Book Review: In a Black Monk Funk

by Gloria Lesher

Well, this book surprised me, which is great when you are reviewing a lot of books. It means it stands out. In this case, the opening definitely grabbed me – as I read it I though THIS is how a cozy mystery should start. Okay, so this one is a paranormal cozy mystery, but the writing is sharp and witty. The first paragraph tells you everything about the theme of the book in a way that is moving and genuinely funny, and my favorite line:

If I’d been Eve, I would’ve thanked the Serpent for the apple, set it aside for later, and asked him for an interview.”

is from this wonderful start. But it’s a bit of a red herring. Not to say this is not a good book, because it really is. A good book breaks the formula, and this book does just that.

It’s well written, and I read through it in one sitting, but the tale has a dark thread through it. The darker mood that permeates the story, means that the humour becomes more muted, the further into the book you go, and it becomes almost a cozy thriller. There is a fledgling romance that keeps the book from descending fully into thriller mode, as romance seems to be the last thing on the minds of either of the two characters, so to see it coming so subtly is entertaining, you know before they do.

The setting of the book is almost gothic, and suits the darker storyline. The books focus is philosophical, and looks at censorship, forbidden knowledge, and the good of the people. Heavy topics indeed, but the author handles them very well, helping the reader to see the various agendas of the characters, which are deftly intertwined. The changing perceptions of the situation they are in means that the main character are interesting to watch.

A great read if you want a paranormal cozy mystery thriller!

A word of warning, if you are not open to questioning faith, this one might not be for you. Such as reference to the Book of Enoch and it’s content; the theological arguments are interesting if you are open minded.

4.5 out of 5 – the humor is there, but I would have like just a little more, otherwise, what a great book!