geusz’s “darkest and most disturbing work” (WikiFur), and it is easy to see why. The setting is a world where magic is real, but necromantic magic – involving death – is the only controllable kind.
Highridge is a narcotics detective who was bitten by a werewolf, becoming one himself. He refuses to let his condition affect him any more than possible, and is transferred to the homicide department as a specialist in investigating murders committed for necromantic purposes, to give the killer magical powers. Since the most powerful killings involve the torture and mutilation of victims, he becomes hardened to being given the police’s “sloppiest” murders, often those of young children.
Ridgecrest, CA, The Raccoon’s Bookshelf, March 2006, trade paperback * (i + 236 pages).
Birmingham, AL, Legion Printing, October 2010, hardcover $18.99, trade paperback $9.99 * (both i + 236 pages), Kindle $8.99.
A dark rumpled figure sat on a subway bench next to a semi-conscious arthropod that had defecated in its pants. In a darkened corner of the moving tram, teenage crustaceans giggled like axe murderers as they passed a battered, dirty needle back and forth, injecting each other with a viscous amber liquid. Lights on the metal jalopy flickered on and off like an epileptic seizure.
Standing in the middle of the car while avoiding eye contact with anything that moved, slickly-dressed business mammals rocked with each jolt of the car as they checked their investments on shiny phones while worrying about end-of-the-year bonuses, keeping their ties straight and getting mugged. A skuzzy combination of squid and octopus shoved tentacles lined with stolen watches into the faces of whoever would look at them. (p. 10)
Right away we are plunged into the seamy underside of New Jerusalem. Well – New Jerusalem is almost nothing BUT seamy underside. The whole city is a slum beneath the floating cities of the planet Ishun, which hover serenely overhead.
The floating cities are supposed to be for the elite, but really are not much better. Oh, they do have their polished business districts and fancy upper-class neighborhoods – but Ishun has crime everywhere. So ground-bound New Jerusalem is the real pits!
The “Mollisan Town quartet”, by pseudonymous Swedish author Tim Davys, is (are?) four hard-boiled complex crime thrillers, each set in one of Mollisan Town’s four districts, with a stuffed-animal cast. Hey, if regular animals can be anthropomorphized, why not plushies?
“Amberville” (February 2009); hardcover $19.99 (343 pages), Kindle $8.99.
“Lanceheim: A Novel” (June 2010); hardcover $21.99 (371 pages), Kindle $9.99.
“Tourquai: A Novel” (February 2011); hardcover $19.99 (325 pages), Kindle $9.99.
The first three novels were published by Albert Bonnier Förlag in Stockholm in 2007, 2008, and 2010, and published in English by HarperCollins one or two years later; all three are translated by Paul Norlen. The concluding novel, Yok, is scheduled for July 2012.
This gritty crime novel is a parody with anthropomorphic dog and cat detectives. Oh, gee, we haven’t seen THAT before!
San Bernardo is their territory, a seething metropolis where fat-cats prance in the exclusive island enclave of Kathattan while working dogs wallow in the stinking squalor of the Kennels. (back-cover blurb)
These are Books 2 and 3 in Englert’s “A Bull Moose Dog Run Mystery” series. They are enjoyable enough, but not worth reviewing separately.
I first learned of Overton’s death upon the return of my owner to our humble walk-up apartment. I had been rereading Robert Pinsky’s excellent translation 'The Inferno of Dante', an artifact from Imogen’s time in our lives, when I heard the familiar clump-clump on the stairs and the jangle and click of locks being opened – notably more urgent than usual. I did not have time to close the book or even move too far away from it. I imagined my owner’s imminent surprise. The book would be the first thing he would notice, no doubt. The reading light that had been off when he departed would be the second. (pgs. 1-2)
On the first page, Randolph, the Labrador retriever “with a nose for murder”, establishes himself as the first-person narrator, an intellectual and erudite – and rather garrulous - dog; moreover, as a dog who is hiding his intelligence from his owner, Harry, and other humans.