Centaur of the Crime Book Cover Centaur of the Crime
Fantasy and Forensics #1
Michael Angel
fantasy, crime, forensics, murder, mystery
Banty Hen Publishing
(17 Jan. 2014)

C.S. Lewis meets CSI...when Michael Angel presents a new series mixing magic, mystery, and forensic science - 'Fantasy & Forensics'!

She's the LAPD's best corpse-kicker. Dayna Chrissie, LAPD's leading Crime Scene Analyst, relishes finding the one clue that can solve a crime. When she finds a golden medallion on a body that's been dumped at a downtown construction site, she doesn't think it's all that unusual. Until that medallion's enchantment brings her to the magical world of Andeluvia.

She must find a killer in time to stop a war. Dayna discovers that she's been summoned to solve the murder of the realm's king before war breaks out between Andeluvia and the Centaur Realm. But no one wants peace when war offers chances for riches and glory. So Dayna ends up with a team of cast-offs: a centaur wizard with father issues, a brash griffin warrior, and the world's unluckiest magical deer.

And the trail leads where she least expects it...back home! When the trail of evidence brings Dayna and her new friends back from Andeluvia to Los Angeles, she must use all of her forensic knowledge in order to solve the case.

The price of failure? A war that will kill millions and devastate Andeluvia.

Hope she works best under pressure.

Books in the 'Fantasy & Forensics' Series:
Centaur of the Crime
The Deer Prince's Murder
Grand Theft Griffin
A Perjury of Owls
Forgery of the Phoenix
Assault in the Wizard Degree
Trafficking in Demons
A Warrant of Wyverns
The Conspiracy of Unicorns
Dragon with a Deadly Weapon

This is a 10 book series – and yes, I did read them all in one great reading splurge…

Important characters:

Dayna – the forensics expert; Grimshaw – a griffin; Liam a type of deer but not; Abbess Thea – an owl; Perrin , Holly and Destiny,

 Not to mention Fitzwilliam, Shelley and Esteban – Dayna’s boyfriend in the police.

A large cast of characters, all of whom manage to speak English, though they may have their own languages as well and also magical or ancient languages. After all, we are not on Earth are we?

Dayna is (accidentally) called into this fantasy land by a gold coin she finds in a cavity in the body she is examining at a crime scene. The coin could have been picked up by anyone, but was aimed at someone with forensics knowledge as the world she was called into was still operating as a Medieval society.  So no mechanical items, no science, but poisons and other mysterious happenings including murder that was difficult for them to find out who-dunnit.

Rather reminiscent of the Cadfael TV series (and Ellis Peters books,) with Derek Jacobi – as the monk who solved murders with medieval herbs and elementary forensics, I immediately saw the TV episodes in my mind, once I started reading these books! I liked both…

If you are going to live in a medieval palace/tower with only a fire to keep you warm and are going to spend a lot of the time riding around in cold weather, she clearly needed to think more practically.

I thought Dayna was being less than practical. Once she discovered that she could take a knapsack to and fro, I would have packed the following for her:

Caffetiere

Metal kettle for a fire

Coffee grounds

Aspirin and ibuprofen

Arnica gel and tablets

Plasters and needles and thread

Other over the counter medicines as suitable including anti-diarrhoea meds,

Other instant / dried drinks eg milk, chocolate etc

Chocolate bars

Protein bars

Apples – fresh plus assorted dried fruit

Packets of soup – instant (and other instant foods)

Lemons and limes

Fleeces

Long Johns and silk underwear

Padded riding knickers and saddle pads (fleece lined and waterproof jodhpurs)

Fleece lined wooly hat.

Thermal socks.

Neck gaiter

Waterproofs and hiking trousers that were fleece lined

Ski wear

and look at these lined riding boots – who wouldn’t want to wear them?

I enjoyed these books and binge read all 10.

5 stars for something new in the fantasy genre.

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