Set in the world of the Others made famous by Anne Bishops’s novel Written in Red, we return to The Jumble. The setting and characters that we got to know in Lake Silence. Vicki, as proprietor of the Jumble, a kind of vacation spot deep in the territory, has friends and guests over for Trickster Night. A kind of Halloween inspired evening where you get tricks or treats. She is firmly on the treat side of that line not knowing what some of her more creative guests might declare a trick. A knock on the door isn’t surprising but what is on the other side puts her Crow friends in a panic. Crowbones, a kind of boogeyman for the Crows, stands on the other side rattling a gourd. When Crowbones arrives that means someone will die and in this case it’s the imposter portraying Crowbones and Vicki needs the help of her human friends to help solve the mystery before the Others decide to intervene even further, with all of their deaths.
I’ll admit that when Anne Bishop released Lake Silence, the spin-off novel from her fantabulous Others series, I had a hard time connecting with these characters. Since that initial first read, I’ve listened to Lake Silence as well, and didn’t have any trouble at all diving deep into the horror-fantasy of Crowbones. Vicki as a main character, has gained strength, or “sand” as she calls it. Choosing to believe that her previous blood transfusion from the sheriff garnered her some of his stoicism and calm regard. She draws on this strength to stay calm for her guests, knowing that her position in The Jumble lends her some importance because she has the most friendships and the Elders are fascinated with her. Don’t get me wrong, she doesn’t go all Nancy Drew, leaving the investigation to the professionals, but she did seem to have more of a back bone, not being led by her fear as much as she did in Lake Silence.
The Crowbones story had many intricacies. As noted above, there is the relationship between the Others and their human townspeople, a town that has grown by 100 people since the last book. So there were many strangers to get to know. Our favorite characters were still around and it was nice to get to know them again and gel my feelings towards this ragtag group of hero’s be them Others or human.
Anne Bishop deftly wrote the mystery in this novel, but it really wasn’t that hard to figure out, with one small red herring. I didn’t mind though because the characterizations were so fun, albeit grisly. I really enjoyed how Sheriff Grimshaw and Ilya Sanguinati, one human the other vampire, now worked together as a team. They both need this outpost of intermingling folks to work, neither wanting another human culling.
I think despite this being titled #3 in the World of the Others that this novel could be read as a stand alone. You don’t need to have read Wild Country at all, but you may want to read Lake Silence because it will give you some background on the main characters that will make your reading experience more enjoyable. If you didn’t and don’t want to backtrack to the first book, feel free. My guess is that you’ll pick it up anyway because this one is so good. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
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