Title: The Twins In The Fog
Author: Rie Sheridan Smith
Genre: Urban fantasy – short story
Rating: Two stars
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Thank you for bearing with me while I get my reading situation together. In the run-up to release week of Valkyrie Cursed, my usual routine has deserted me and left me scrambling to find time to read properly. Hopefully, this week will allow me to read a full novel or two, but if not, we still have the short stories.
This week I read The Twins In The Fog by Rie Sheridan Rose, a short story contributed to the Magical Crime Scene Investigation anthology. I have to admit I was a little disappointed with this story, and the problems started on page one.
Shamsiel Bevakare is a private investigator who has just set up shop and is in need of a secretary. Luckily, a few days after he’s posted the ad, a succubus by the name of Desiree offers her services. The first page alone made me cringe for a few reasons, and here they are:
“It was a dark and stormy night when the dame first slithered into my office.”
“Her voice was honeyed candy, and I wanted to taste it.”
“She pulled a piece of paper out of her most impressive cleavage.”
“If I decided to hire her, she’d be off-limits, and that would suck.”
The women are referred to as “dames” throughout, and Shamsiel’s attraction to Desiree often pops up again, often after a wardrobe change on Desiree’s part. Luckily, Shamsiel is gradually more impressed with Desiree’s powers, insight, and detective abilities, but it unfortunately doesn’t detract from the objectification.
They are hired by a rich old lady whose sons, twins, were found dead after believing to have killed each other in a disagreement. Knowing them both better than that, Mrs Bickerson asks them to find out what really happened so the police can arrest whoever was responsible for their deaths.
Shamsiel and Desiree interview everyone who knew the twins and use Desiree’s powers to figure out what happened at the various scenes of interest. I hoped the action would appear at the end when they found and maybe even caught the killer, but I was disappointed.
After several interviews, Desiree reveals that they have found the killer, and have a casual conversation with him before handing their evidence over to the police who have already ruled that the twins killed each other. The last paragraph explains how the police investigated their evidence and caught the guy without so much as a tussle.
Desiree was a fun character, as was Mrs Bickerson, and they would have been great leads in a more action-packed story.
Thanks for reading! Did you know I also write urban fantasy books? Check them out here!