This is a revised version of a post that originally appeared in The Broken Bullhorn
Fanuilh by Daniel Hood, Ace Books, April 1994
A successful blending of mystery and fantasy.
Here’s something a little different, this is both a mystery novel and a fantasy novel. The title character Fanuilh is a minature dragon, the familiar of the wizard Tarquin, who is stabbed to death.
Liam Rhenford, a young man just arriving to become apprenticed, discovers the body and the extremely distraught dragon. Together they set out to find the murderer. After initially being a suspect, the two work with a tough old captain of the city guard to solve the crime. Suspects include an actor with a beautiful sister, an herbalist who has a mysterious mistress, a wealthy merchant who believes he has been cheated and a girl who provided the wizard with virgin’s blood for a spell.
Hood does a good job giving the reader all the elements of both fantasy and mystery. This is the first of five novels in the series featuring Liam Rhenford and Fanuilh, and it’s quite good. Hood’s books are quite enjoyable, though the series is a bit uneven with some books stronger than others. That’s typical of series.
I found these to be somewhat reminiscent of Joel Rosenberg’s D’Shai and Hour of the Octopus, also very good mystery-fantasy blends that I highly recommend to anyone who has not read them.
The Rhenford & Fanuilh series:
- Fanuilh – (Ace, April 1994)
- Wizard’s Heir – (Ace, July 1995)
- Beggar’s Banquet – (Ace, April 1997)
- Scales of Justice – (Ace, March, 1998)
- King’s Cure – (Ace, December, 2000)