Monthly Spotlight: Wilkie Martin’s Unhuman

28 Nov

Another short one this month, and another new thing rather than an old favourite – we’ll be seeing more lengthy rambles about established obsessions next year, I imagine.

There are four books in the Unhuman series: Inspector Hobbes and the Blood, Inspector Hobbes and the Curse, Inspector Hobbes and the Gold Diggers, and Inspector Hobbes and the Bones. Despite the titles, the inspector is not the protagonist; while he is arguably the main character, the narrative is provided by Andy Caplet, a reporter for the local newspaper who is assigned to shadow a notorious policeman and spends the whole series in a state of complete confusion finding out that absolutely nothing about the world is what he thought it was. The reader will sympathise.

The best way I can think to describe these books is… imagine if P G Wodehouse decided to write urban fantasy. The series has that eccentric and very British whimsy to it, and frequently borders on the farcical. I didn’t realise at first; I was reading an omnibus edition and the blurb provided with it implied that these are more typical paranormal mysteries. Once I figured out what sort of world this actually was and stopped yelling ‘but that wouldn’t happen that way!’ at every page I enjoyed them a hell of a lot. They are very silly, fun reads, perfect for miserable winter afternoons in a comfy chair.

A brief caveat – in my opinion the fourth book wasn’t as good. The series feels like a trilogy with a later book tacked on when it proved to be successful, which never works out. But it was still enjoyable enough.

I don’t have much else to say – if you want a fun way to pass the time for a few hours, you’ll probably enjoy these.

Now for next month: obviously I’m going to be a little busy around the end of December, so there won’t be a spotlight. We’ll pick back up in the new year. And I know I’ve been vaguely promising for a long time but I will also attempt to get back to Chamber of Secrets, before the franchise finally dies a slow and lingering bloody death.


Posted by on November 28, 2018 in loten


Tags: , , , ,

6 responses to “Monthly Spotlight: Wilkie Martin’s Unhuman

  1. faktririjekt

    November 28, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    Literally cannot wait for more Chamber of Secrets!

  2. Heidi

    December 6, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks for the tip. These books don’t have particularly high ratings on Goodreads, Amazon, etc, but the bit I’ve read of the first one was enjoyable.

  3. Maciej Paprocki

    January 5, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Have a look at the latest inanity produced by JKR – apparently wizards used to shit themselves until the fifth year came and someone mercifully taught them the Vanishing Spell.

    • liminal fruitbat

      January 5, 2019 at 11:23 pm

      As I’ve said elseweb, according to McGonagal Vanished items go “into non-being, which is to say, everything”. Everything in the Potterverse is infused with shit; Rowling’s tweets are just making that metaphorically true as well.

    • Loten

      January 6, 2019 at 8:16 am

      Oh, the fandom’s known that for years, it was released on the first version of Pottermore back when it involved exploring each book interactively to discover bits of trivia. I didn’t start Pottermore posts on this blog until part way through Prisoner of Azkaban, always meant to go back to cover the rest but then they turned the site into a Buzzfeed clone and I never got the chance.

      It’s always amused me that it took them until the 18th century to catch up with the entire human race. Latrines have been a thing since damn near prehistoric times. Even if you’re going to vanish the products afterwards you’d still go to a private enclosed spot away from everyone else and remove some clothing first, surely? No, not Rowling’s superior master race, they really wanted to be identified by the stink of their own shit all the time.

    • mcbender

      January 6, 2019 at 10:50 pm

      As Loten said, this isn’t exactly new information, but I can’t for the life of me work out why Rowling and/or whoever tweeted this wanted to remind everyone of it. Surely one would hope she’d regard a statement like this as an embarrassment and try to bury it in the hope the audience would forget? Clearly not.

      No mercy. The Potterverse is full of shit, literally and figuratively.


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