Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-848-2
It is always a pleasure to revisit the Finder named Markhat in Frank Tuttle’s wonderful fantasy world. Don’t worry, The Cadaver Client can stand alone very well. It’s comparable to the other stories written by the author, however, so if you like this one, you may want to get the previous three stories that came before this baby.
In this one, Mama Hog introduces Markhat to her friend, an even more ancient creature called Granny Knot. Granny Knot needs Markhat’s help. She is a spook doctor – for a price, she will speak to a ghost on your behalf – and she would pay Markhat a tidy sum of money if he can locate the wife and child of one of Granny Knot’s ghosts, a dead soldier who had abandoned the said wife and kid ten years ago. According to Granny Knot, this ghost wants Markhat to pass a big of coins – the dead soldier’s earthly fortune – to the wife and kid. Of course, there is more than meets the eye to this deceptively straightforward case.
I’m quite amused when I see this story being labeled as “romance” on the publisher website, because there is no romance here – Markhat seems to have misplaced his love interest in the previous story. The Cadaver Client is somewhat slower and contains less dramatic confrontations with paranormal spooks compared to the previous stories, so it may be a disappointment to some folks. Still, Markhat deserves a quiet case once in a while as a breather, if you ask me.
The Cadaver Client has the same world-building, sarcastic humor, and good pacing that made the previous stories in this series so much fun to read. It’s good to know that Mr Tuttle is still on a roll. While this one may be a bit slower and less exciting than the previous stories, it’s still an entertaining entry into my favorite Finder’s annals of paranormal cases.