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eBook Johannes Cabal the Detective By Jonathan L. Howard –

Woohoo Time to Awaken the Poirot in Cabal Steampunk Style Buddy Read WTtAtPiCSSBR with my fellow Necromaniacs Elena and Margaux Actual rating 6.2548693 stars.Johannes Cabal, Necromancing Boyfriend Mine, where hast thou been all my life Such kindred souls we are We were obviously destined to be together and stuff I mean, you say things likeIn my experience, death is an excellent prophylactic measureWhich makes me go all And also all But wait, I m getting a teensy little bit ahead of my little self here Let s try and keep the rabid teenage fangirl on crack in check for a minute and a half, and start at the beginning, shall we, my Comely Decapods So This is probably one of the bestest books I have read this year Maybe And also perhaps the mostest hilariousest book I have read in a long time Possibly It is so quotaciously quotable that the Police issued an arrest warrant for me I outrageously and most shamelessly exceeded my Kindle highlight limits, you see The story is Super Extra Fresh , wacky as fish and nonsensical as shrimp Howard s writing is cleverly witty and wittily clever All in all, you might say I lurved this book loads and loads Well a little, anyway Which obviously means that this crappy non review is going to be a pain to write And an even bigger pain to read So enjoy and stuffYour cane Sentimental value he said sarcastically As it happens, yes Cabal walked over to the count and took the emperor s speech from him I bludgeoned my first failed experiment back to death with itview spoiler hide spoiler Johannes Cabal, Necromancer Of Some Little Infamy, Returns In This Riotously Clever And Terrifically Twisted Tale Of Murder And International Intrigue In This Genre Twisting Novel, Infamous Necromancer Johannes Cabal, After Beating The Devil And Being Reunited With His Soul, Leads Us On Another Raucous Journey In A Little Known Corner Of The World This Time He S On The Run From The Local Government Stealing The Identity Of A Minor Bureaucrat, Cabal Takes Passage On The Princess Hortense, A Passenger Aeroship That Is Leaving The Country The Deception Seems Perfect, And Cabal Looks Forward To A Quiet Trip And A Clean Escape, Until He Comes Face To Face With Leonie Barrow, An Enemy From The Old Days Who Could Blow His Cover But When A Fellow Passenger Throws Himself To His Death, Or At Least That Is How It Appears, Cabal Begins To Investigate Out Of Curiosity His Minor Efforts Result In A Vicious Attempt On His Own Life And Then The Gloves Come Off Cabal And Leonie The Only Woman To Ever Match Wits With Him Reluctantly Team Up To Discover The Murderer Before They Are Done, There Will Be Narrow Escapes, Involving Sword Fighting And Newfangled Flying Machines There Will Be Massive Destruction, Not To Mention Resurrected Dead Steampunk Meets The Classic Sherlockian Mystery In This Rip Roaring Adventure Where Anything Could Happen And Does From The Hardcover Edition Omg, this is a breath of fresh air Or at least, it s a perfectly welcome respite from the normal books I ve been reading Either way, I m delighted The first Johannes Cabal novel made me constantly wonder who were the good guys and who were the bad, a Faustian tale of beating the devil, carnival antics, and our favorite smart as hell necromancer I remember being hesitant about continuing after I had finished it, but either enough time has passed or I was totally tripping, because after starting THIS novel, I fell totally in love.This one is a cozy armchair mystery AND necromantic patriotic spy fiction AND steampunk.I always WANTED to love steampunk stuff but generally never did, BUT this one is a clear exception to the rule I did genuinely love this airship murder mystery A total Agatha Christie with necromantic elements, a totally fictitious Europe not Europe during Empire, and new and fantastic Ultimate Enemies by way of business as usualAll thanks to Cabal s winning personality And all said, I had a grand ole time Never a single complaint I do believe I m going to fly into the rest of these novels very soon. Quite different in plot and setting from the first book.On the one hand, I like airships it isn t actually a dirigible in the book and murder mysteries and political shenanigans in Ruritania Samavia Mirkavia than I like Faustian bargains and carnivals On the other hand, I found Cabal s interactions with Horst interesting than his exchanges with Leonie The dialogue was still funny, but not as funny the first book.However, I did think the ending here was stronger Also, note that the extra pages are a quite good short story, not a preview of the third book as one might expect, so don t skip it 4.5It is very difficult to explain this book What you need to know is that you would be definitely doing this book disservice if you expected another The Necromancer or if you compared it with it in any way The two are so different that the only thing they have in common is Cabal himself I was vaguely aware of these differences before I started reading The Detective so I ve decided not to compare the two books too much At least, not in a way that may paint this one in a bad light Yes, they are that different.And, guess what It was a very smart decision I enjoyed it very much.Johannes Cabal gets to play detective on an aeroship The Detective starts with him imprisoned in a Mirkarvian dungeon for days already He would make another enemy nothing new there here too Mirkarvians caught him trying to steal a rare book from the Krentz University library s Special Collection.After his escape if anyone thinks this is a spoiler, please increase the number of books you read , he finds himself with a stolen identity of a government bureaucrat In the last few months, he d found himself prey to strange twinges that, after some research, he had discovered to be his conscience This unwelcome quality took exception to many of the perfectly logical actions he had previously committed with the regularity of habit In the present case, however, Cabal s conscience had apparently taken account of Herr Meissner s occupation as a civil servant and remained as quiet as a church mouse while Cabal stuffed a dirty rag in Meissner s mouth and trussed him up with little concern for his comfort Even a conscience knows its limits