Title: In a Black Monk Funk
Author: Gloria Lesher
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery / Supernatural Suspense
In In a Black Monk Funk, Blythe Golightly conducts another investigation surrounding the paranormal. This time, an ancient scroll and an elusive, even-more-ancient, monk are at the center of her newest case. With familiar faces and unforeseen places, this sequel in the Paranormal Case Files series is sure to invite readers back on an otherworldly adventure with Blythe Golightly.
An ancient scroll is in the wrong hands, and it’s up to Blythe to set things right. But the scroll’s history runs deep, and its powers are unmatched by any human. A mysterious cloaked figure may know the secrets of the scroll, but they too seek the scroll for their own motivations. Blythe knows she must keep the scroll safe and secure and return it to its rightful place. But when someone is ruthlessly murdered over the scroll, Blythe realizes how serious this mission is—and how her own life may be in danger because of it.
The novel’s plot line is intricate. The results are a suspenseful, unpredictable web of actions that Blythe must navigate to find out the truth. The novel really picks up speed around the halfway point in the novel. Readers will be glued to the pages and become hooked to the story. With two deaths, a freak accident and a murder, the atmosphere becomes spookier and the paranormal elements shift to the forefront of the story.
The book is told through Blythe’s perspective, and readers essentially follow her train of thought as she takes on the mission to recover the scroll and unravel the mystery behind its potential. At times, especially at the beginning, the book is dominated by narration. This creates distance between the reader and the characters, and readers may struggle to feel fully invested in the plot. With more immersive language, readers would feel more connected to the characters and the story from the start.
With a large cast of characters, each possessing their own personal connection to the scroll and its influence, anyone could be the murderer. All the characters have unique voices and dynamic personalities. Witty and oddly charming, the Black Monk is the most interesting character. With the most distinct voice, the Black Monk is given lots of screen time to show off his cunning attitude and sharp tongue.
There are some moments where Blythe is not present for pivotal scenes in the book. Rather, she is told about them by another character. Because the book is told through Blythe’s perspective, readers also miss out on very important action that influences the plot. Putting Blythe in these situations directly would not only help to further build tension, but it would make readers feel more engrossed, especially as the novel takes a more intense turn.
As the book comes to a close, the setting reflects the story’s chaotic energy with a looming thunderstorm. The weather and setting descriptions add to the mood and heightens the impending doom that the Black Monk is hanging over everyone’s heads. Because the beginning half of the novel did not focus as heavily on the atmosphere, these details at the end of the book stand out and make a big impact on the reading experience.
Gloria Lesher offers another exciting installment in the Paranormal Case Files series. This modern, supernatural suspense with a strong female lead is sure to quench the thirst of any readers looking for a mystery novel with a touch of the paranormal. Thrilling, intricate, and filled with enough mystery to keep readers on their toes from page one, In a Black Monk Funk is sure to keep readers coming back for more Blythe Golightly stories.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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