An enjoyable, light-hearted mystery.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Demanding Greek gods. A world of intrigue. A mysterious helper.
Zeus is used to getting what he wants…but that was before he met Barnabas Tew!
Barnabas and Wilfred, the unluckiest detectives ever, are happily enjoying their time in India, working on mastering their emotions, and learning how to do all sorts of interesting yoga poses. They’re having a splendid time, and feel as if they’ve finally found some peace in their lives. Everything changes, though, when Zeus suddenly whisks them away from their idyllic retreat and demands that they solve a case for him.
Having no choice, they reluctantly accept the job, but quickly come to realize that nothing is as it should be. Zeus’ motives are suspect from the beginning, the rest of the Greek gods and goddesses are untrustworthy at best, and Barnabas’ temper hasn’t improved at all during his time in India. And, most importantly, who is the mysterious lady who keeps popping up just when they need her? Is she friend, or is she foe?
To make matters even worse, both Barnabas and Wilfred have unresolved feelings of their own. Can they settle their own emotional affairs, once and for all? Will they figure out what’s right and what’s wrong in this topsy-turvy world of lies, intrigue, and trickery? Or will the Greek gods and goddesses prove too much for them?
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
Barnabas Tew and The Case of The Hellenic Abduction by Columbkill Noonan is a blend of mythology and mystery with dollops of humor thrown in.
Barnabas and his friend, Wilfred, are detectives to gods. This time, they have been called by Zeus to bring back a princess with whom he has fallen in love. However, the tasks of God are rarely easy to accomplish, right?
I found the Barnabas Tew and The Case of The Hellenic Abduction extremely unconventional. Noonan turns the idea of a detective as we know it on its head. There is extraordinarily little detecting here. Rather, the detectives go about doing errands for the various gods and goddesses (sometimes unwillingly) with a lot of misfortune and a bit of “fortune” to accomplish the task. Though I enjoyed reading the story but being a hard-core crime fiction lover, this struck me as odd.
Moreover, the detectives themselves are poor specimens of what classic detectives are supposed to be. For instance, Barnabas is a cantankerous, sarcastic, melodramatic, and stubborn man. He always acts according to his wishes and does not listen to good advice. Wilfred, on the other hand, is the more reasonable of the two. Yet, he is also prone to making poor choices. Not exactly detective material.
Yet, with these two inept “detectives”, Noonan succeeds in crafting an enjoyable mystery. You have no choice but to follow them on their quest as the gods manipulate them, and sometimes help them also, and keep on sending them to quests after quests. I sometimes wished to grab Barnabas by his shoulders and scream at him, “You fool! Stop being so stubborn. Use your brains. Shut your mouth.” This is a testament to Noonan’s writing prowess. She had me invested in the characters to such an extent.
As far as mythology is concerned, I have zero knowledge of Greek mythology. So, I don’t know if Noonan spun her take on them, but I enjoyed reading every tidbit offered in the book.
The biggest strength of this book, apart from the bumbling detectives (of course), is the humor. There are several laugh-out-loud moments in the book. Further, the climax was action-packed and revealed Barnabas’s caring nature.
AND SOME MORE …
Moreover, I liked the author’s commentary on the unjust nature of the Greek gods. If the woman they wrongly desire spurns them, she is promptly turned into a monster, thus, mirroring the patriarchal society of many countries where girls are disfigured or attacked because they refuse a man’s advances.
This is the first book I have read in the Barnabas Tew series, but it can be read as a standalone very well. I recommend Barnabas Tew and The Case of The Hellenic Abduction by Columbkill Noonan to someone who wants an enjoyable, light-hearted mystery.
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Many thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for organizing this blog tour. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
You can visit the other lovely blogs mentioned below discussing this book.
Columbkill Noonan is the author of the best-selling Barnabas Tew series, which features a proper British detective from Victorian London who ends up solving mythological cases for gods all around the world. She was was born in Philadelphia and grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland, and teaches Anatomy and Physiology at a university in Maryland. Her writing is mostly speculative fiction (especially stories that involve mythology, or the supernatural, or any combination thereof). Some of her work is a bit on the spooky side, but usually there is a touch of humor (who says the afterlife has to be serious?)
When she’s not teaching or writing, Columbkill can be found with her rescue horse (whose name is Mittens), hiking in the woods, or doing yoga of all kinds (aerial yoga and SUP yoga are particular favorites). She is an avid traveler, and can’t wait to get back to seeing the world again. You can visit her on Twitter or on Facebook .