cover image Hespira: A Tale of Henghis Hapthorn

Hespira: A Tale of Henghis Hapthorn

Matthew Hughes, . . Night Shade, $24.95 (233pp) ISBN 978-1-59780-101-0

Hughes continues to carve out a unique place for himself in the fantasy-mystery realm with his superlative third adventure featuring Holmesian “discriminator” Henghis Hapthorn. Still recovering from the events of 2007's The Spiral Labyrinth , Hapthorn is granted a glimpse into the future and learns that the world as he knows it will soon be overtaken by magical forces. Despite the impending catastrophe, the investigator attempts to carry on with his usual assignments, but after he successfully recovers some stolen relics, he finds himself caught in a war between his vengeful client and the criminal he ransomed them from. A way out is offered by a mysterious woman who seems ignorant of her own past. A droll narrative voice, dry humor and an alternate universe that's accessible without explicit exposition make this a winner. (Dec.)