He also finds himself in the company of a character from The Necromancer Then someone dies and he starts investigating The most important thing in this book and the reason why many people dislike it is that Cabal has to play the part of Herr Gerhard Meissner He cannot be Johannes Cabal we expect and, erm, love While the focus of the fist book is Cabal, his wonderful weirdness and whatever he is doing to get his soul back, here the focus is on adventure and murder investigation Then there is humour, from Mirkarvian politics as Cabal notes their way of dealing with problems is If at first you don t succeed, then repeat your failure until nobody s left alive to comment. to amorous military men from Senza to Mirkarvian cuisine Thank your stars that you asked for it well done, he replied He d asked for his to be cooked medium rare, which in Mirkarvian cuisine meant it had been shown a picture of an oven for a moment and then served A very brief moment, mindorPut hairs on your chest this will, old son, he commented to Cabal Cabal failed to see how this could be regarded as an advertisement, particularly with respect to female dinersand so on.The wonderful thing in The Detective is that Johannes Cabal gets a whole new layer to his personality I mean, he was hilarious without a soul And who can forget that last scene in the The Necromancer Not me Sometimes he wished he still lacked a soul It hurt so much And you get a lot of that particular story here.Now he is saddled with conscience of all things And some other stuff But, fear not, he didn t completely change all of a sudden He is still our lovely antisocial necromancer of some infamy as before Only with an added layer The expose in an aeroship salon ridicules Hercule Poirot like explanations It is so over the top I couldn t help but laugh.The last part of Cabal s journey home is told in a bonus story The Tomb of Umtak Ktharl told by another character That part has supernatural and horror elements I liked it a lot.Overall, while I did love the first book , The Detective is still great and a well written story as all Jonathan L Howard s stories and books I ve read so far are.As for this one, the secret is in knowing what not to expect. Very different from book one which took inspiration from Gothic novels In this book Johannes Cabal the necromancer of some little infamy and less even scruples, excommunicated from all major religions and few obscure one finds himself posing as minor government official on airship and getting caught in web of international intrigue.Throughout large part this plays out like murder mystery just instead of arrogant British detective we have arrogant evil necromancer They served to remind Cabal should a reminder ever be necessary why his social skills were so poor people were loathsome and not worth the practise.Cabal is always fun and It was hilarious to watch him pretending to be normal human.Humor is again very Pratchett esque but this time it was even on target and I found myself laughing hard during larger portion of this book.I can t wait to see what will other books in the series bring. Johannes Cabal the Detective is the second book about the eponymous necromancer I read the first book, Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, at the beginning of this year, and was enormously enamoured with the bitingly sarcastic gentleman in question In fact, it has remained my number one read of 2010 despite fierce competition from other titles, and so I was almost nervous about picking up this second novel about Johannes Cabal in case it did not live up to the first.I am pleased to report that Johannes Cabal the Detective is just as darkly funny, original and snarky as the first novel in the series In this book Cabal begins the tale in a prison, following the aborted theft of a rather nasty little book Through foul means and not a little luck, he finds himself aboard an airship the Princess Hortense as she flies her maiden voyage between Mirkarvia and Katamenia As is usual with Cabal, what should have been a peaceful flight turns into a murder mystery, and he is caught in the middle of it, trying to piece together all the clues to discover whodunit Accompanied by Leonie Barrow a character from the first novel , Cabal is caught in a race against time If he doesn t discover the culprit, then he might very well become the next victim.By far the strongest element of the novel is Johannes Cabal himself a complicated, scientifically minded, dark hearted man I equate him somewhat to Basil Fawlty from the Fawlty Towers series those of you who don t know of this, pick up the TV series on DVD and delight in the bizarre English humour of it all Basil is enormously dislikable, bitingly sarcastic and always doing something that will benefit himself and yet you find yourself sympathising with him when his schemes go awry and generally cheering him on Exactly the same could be said about Johannes Cabal His dialogue carries the story along, and his various encounters with the other members of the crew are hilarious and uncomfortable by turn Without Cabal this book would be merely an amusing mystery novel with him included, it is elevated to a comedic fantasy classic.Because of the nature of the novel a murder mystery we encounter a number of other secondary characters who do remain fairly two dimensional Howard does attempt to lift them above being merely props to the plot, but all bar Leonie Barrow who sparkles thanks to her common sense and an ability to make Cabal feel uncomfortable feel rather hollow.I mentioned the noir humour of the novel as well as the main bulk of the story, we are handed other gems, such as diagrams of the airships and entomoptors complete with excitable comments as though from the pages of a boy s magazine and exam questions such as the following Read the following brief description of the Second Gallician Conflict, its results and ramifications, and then answer the questions that follow it A In what year did Mirkarvia invade Senza B i With hindsight, what was Dulcis III s most serious error ii And without hindsight C Discuss any two of the following statements i Mirkarvia behaved like a right bunch of bastards ii Polorus behaved like a right bunch of bastards iii All countries behave like a right bunch of bastards D Write a political treatise not to exceed 250,000 words