The Casebook of Doakes and Haig by Patrick Welch

 

Cozy MysteryScience FictionThe Casebook of Doakes and Haig The Casebook of Doakes and HaigPatrick Welch; Twilight Times Books 2004WorldCat

This review is by Molly

The Casebook of Doakes & Haig is an anthology of an incredible pair of ‘English’ detectives living in an alternate universe. This alternate world created by writer Welch is an English colonial empire where neither automobiles nor airplanes have yet appeared.

The local London citizenry has enjoyed cooking with leprechaun Haig’s sweetener; which the less than hand size tall fellow has been stirring up in Doakes’ kitchen for years. The recipe includes suet, wintergreen, lavender and a number of other yummy ingredients. Sean Doakes, human, is a shop owner hawking the sweetener created by his sprite cohort Haig. In the narrative ‘A Small Matter of Murder’ Haig who as been passed from father to son for generations ‘like a family heirloom’ and Doakes become ‘Criminal Consultants’ when they work to solve the peculiar circumstances surrounding the killing of one of their best liked customers. Mrs. McLeary has been killed, and Doakes and Haig smell a rat. The six short yarns offered in the book include as well ‘Savage Customs,’ ‘Murderous Obligations,’ ‘Fatal Impressions,’ ‘Cat’s Moon Rising,’ and ‘Golden Talons.’ Each is as delightful reading as is the first.

Author Welch is a talented writer whose writing is reminiscent of the hilarity found in the words of Walker Joe Jackson another ‘tongue-in-cheek’ novelist. Criminal Consultants Doakes and Haig find themselves unraveling a puzzle in ‘Savage Customs’ when they work to solve a murder by tomahawk involving an Indian from the American colonies. ‘Murderous Obligations’ sends the duo into action to untangle a man’s homicide before it takes place. More killing and a determination to create problems in the Colonies provide increased opportunity for the twosome to hone their ‘Criminal Consultant’ skills. ‘Cat’s Moon Rising’ is a fascinating tale in which Egyptian Maus suddenly go missing all over London. Haig wants no part of the catnapping until he realizes exactly the type of cat that is being kidnapped. The leprechaun is galvanized into action and Sean Doakes is soon embroiled in one of his strangest mysteries. The work finishes up with the narrative ‘Golden Talons’ when Doakes and Haig travel to the colonies and set out on a quest for The Lost City of Gold.

Writer Welch has produced a marvelous group of entertaining anecdotes in his The Casebook of Doakes and Haig. Welch and his penchant for tongue-in-cheek has created a delightful group of characters in his fast paced narratives. This is a fun read for a lazy afternoon. I look forward to reading more of Doakes and Haig soon.

Reviewed first for WordWeaving

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