Inspector Hobbes and the Blood is a cosy rural fantasy mystery. It’s also the first of the Unhuman series of books by Wilkie Martin. All these books are set in a sleepy Cotswolds town. A town inhabited by a surprising number of weird creatures and strange beasts. Non-weirder or stranger than the titular Inspector Hobbes.
We see Inspector Hobbes through the eyes of the hapless journalist Andy Caplet. Andy Caplet is an intriguing choice of narrator and reader guide. He’s completely useless, his suppositions lead the reader astray and he’s about as charming as being force-fed toothpaste-covered toads.
Yet he’s funny in his own way and provides the reader with enough information to make sense of the strange world Wilkie Martin has created. Just like Andy, the reader is swept along by the force of nature that is Inspector Hobbes as he tries to unravel the mystery at the heart of the novel.
Although Andy Caplet is the narrator, Inspector Hobbes is the star. Not completely human, but still completely humane. Inspector Hobbes is reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s detectives in that he’s mysterious and plays his cards close to his chest, leaving the reader pleasingly in the dark.
The plot is a well-crafted page-turner, as all good mysteries should be. The fantasy elements of the story are introduced subtly and are both believable and unique. On top of this, the humour of the book really shines through. Wilkie Martin is clearly a fan of a well-timed pun and a bit of cheeky banter. This serves to make the book both individual and a joy to read.
Who Should Read Inspector Hobbes and the Blood
If you love sleepy who-dun-its mixed with a healthy dose of fantasy and a dash of humour then this book is for you. You can pick it up on Amazon.
If you are still looking for a novel to read, check out our list of top ten urban fantasy novels.