or 500 sides, whichever is less detailing your solution to stabilising relations in the region, military force above brigade level is not permitted, nor is divine intervention If the above extract of rather absurd humour appeals to you, then you will delight in the continual flashes of comedy that anchor this novel.My slight complaint from the first novel in the series was that the world building was slim to non existent This is addressed admirably in Johannes Cabal the Detective We are introduced to the states of Mirkarvia and Senza, and a petty political back story is laid out for us I do wonder how these states connect to the location we encountered in Johannes Cabal the Necromancer, however Jonathan L Howard does succeed in developing a strong steampunk feel to the series, which builds on the presence of the carnival locomotive from the first novel.Happily, this novel is relatively standalone Enough details are passed out about the first novel to give the reader a good indication of events that occurred, and it is not necessary to have read that book to read Johannes Cabal the Detective.Howard is quietly going about the business of presenting a character who feels iconic right from the very first moment he steps onto the page Johannes Cabal the Detective is a triumph of dark murder mystery combined with steampunk flair Add than a dash of laugh out loud funny moments and you have a novel that builds on the success of the first I was kept awake long into the night feverishly turning the pages of this book, and would recommend it highly. An unsympathetic observer might have said that when one embarks on a career as a necromancer consorting with demons, digging up the dead and bringing them back to life, or at least something fairly similar to life one can hardly complain when things become complicated Even by those standards, however, it seemed a little unfair that the perfectly simple theft of a book had turned into a great tumbling chaos of politics, murder, deceit, and mystery All Johannes Cabal wanted was to borrow long term and indefinitely, of course a book that would help him in his one unchangeable mission to eradicate death How could he know that it would lead to him kick starting a peasant uprising, having to impersonate a civil service agent, flying on the maiden voyage of a new airship, matching wits and trading barbs with a woman from his past, wearing fashion items he wouldn t be caught dead in a special item of concern in his particular line of work , dodging numerous attempts on his life actually, that one he probably does expect , unmasking a murderous plot, going down in flames, and being caught in the crosshairs of a femme fatale Of all of these, it s the last one that truly horrifies Cabal This book was in a very different style than the first book and carries its own vibe It s still darkly comedic, it s justdifferent Cabal himself also feels slightly different, just a shade not too strong mind you human than he was during his first published adventure The possible reasons for this are two fold First, he is once again in possession of his soul, having wrangled it back from his Luciferiousness in the first book Secondly, his incognito status in this book means that he has to blend in with others in a confined environment Blending in isn t exactly Cabal s strong suitHe never went out of his way to damage people s lives not except in some very deliberate cases, anyway but people would insist on getting in the way Now he considered it carefully, he began to appreciate just why quite so many bullets, knives, and the occasional crossbow quarrel had whistled past his frantically dodging head down the years.Johannes Cabal isn t one to inspire the warm fuzzies in anyone He considers himself a scientist and his penchant for letting his actions be guided by logic, rather than the unreliable and confusing dictates of emotion, means that sometimes he s not even especially likable Even so, there are moments, brief and fleeting glimpses, into the undercurrents beneath the unflappable and sardonic exterior And along for the adventure this time, though not by the choice of either, is Leonie Barrow a young woman encountered in the last book who has reason to bear grudges against one Johannes Cabal I really like Leonie in the first book and I liked her even better in this one I enjoy mystery stories so though it took me a while to accept that this story was going to have a different flavor from the last book, once I made the adjustment I was able to enjoy Cabal navigate this latest adventure It was still fun, Cabal still has little patience or use for most of humanity, and I still chuckled several times I m looking forward to reading books in the series. 4.0 stars Even though I grade this book as a solid 4 stars, I was still a tad disappointed in this book because I went into it with such high expectations Based solely on the strength of the writing which is outstanding and one of the most intriguing and original main characters in recent memory i.e., Johannes Cabal , this is an easy 5 star effort Howard s clever use of language and dry, witty phrasing makes reading the book a lot of fun to read He also does an above average job of world building and has created a place that I want to visit and learn about its history.So with all of that, why only 4 stars Simply put, I thought the story itself was too slow and not very interesting Comparing it to a car ride, it is like driving through beautiful country in a Rolls Royce but over very bumpy road All the potential for awesomeness is there, but you chose the wrong route Anyway, dull plot aside, I am so taken with the writing and the main character that I will buy the next installment of the series upon its release and still recommend the series as the potential for greatness is certainly there. More uneven than the first in the series, this one swung between three and four stars most of the way After a rip roaring start it slowed to a crawl albeit an amusing crawl, and didn t pick up much energy again until about halfway through the book Horst, Johannes s brother, didn t make an appearance this time, and I missed him, but Leonie Barrow returned as a major character and was marvelous The writing, and the editing, felt a bit rushed in places, but, as in the earlier book, there were many deliciously funny bits.