Friday, June 20, 2014

Whyborne & Griffin Series by Jordan L. Hawk

Widdershins (#1)
Some things should stay buried.

Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.

So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.

As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?

Rating:  4 1/2 Stars

Eidolon (#1.5)
A Whyborne & Griffin short story.

Griffin Flaherty wants nothing more than to create a perfect Valentine’s Day for his lover, Dr. Percival Endicott Whyborne. Dinner at a fancy restaurant, an evening at the theater, and a romantic interlude at home should do the trick.

But a new client with an urgent case puts Griffin’s plans in jeopardy. A magic talisman has been stolen, and if it isn’t returned by sundown, it may unleash disaster not only on the thief but the innocents around him.

Can Whyborne and Griffin track down the thief and return the amulet by nightfall, or will dinner reservations become the least of their worries?

Rating:  3 1/2 Stars

Threshold (#2)
Introverted scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne wants nothing more than to live quietly with his lover, ex-Pinkerton detective Griffin Flaherty. Unfortunately, Whyborne's railroad tycoon father has other ideas, namely hiring Griffin to investigate mysterious events at a coal mine.

Whyborne, Griffin, and their friend Christine travel to Threshold Mountain, a place of dark legend even before the mine burrowed into its heart. A contingent of Pinkertons-including Griffin's ex-lover Elliot-already guard the mine. But Griffin knows better than anyone just how unprepared the detectives are to face the otherworldly forces threatening them.

Soon, Whyborne and Griffin are on the trail of mysterious disappearances, deadly accidents, and whispered secrets. Is Elliot an ally, or does he only want to rekindle his relationship with Griffin? And if so, how can Whyborne possibly hope to compete with the stunningly handsome Pinkerton-especially when Griffin is hiding secrets about his past?

For in a town where friends become enemies and horror lurks behind a human mask, Whyborne can't afford to trust anything-including his own heart.

Rating:  4 Stars

Stormhaven (#3)
Mysterious happenings are nothing new to reclusive scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne, but finding one of his colleagues screaming for help in the street is rather unusual. Allan Tambling claims he can’t remember any of the last hour—but someone murdered his uncle, and Allan is covered in blood.

Whyborne’s lover, dashing ex-Pinkerton detective Griffin Flaherty, agrees to prove Allan’s innocence. But when Allan is deemed insane and locked away in the Stormhaven Lunatic Asylum, Griffin finds himself reliving the horrifying memories of his own ordeal inside a madhouse.

Along with their friend Christine, the two men become drawn deeper and deeper into a dark web of conspiracy, magic, and murder. Their only clue: a missing artifact depicting an unknown god. Who stole the artifact, and why can’t Allan remember what happened? And what is the truth behind the terrible experiments conducted on Stormhaven’s forbidden fourth floor?

It will take all of Whyborne’s sorcery and Griffin’s derring-do to stop the murderers and save Allan. But first, they must survive an even greater challenge: a visit from Griffin’s family.

Rating:  4 1/2 Stars

Necropolis (#4)
Introverted scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has spent the last few months watching his lover, Griffin Flaherty, come to terms with the rejection of his adoptive family. So when an urgent telegram from Christine summons them to Egypt, Whyborne is reluctant to risk the fragile peace they’ve established. Until, that is, a man who seems as much animal as human tries to murder Whyborne in the museum.

Amidst the ancient ruins of the pharaohs, they must join Christine and face betrayal, murder, and a legendary sorceress risen from the dead. In the forge of the desert heat, the trio will either face their fears and stand together—or shatter the bonds between them forever.

Rating:  5 Stars

Series Review:
I'm doing an overall review because each book flows fluently into the next.  Each book is a mystery in itself but the relationships are on going and growing so they really need to be read in order, although I did read the short story last and it wasn't really out of place.
The characters are not only well written but easily liked.  As much as I love both Whyborne & Griffin, I really enjoyed Christine.  A woman before her time and smarter than her colleagues, she doesn't hold any punches with anyone and she is the only true friend that both men come to trust and rely on.
The mysteries are intriguing and definitely well written.  They do rely heavily on the supernatural or paranormal, which is a plus for me.  It's done so well that for those who aren't necessarily fans of magic I think will still find these stories interesting.

Series Rating:  4 1/2 Stars

Author Bio:
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in the wilds of North Carolina, where she was raised on stories of haints and mountain magic by her bootlegging granny and single mother. After using a silver knife in the light of a full moon to summon her true love, she turned her talents to spinning tales. She weaves together couples who need to fall in love, then throws in some evil sorcerers and undead just to make sure they want it bad enough. In Jordan’s world, love might conquer all, but it just as easily could end up in the grave.

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