Dead Man’s Hand

Ace: Berkley. (The Unorthodox Chronicles, Bk. 1). Oct. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780593440414. $27. FANTASY
DEBUT Auditors, the most skilled magical beings, are enforcers of the magical community in Boston for The Department of Unorthodox Affairs. Grimshaw Griswald Grimsby spent his youth training to become one of those elite, only to be dismissed by Samantha Mansgraf, one of the most powerful witches in the Department. When Mansgraf is found murdered, Grimsby becomes a suspect. Clearing his name will take all of Grimsby’s talent, along with some assistance from the legendary Huntsman and an unusual resident of Elsewhere, the magical space that overlays the regular world. As Grimsby searches for the truth, he will discover a complex plot that would not only take away his freedom, but impact both the supernatural Unorthodox and common Usual residents of his city. Butcher’s outcast protagonist and city setting ground the prose even as the mysterious Elsewhere introduces even more unusual action and questions for the future.
VERDICT This debut from Butcher (son of “Dresden Files” novelist Jim Butcher) hits all the right notes for an entertaining urban fantasy series. Readers will want to see what happens next.
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