This week’s Book of the Week is more of a series recommendation. I read two Hobson and Choi books last week practically one after the other and I was going to save my ravings for a Recommendsday post, but I didn’t anything I liked better last week, so it seemed churlish not to pick one of them for my BotW, so I chose Rush Jobs.
The set up: John Hobson is a private detective with a Past. Angelina Choi is his work experience intern. In the first book, she starts her two week placement by tweeting that they’re going to solve a high profile murder case. #HobsonvsWolf goes viral and soon Hobson has to try to solve a case he’s not being paid for and possibly face off against a giant wolf. In Rush Jobs, we rejoin the duo at the start of Angelina’s second and final week of her work experience. And after all the online buzz from the last case, they’re in demand. This leads to a lot of smaller crimes to solve (or not) along with some running story lines from the first book. I can’t really say too much more about the plot because it gives away too much* but it’s a lot of fun.
I raced through this – and then immediately bought book three. It’s dark and seedy but very funny which takes the edge off the grim bits. Hobson is an intriguingly flawed character – we’ve found out a few bits about what he has going on in his past and it’s not pretty. Choi is young and idealistic and although she has reasons of her own for taking an internship at a detective agency, she’s still quite innocent and some of the goings on in Hobson’s world are a bit of a shock to her.
I’ve mentioned cozy crime adjacent novels before – and this is another of them. Theses aren’t psychological thrillers, or gore-fests, or chillers and they have some things in common with classic detective stories of the Golden Age. But if you need your detectives to always do the “right” thing, the legal thing, to have no darkness in their pasts then maybe don’t read these. But if you like stories where things can’t be tied up neatly in a bow at the end and handed over to the police to unwrap and where your detective inhabits a slightly shaky middle ground between the law and the criminals then try this series.
I picked up the first book as an actual book from The Big Green Bookshop, but have read the other two on Kindle. I have book four lined up for my train journeys home from work this week. But do start at the beginning. It’ll make more sense that way.
*NB this is why I usually talk about first books in mystery series because you have more to say without ruining running storylines for people who haven’t already read the series!