Death’s Detective: The Malykant Mysteries Volume One

Title: Death’s Detective (The Rostikov Legacy, The Ivanov Diamond, Myrrolen’s Ghost Circus, and Ghostspeaker)
Author/Publisher: Charlotte E. English
Pages: 328pp
Price: $12.99 / free

Konrad Savast is the Malykant. To the people of Ekamet, he is a wealthy socialite; something of a hermit, but harmless enough. In truth, he is the secret servant of The Malykt, the God of Death and the Dead. When a soul is sent to The Malykt before its proper time — through violence or coercion — Konrad answers the call to seek justice outside the bounds of mortal law ….

I first discovered The Malykant Mysteries several years ago, and immediately fell in love with the characters and the world. Konrad is a complex and compelling character. The reason he came The Malykt are tragic, but he is an honorable and compassionate man; he does what he does because he believes in justice for the dead. He is aided in his endeavor by two spirit serpents (Eetapi and Ootapi, who tend towards snark) and by The Order of the Malykt, a secret society of magic-users and ghostspeakers.

He is also, quite unexpectedly, aided by the apothecary Nanda. Why she insists on inserting herself into his investigations becomes apparent over the course of the series, but I won’t spoil that here. I will say, however, that the polytheistic cosmology created by English for the series plays a key role.

And it is a rich cosmology. In addition to The Malykt (death), there is also The Shandrigal (sort of a Goddess of Life), trickster and dream spirits, and a variety of ghostly entities. All appear at some point in the series, and play a critical part in Konrad’s investigations and quest for justice.

To date, there are twelve books in the series, all available in both print and digital format. Even better, for those looking to take a chance on a new series, the first book is permanently free and the first digital collection is temporarily free. Pick one up. You won’t be disappointed.

Highly recommended to fans of The Girl With Ghost Eyes by MH Boroson, the Ellie Jordan Ghost Trapper series by JL Bryan, and the Obsidian and Blood series by Aliette de Bodard.

[Reviewed by Rebecca Buchanan.]

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