Unshapely Things by Mark Del France begins with a running start and does not slow down throughout. The first in the series, Unshapely Things sets up an inventive alternative universe where the fey live in the open with humans. A string of murdered fairy prostitutes in the Weird, all with their hearts cut out, brings Connor Grey, a druid, on the case as a consultant for the Boston PD. Connor, once a high profile member of the Ward Guild, now lives on disability checks and an occasional check from the Boston PD. A black mass blocks his access to his essence due to an accident caused during his time with the Guild. Grey works to solve the murders and prevent more with his limited abilities and the help of Detective Murdock, a flit who goes by Joe, druidess Briallen, as well as others in the colorful cast of characters.
I liked the fact that Connor is not the typical sorcerer/elf/vampire/etc. Having a druid as the main protagonist makes for an intriguing read. I particularly liked Joe/Stinkwort, a flit who reminds me of Jenks from Kim Harrison’s Hollow series. Though Unshapely Things is similar to the Hollow series and Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series, it does manage to set itself apart. With a unique universe, cast of characters, races, and racial politics, Mark Del Franco’s series has found a place on many readers’ shelves. I cannot wait to read more about Connor Grey and maybe the cause of the black mass in his mind.
Mark Del Franco currently has four Connor Grey books in publication, along with the first in a new series, Skin Deep.