29 June, 2018


Title: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal
Author: K.J. Charles
Series: The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal 1
Genres: Historical, Romance, LGBT
Publisher: KJC Books
Release: March 25th 2017
Source: ebook
Pages: 232

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A story too secret, too terrifying—and too shockingly intimate—for Victorian eyes.

A note to the Editor

Dear Henry,

I have been Simon Feximal’s companion, assistant and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide.

You have asked me often for the tale of our first meeting, and how my association with Feximal came about. I have always declined, because it is a story too private to be truthfully recounted, and a memory too precious to be falsified. But none knows better than I that stories must be told.

So here is it, Henry, a full and accurate account of how I met Simon Feximal, which I shall leave with my solicitor to pass to you after my death.

I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.

Robert Caldwell September 1914


EXPECTATIONS: When I read that this book is going to be about magic or will have magic in it, and that the "magician" in question was a buff fella, I right away imagined a staff, fireballs, billowing robes... It's hard to expect correctly when it comes to KJC, I need to learn that.

THE WORLD: In the dark of London just before the World War I started, there were already plenty of raving ghosts, and angry spirits. Human beings can be cruel to one another, and it leaves the mark in the World under the World. Many a person tried to study those dark arts and mysteries, very often to no avail. But some did succeed and found means to use it and pass it along too. But all is not as gloomy as it sounds, for the story stars in a little crumbling castle or manor, with an angry ghost demanding justice out of the wittiest fella you could meet.  

CHARACTERS: Robert Caldwell is a journalist. He inherited this crumbling little place with whatever little treasures it had, and the ghosts too. Many things can be endured, really. Moans in empty rooms, objects moving, doors snapping shut before your nose. But once the walls started bleeding, Robert has drawn the line and called for professional help. Which came in shape of form of a professional boxer with immense knowledge of the occult, and a power to tame it: Simon Feximal. Later, as Robert is unable to stay out of trouble, and Simon tends to be at the center of that said trouble, trying to quench it, we meet his almost-sister, Miss Kay too. They both are the product of her father, tormented and experimented on until they finally received the powers that they have today. But this Robert found out a fair while later, after he and Simon had intense adventures dealing with tormented spirits, conspiracies, national secrets, and other terrifying things that finally almost killed Simon, for this power is not without a price, and it takes a mighty evil man to doom a fellow human to such a fate.

ROMANCE:  While Robert develops a crush straight away, it seems, their romance is blooming slowly, for neither seems to be able to communicate in human words. They both tiptoe around each other, not saying this or that, to avoid conflict or misunderstanding, until it nearly ends. Nearly, I say, for some nasty colleagues of Simon's end up accidentally giving them a chance, after which the two become inseparable. I must say, the dynamics these two have are amazing. Simon wants Robert safe, so he'll set rules and demand order. Robert will, if he will deign Simon's peace of mind a priority, tell him he'll stay out of trouble, and next chapter will start with Robert doing exactly what Simon asked him not to do. But it's all in good heart, and they understand each other too well to not realize there's a possibility the other party will do what they will feel like doing according to their morals. 

GOOD: Well, I guess, as I said - dynamics between the characters. Well written characters too, but that's a given with KJC. Miss Kay was one very interesting lady, and I really wish there were more of her. Oh, and there's Mycroft too! The story itself is very Sherlock+Watson if fandom had their way with those two characters from BBC Sherlock, plus supernatural. 

BAD: The bad, the bad... Let me think a little. Well, I guess some stories weren't as interesting as the others.  

OVERALL: This is a great read I can recommend to people who like case by case books in almost Doyle style. It's a great mystery detective, if a bit scary there or sad here.




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