Till Sudden Death Do Us Part, by Simon R. Green (Severn House)
It’s always a challenge to jump into the middle of series, but a skillful author will give you all the background you need, woven into the action without infodumps or confusion. Such was the case with this, the seventh "Ishmael Jones" mystery.
Ishmael Jones was a real person, or rather the pseudonym used by a covert CIA officer. Green’s Ishmael Jones isn’t exactly human and is very much a secret agent for a succession of secret agencies. He looks human enough, and has a rewarding relationship with the fearsomely intelligent Penny Belcourt, but he doesn’t age and he fights a continual battle to keep his demonic self submerged.
The current episode follows the classical form of a murder mystery: a gathering in a small English town, a family curse, a series of murders designed to prevent a wedding, and so forth. Green’s deft handling of the elements of the unfolding mystery (actually, several) and Jones’s personal journey make for a fast, enjoyable read. I did not see the ending coming, even though all the clues were there.
The usual disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book, but no one bribed me to say anything in particular about it. Although chocolates and fine imported tea are always welcome.