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This Charming Man by C K McDonnell


This Charming Man by C.K. McDonnell
UK Publication: Feb 2023
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Random House UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

One word review – Charmed

Synopsis from Goodreads: Vampires do not exist. Everyone knows this. So it’s particularly annoying when they start popping up around Manchester .

Nobody is pleased about it. Not the Founders, the secret organisation for whom vampires were invented as an allegory, nor the Folk, the magical people hidden in plain sight who only want a quiet life. And definitely not the people of Manchester, because there is nothing more irksome than being murdered by an allegory run amok. Somebody needs to sort this out fast before all Hell really breaks loose – step forward the staff of The Stranger Times.

It’s not like they don’t have enough to be dealing with. Assistant Editor Hannah has come back from getting messily divorced to discover that someone is trying to kidnap a member of their staff and while editor Vincent Banecroft would be delighted to see the back of any of his team, he doesn’t like people touching his stuff – it’s the principle of the thing.

Throw in a precarious plumbing situation, gambling debts, an entirely new way of swearing, and a certain detective inspector with what could be kindly referred to as ‘a lot of baggage’ and it all adds up to another hectic week in the life of the newspaper committed to reporting the truth that nobody else will touch.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed book 1 in this series so you will be glad to know that I also enjoyed book 2 and already have book 3 ready to go very soon.

The madcap humour continues as Manchester is plagued by supernatural happenings and non-existent beings. The reader is given more background into the accord between The Founders and the Folk and the idea that things are not as they should be and that events will soon start ramping us is there subtly ticking away in the background.

Victor has found an ingenious way to get around Grace’s swearing ban and it is an idea I intend to steal if a swear box should ever appear in the office!

It was great to catch up with the crew of the Stranger Times and even better to meet new characters my favourites being Cogs and Zeke. While this may be a humorous, supernatural adventure story, it is also a story with a lot of heart as our favourite newspaper employees come to realise they are more to each other than just colleagues and that while Banecroft may be the foul mouthed boss from hell there is actually more to him as well. Just don’t tell anyone.

Favourite Quotes:

“Only in Manchester could hot weather in summer be classed as unseasonable”

“The Jag was a ‘classic’ which meant it looked good but had none of the fixtures and fittings, such as air-con, that actually made a car comfortable.”

“Obviously put your hands in the air, and then, don’t move. There was an Oxford comma between the two actions, implying a list of events happening in sequence.”

“The sex shop was gone, replaced by an estate agents. Ox couldn’t help but think that if anything, this development had lowered the tone of the area.”

“You think you’re the first sleazy arsehole I’ve met in my life? I used to edit a tabloid newspaper.”

Who would like this? I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed book 1, anyone who enjoys English humour and those who like the supernatural.