cover image Property of a Lady Faire

Property of a Lady Faire

Simon R. Green. Roc, $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-451-41431-1

Gumshoe mage Eddie Drood, aka “Shaman Bond,” finds his family ties strained in the scattershot eighth Secret Histories novel (after Casino Infernale). A phantom Voice tells Eddie that it’s holding his parents hostage. Eddie must find the mysterious Lazarus Stone to secure their release. He and his girlfriend, witch Molly Metcalf, endure over-the-top encounters with various entities in their quest for the stone, last in the custody of the Lady Faire, a multiply-gendered person who incites universal sexual desire (and whose portrayal may make transgender readers cringe). Eddie and Molly’s nonstop bantering forms a nucleus around which frantic encounters coalesce, providing diverting, if overwhelmingly pointless, action. Green attempts to wrest significance from the medley of bizarre incidents by focusing on Molly’s loyalty to Eddie, despite her own grievances with his family, and his choice between love and family power. However, the silly atmosphere is too pervasive for the story to escape shallowness. (June)