Grilled Cheese and Goblins

Nicole Kimberling. Blind Eye, $15.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-935560-56-2
NATO Irregular Affairs Division agents Keith Curry and Gunther Heartman, the protagonists of this haphazard collection of six linked stories in the shared Irregulars universe, are responsible for preventing Americans from discovering that paranormal creatures live among them. Keith’s specialty as a former chef is food safety—specifically, making sure that no humans are turned into food and that all of the creatures’ food is safe for them to eat. He’s racist against goblins such as field agent Gunther, but he also has to admit that Gunther—who has been transmogrified to look human—is deeply attractive. When they’re required to work together, they gradually fall in love. Each of the three longer pieces has an intriguing mystery at its heart—who’s killing and butchering humans? why are NIAD agents being driven berserk by pixie dust?—that intertwines with the romance between Gunther and Keith, but Kimberling fails to build suspense in each story. There’s never any doubt that the partners will solve the mysteries at hand and make it home in time for dinner. The domestic aspects of the romance are lovely but similarly fall short. Kimberling builds a fascinating world for the characters to live in, but never manages to fully envelop the reader in it. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/13/2018
Release date: 10/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
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