Tim Wassiter, P.I. isn’t a cynical old-school detective with a bottle in the desk, he’s the new- age version with chickens, tea – and a little bit of magic. His ex-partner scoffs, the old lady down the road just wants him to find her missing cat, but Tim knows that magic works. He’s seen the proof and he’s learning to use it to solve crimes.
Money’s tight but now he has his first real case. But what sounds like easy money isn’t as simple as it seems. The mysterious woman who hired him has dangerous friends and they're rapidly losing patience. Tim needs to discover what’s really going on, and fast. Soon there’s an even more mysterious woman, a series of increasingly strange events, and a great many more cats.
As things get more violent, more bewildering and more utterly weird, Tim discovers that this case goes far deeper than he could ever have imagined. Everything is connected, even the past and the future, and everyone is looking for a girl who almost certainly does not exist.
And magic isn’t just real, it’s probably going to get him killed.
My latest novel, The Girl from a Thousand Fathoms, was published in early 2020. Other books includes Third Instar from Eibonvale Press, and my alternative-present-day SF novel Shopocalypse. I’ve edited three anthologies, including Once Upon a Parsec:The Book of Alien Fairy Tales. I’ve sold over 40 short stories to various magazines and anthologies. My short story, Warm Gun, won the BFS Short Story Competition in 2016 and other work has been short-listed for the James White Award and placed in the Aeon Award. I’m also a past judge for the Arthur C. Clarke and James White Awards, and the current Chair of the Milford SF Conference. I was born in Africa, baptised by King Neptune, and raised in England. I live in South London with the fantasy writer Gaie Sebold behind several tree ferns.
Tim Wassiter left the police to become a new kind of detective, one attuned to the occult and trying to use new-age methods of divination to solve crimes. Unfortunately the only case currently on the books is his neighbour, Mrs Woosencraft's missing cat, which is a little odd because Tim's own cat, Morse, has also vanished. Just off the coast of Brighton a mermaid emerges from the sea sporting a new name, Foxy Bolivia, and pair of feet that might take some getting used to. Tim and Foxy are destined to run into each other in the local pet store because Foxy is having cat trouble as well, in this case a surfeit.
When Tim is visited by Dolores Vogler, a lascivious beauty who wants him to find a special car belonging to her 'husband', he takes the job. The roll of notes possibly being more of an inducement than the shapely young lady or her equally voluptuous, but dangerous, friends.Expect magic, mystery, a mermaid, a Babylonian mathematician called Banipal, Tim's old police partner, Troy Jarglebaum, and a millionaire with good ideas an bad associates.
What’s not to love about this book! It has to be the most quirky, unusual and entertaining read I’ve had in a long time.
As you can probably guess from the title there is a strong maritime theme running through this book – from mermaids to sea monsters and a good bit of ships and oceanography thrown into the mix (Oh and this author is spot on with his oceanography).
But most of the action takes place in Brighton, which is brought vividly to life. The sense of place is excellent. I could almost smell the sea and sense the vibe of Brighton’s daily life.
We meet an intriguing cast of characters who, at first glance, seen so widely separated in geography and time that surely there is no way they can all be connected – but rest assured that all the threads pull together into a very satisfying conclusion.
I found this book a really cheerful read. Yes some bad and some scary things happen but there is a certain lightness of touch in the writing and I found myself smiling on numerous occasions.
Escapism? Absolutely! And what more could you ask for with all the craziness going on in the world.
This book is an absolute delight and I strongly recommend it.