Know Your Rites
Inspector Paris #2
crime fiction, mystery, thriller, sci-fi, fantasy
Pub Date 22 Aug 2019
Inspector Nick Paris is back in this magical crime mystery perfect for fans of Douglas Adams and Ben Aaronovitch.Inspector Nick Paris, now also known as 'the one who stopped the demons', has become an unlikely celebrity in the magical world. He is desperate to return to tackling more ordinary crimes on his home turf of Manchester. However, the fates aren’t in his favour when he is called upon again by his more unusual police colleagues to solve a gruesome killing. The only suspect is a dwarf trying to make it in the rap business. But are there more mysterious matters afoot? Paris is thrust back into the world of magic and murder – but who will face the music?
Inspector Paris is back with the strange collection of friends and foes in this second of the great series set in Manchester.
We have ogres, warlocks, fairies, dwarves, elves, and the small stone child (read and see who I mean).
I thought that this book was not quite as original as book 1 as we had met all the characters before, but there were some excellent lines of text. eg ‘What makes sense depends on how you look at it’; ‘Persuasion, ..that’s one way of describing Ug the Ogre dangling Orin upside down above the station cesspit’; ‘bonetti’s heart was in the right place. even if his brain was nowhere to be found’.
I also liked the espionage cats and the rapping dwarf. Great ideas.
Breaking the Lore
(Inspector Paris Mystery Book 1)
supernatural, magic, detective
15th April 2019
A magical, mischievous mystery perfect for fans of Douglas Adams and Ben Aaronovitch
How do you stop a demon invasion... when you don’t believe in magic?
Inspector Nick Paris is a man of logic and whisky. So staring down at the crucified form of a murder victim who is fifteen centimetres tall leaves the seasoned detective at a loss… and the dead fairy is only the beginning. Suddenly the inspector is offering political asylum to dwarves, consulting with witches, getting tactical advice from elves and taking orders from a chain-smoking talking crow who, technically, outranks him. With the fate of both the human and magic worlds in his hands Nick will have to leave logic behind and embrace his inner mystic to solve the crime and stop an army of demons from invading Manchester!
And the novel looks like:
Discovering fairies at the bottom of the garden is supposed
to be good luck. Except when the fairy has been crucified. Two pieces of wood
shoved into the ground, one tiny form fastened on to them. Sometimes, thought
Inspector Nick Paris, being a cop could be the worst job in the world. And
sometimes it was bloody amazing.
‘Well?’ he asked. ‘What do you
Williams the pathologist lay on the
grass, examining the scene. He shuffled round and peered up at the detective.
‘I’m not sure what to make of it,’
he replied. ‘I’ve never seen anything like this.’
‘You think I have?’
‘Maybe, Boss,’ said a voice over
Paris’s shoulder. ‘We do get to see some mighty weird stuff. Remember I told
you about those talking fish?’
‘Bonetti,’ said Paris. ‘That was Finding Nemo.’
For the umpteenth time, Paris cursed
the process of allocating sergeants, and wondered how the hell he’d been
assigned this one. Life could be a right pain. Still, considering the grisly
sight in front of him, it had to be better than the alternative.
‘Anyway,’ he continued, ‘we’re not
in Hollywood. This is Manchester, for God’s sake! The leafy suburbs, granted,
but your archetypal northern industrial city. Things like this just don’t
happen here. Mind you, things like this probably don’t happen anywhere. Help me
out, Jack. Is it even real?’
Williams pushed his glasses back on
his nose, then pointed at the grass.
‘We’ve got what appears to be
blood,’ he said. ‘There’s also bruising around the wounds. Hence the answer is:
yes and no.’ He clambered to his feet, brushing the soil from his trousers.
‘“Real” – yes. “It” – no. Most definitely a “she”.’
Paris crouched down to survey the
scene once more. The two sticks were in the ground in an X shape, with one
wrist and the opposite ankle attached to each. The petite head drooped forward,
golden hair obscuring the face. Over the shoulders rose silver wings,
glistening in the early morning sun. Below the head he could see a body covered
by a pale blue dress. A body that was clearly female, with a sensational, albeit
‘Can’t argue with you,’ he said.
‘Living doll. Well, a dead one. But she can’t be a fairy, because they don’t
exist. So what are we dealing with? Freak of nature? Genetic mutation?’
‘Maybe,’ said Bonetti, ‘she really
is a fairy. Or a woman who got stuck in a washing machine.’
Paris looked up into his assistant’s
permanently vacant face, sitting on top of the solid, rugby player’s torso. He
had to admit, a good person to have around if they ever got into a fight. Plus
a reasonable enough chauffeur. Apart from that, though, about as much use as
the Gobi Desert white-water rafting team.
‘A washing machine?’
‘Happened to me, Boss. One of my
shirts shrunk when we put it in extra hot.’
‘I see,’ said Paris, as patiently as
he could manage. ‘And did it grow wings at the same time?’
‘No, Boss. Our machine’s too old for
any of them fancy settings.’
Paris contemplated life with Bonetti
as his sergeant. The alternative didn’t seem so bad after all.
‘Right,’ he said, turning back
towards Williams. ‘Any suggestions which actually come from Planet Earth? Or
anything else you want to tell me?’
‘I can’t give you a definitive cause
of death until we get back to the lab,’ replied the pathologist. ‘I can tell
you I don’t appreciate working in a circus.’
Paris raised his head. Shouting
voices rumbled down from the house, hidden from view by a thick privet hedge.
‘There you go,’ he said. ‘I’ve
always wondered why these people with great big gardens split them into
different sections. Now I know. It’s to stop the media from seeing the bodies.’
He looked back at Williams, who
frowned at him.
‘Bound to happen,’ said Paris. ‘You
know how fast the papers pick up on the slightest hint of a story. Then someone
reports finding a murdered fairy? Just be glad my guys are holding them back.
Besides, we’ve kept it down to three camera crews and half a dozen reporters; I
think we’ve done pretty well.’
Williams tutted. ‘You’re enjoying
this, aren’t you?’ he asked.
‘I never enjoy finding the victims.
Even when they’re fifteen centimetres tall. But I do like interesting cases.’
‘Indeed. You’ve certainly got one
‘Boss,’ said Bonetti. ‘Do we tell
the press anything?’
‘Do we hell!’ replied Paris. ‘Say
it’s a hoax. I’m sure Jack can whip up whatever you need.’
‘Of course,’ said Williams. ‘Give
you time to whip up the killer, I suppose.’
‘Yeah. Only that won’t even be the
hard part. That’ll be dealing with the lawyers.’
‘What do you mean?’
Paris stared up at him. ‘How do you
kill somebody who doesn’t exist?’
Andy Redsmith was
born in Liverpool and grew up in Runcorn. For university he moved the enormous
distance to Salford and has lived in Manchester ever since. He says the people
there are great, but we don’t talk about football.
He worked for many years as a project
manager in the computing industry, a job which really is every bit as exciting
as it sounds. Eventually the call of writing became too hard to ignore and he
went off to do that instead. Over the years in IT he worked with some very
clever people and some complete weirdos, none of whom bear any resemblance to
the characters in his books. Honest.
He has a wonderful wife, a great son, and a loft full of old Marvel comics. One day he’ll get round to selling them. That’s the comics, not the family.