Some things should stay buried.
Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.
So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.
As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?
I somehow stumbled across Widdershins while browsing through something on Scribd. I’m so glad I did, because I ended up having an amazingly fun time reading it.
Widdershins stars an extremely shy philologist, Whyborne, who works in a museum(!) and whose best friend is a female Egyptology(!), Dr. Christine. His love interest is an ex-Pinkerton(!) private detective(!) with a dark past and smouldering good looks. They meet because of a case(!) involving a cult(!) and undead human-animal hybrids and ancient Egyptian gods.
So, really, it’s like this book was written for me. I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE! books with archaeologists and museums and evil ancient gods and detectives, and I especially love it when those books have a bit of romance in them. Widdershins has a good balance between the mystery and the romance. There’s is many a sexytimes1, but there’s also a LOT of mystery to dig (ha!) through.
For a book about undead science experiments and painfully introverted fellows, it’s actually kind of a fluffy book. There’s lots of emotional drama, some unfortunate romantic tropes2, and tons of action and adventure. It reminds me of the Indiana Jones movies, for some reason–lots of excitement and shooting things, with just an edge of depression to keep things grounded.
Whyborne could’ve ended up being a terribly annoying protagonist. He’s so self-deprecating! But he’s funny and heroic and also a genius–he can speak 13 languages and read dozens more–and he becomes more self-confident as the book progresses. I never found him irritating, surprisingly enough.
Admittedly, he did act like a preteen when it came to his romantic life, and much of his inner dialogue when around Griffin sounded like something from a soap opera. Does he like me? He’s so handsome! Of course he doesn’t like me, why would he like me, I’m so stupid, etc. Hopefully he’ll get over that as the series progresses.
And okay, Griffin doesn’t actually smoulder as much as I may have made it seem. Really, he only does it when he’s around Whyborne. But he’s a good detective and more emotionally available than one would expect from a hero who has a Dark Past, and I liked him and Whyborne together.
My FAVORITE character, though, is Christine! She’s headstrong, loyal to Whyborne3, very dedicated to the museum and her digs, and I want to read a book with her as the progonist because she’s wonderful.
Widdershins is a super entertaining book, and I definitely recommend picking it up if you’re a fan of any of the things I mentioned above. Also recommended for fans of The Magpie Lord, as there are enough similarities to draw one in without going so far into sameness as to being a copy-cat.
It’s a series, too! Which means more mysteries and makeouts! Yay!
Read: February 15, 2015