Title: Books, Bulls, and Bacchanals (Brandywine Investigations #4)
Author: Angel Martinez
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Release Date: October 25, 2015
Page Count: 214
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Everyone assumes life’s one big party for Dionysus, but even the god of wine and orgies has problems. His anger management issues are out of control, and his siblings suggest a visit to the Eternal Library to find a cure. The library of the gods is a strange and confounding place, though, one that Dionysus has avoided for centuries, and his certainty that the library hates him is confirmed when a killer strikes during his visit.
Life as the only librarian is blissfully peaceful for Leander, giving him the security and quiet he so desperately needs. Considered a monster as a child, Leander’s memories of his imprisonment in the Labyrinth left deeply carved emotional scars. But when a young woman is murdered in his library, he needs to emerge from his self-imposed seclusion to help find the killer who might still stalk the hallways.
Forced to keep company with Dionysus, Leander swings between whether the unpredictable and charming little god will keep him safe or drive him to distraction before the killer is found.
Canines, Crosshairs and Corpses
No Enemy But Time
Dragons, Diamonds and Discord
Books, Bulls and Bacchanals
If you aren’t familiar with this series, start with Canines, Crosshairs and Corpses, which introduces the reader to the world of the Olympic gods in modern times. I adore Canines, Crosshairs and Corpses – it’s become one of my feel good re-reads.
Dionysus is one of the younger gods, and only half divine, with a following of mortals known as the Maenads. Dio doesn’t have the best reputation among his immortal family – his temper outbursts are legendary.
When he and his Maenad Maggie head to the Eternal Library to research a clue that something there in will help him control those outbursts, Maggie ends up murdered. Dio finds Leander, the Eternal Library’s librarian standing over her dead body. Leander happens to be a Minotaur; the Minotaur in fact. Dio draws some unfortunate conclusions, explodes in anger and flees.
At heart, Dio’s a really misunderstood guy. With a brain like a squirrel on red bull and a plant god at heart, he has feelings and emotions like everyone else and with a little help from the Family, he wants to get to the bottom of why anyone would hurt Maggie.
Along the way, Dio finds a friend in one very lonely Minotaur. “They” say opposites attract, and you can’t get any more opposite than Dionysus and Leander.
What I really enjoyed about this was Dio’s unabashed delight in so many things. I totally enjoyed reading Dio’s internal – and sometimes external – monologue. He knows he’s not quite right in the head, but he keeps trying to do his best – he has a house for lost souls, he’s not afraid to say ‘I’m sorry’, he generous to a fault, and he knows when not to push.
Ironically, Leander’s self-imposed seclusion and Dio’s breaking those barriers down did leave me a bit uncomfortable. I’ve read a couple stories now with PTSD and it just doesn’t sit right with me. Yes, I know in this case we’re dealing with a 3000 year old Minotaur and a god with abandonment issues, so I totally acknowledge this is my quirk.
My issues aside, this is a fun story. The Library is fantastic, Leander’s assistants delightful, the mushroom gardeners right out of Fantasia. Visually seeing Dionysus’s thought process really brings his character to life and I loved that Leander was a Minotaur.
Recommended if you’ve read the first three in the series.