Downloading Inspector Hobbs and the Blood, to my Kindle, I read the first few pages, laden with uppity gerunds, rampant commas, and, while I am a forgiving sort, I couldn’t help but wish for more clarity, even just a touch, in the sentence structure.
Sorry. I needed to get that out of my system. (And for those missing my subtle opening snark, it’s impossible to read the first few pages *while* downloading a book.) Oh, let’s just get the criticisms out of the way first so we can wrap this up on a positive note. Never fear, there’s good thoughts ahead!
Our protagonist is also our narrator. This is both bad and good. Bad, because our protagonist is a whiny, vindictive little weasel who loves to blame others for his own bad fortune. Good, because, um… hold on, I’m thinking… good because he eventually starts to come around, and we learn about that through his own journey of self-discovery.
The setting is the Cotswolds, known for their rolling hills and quaint villages. Andy Caplet is a newspaper journalist, or at least he was until he was sacked. Inspector Hobbs is weird, but well respected by the locals. After a series of unfortunate—oh wait, that’s another series—after a run of bad luck, Andy finds himself jobless, homeless, and pathetic. The Inspector kindly takes him in. Adventures ensue.
“Adventures ensue” is a mild, spoiler-free way of saying that the Inspector is working on a case, and hauls Andy along for the ride of his life.
What did I love? Once I put aside my distaste for the author’s sentence structure, I enjoyed the quick wit and dark humor. It’s overly-done, quite comical, and for me it hit the mark every time.
Inspector Hobb’s cook and housekeeper, Mrs. Goodfellow, is an absolute delight. I squeaked with glee every time she appeared (usually without warning, scaring the beejeezus out of Andy). Thanks to her, I believe this book qualifies as a foodie cozy mystery novel. I know others have criticized the frequent detailed descriptions of various meals, but I loved that. It’s a good counterpart to blood and death and unnatural horrors, all of which Mrs. Goodfellow takes in unblinking stride.
If you can handle Andy’s sniveling incompetence, I think you’ll like this series. Even with my dislike of the sentence structuring, I’ll keep reading the series, too.