Bloodline is the fifth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series of Jordan L. Hawk’s paranormal mystery set in 19th century USA, in a town called Widdershins.
And it quickly became one of my favorite series. It’s hard to maintain love for a series – because, you know, series = money.
BUT THIS WAS JUST TOO AWESOME! For you innocents out there, the Whyborne & Griffin series is a “gay paranormal romance mystery” about an introvert scholar and philologist (studies ancient, dead or alive languages, etc.) Percival Endicott Whyborne, and ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty.
The two meet first in “Widdershins” when Griffin is sent to solve the mystery behind the death of an upper class member. Being the youngest son of one of Widdershins’ old, wealthy families, Whyborne (who hates his first name) teams up with Griffin when a string of strange deaths occur – because they might just be dealing with something otherwordly.
We bookworms have read lots of books, right? Some, we love to death, others we can’t quite remember because of the countless similar stories we’ve devoured. This is one of those stories that had me hungry for more because the characters – even Widdershins itself – are memorable.
The first book was free so I bought it. I tried it out – but then I loved it so I immediately bought the next book, despite me being a cheapskate. And then I bought the third, then the other books until the sixth. And yes, I will buy the seventh.
Because the characters and the stories are just AMAZING! We have Whyborne who blushes easily, who’s really funny despite being a bit demure. He’s also smart because languages, symbols, mystery! Also, he’s a sorcerer (he wasn’t born one, though).
Then, we have Griffin. This Kansas-raised farm boy who grew up to become a detective is charming, sweet, and sexy. No he’s not the moody, brooding, brash type. He’s got smarts, too, but he loves Whyborne so much it hurts! Sigh, what a boyfriend material. He’s also brave and quick-thinking. And even with just his gun or his sword cane, he can deal with monsters from the deep or the underworld.
Of course, there’s also Christine (That’s Dr. Putnam to you), the only female archaeologist in the Ladysmith Museum where Whyborne works. There are so many fictional stories set in historical times, where writers use the excuse of “It’s in history!” when they don’t include or downplay female characters. Not in this series. Christine is brave, witty, loyal, and strong when her friends need her. She’s also not afraid to face down an army of ghouls with just a revolver.
Not to mention the mysterious and strange librarian, Mr. Quinn.
In “Bloodline,” Whyborne and Christine went to ask the librarian if he had any item to contribute to the museum’s Halloween tours of horror. Mr. Quinn showed them a book bound in skin, enclosed in a glass box, saying that whoever reads the contents will die within a week.
Mr. Quinn tenderly replaced the book within the case. “It is my fondest hope to someday read it,” he said dreamily. “Perhaps I will tell everyone of its wonders before I die. Or perhaps I shall keep them to myself.”
“What if it’s not very good?” Christine asked.
Mr. Quinn gets annoyed, but Whyborne thinks (the story is in his first person POV):
Bad enough to die from reading a gorgeously written book, but what if it turned out to be rubbish? Being killed by bad prose would only add insult to injury.
You have no idea how many times I laughed, gasped, recoiled, and cried reading the damn series! Especially in this book!
In this story, after their trip to Egypt, Whyborne and company are back in Widdershins, but so is his sister, Guinevere, who has something urgent to tell him on the eve of her return party (that also celebrates Whyborne’s birthday, despite his estrangement with their father).
The book deals much with Whyborne learning about the secrets of his family – secrets that not even his parents knew about, secrets that won’t just get everyone he loved killed, but ones that will endanger the whole of Widdershins, from strange creatures beyond the deep, vindictive sorcerers, and greedy humans alike. Absolute power, after all, corrupts absolutely.
Anyone who loves a friggin’ good story. If you don’t mind the gore, the blood, and the dismembered bodies strewn over the pages, then yes, read “Bloodline” (you’ll have to read the entire amazing series first, but this is by far my very, very favorite). You’ll realize I don’t usually ramble unless it’s a story I fawn over and still can’t get over with!
Be warned, though: It was sex scenes. I will not sugar-coat this fact because it’s there: Whyborne and Griffin are lovers, and like the heterosexual couples in paranormal mysteries, they make love. What I do is usually skim or skip the paragraphs detailing their, ehem, act till I get to the next part (no, those red scenes don’t take a whole chapter of whatever) because asexual – or demisexual – here.
In any case, I will definitely be reading more of Jordan L. Hawk’s works. Her characters are amazing, believable, not self-absorbed, but totally strong and relatable. The stories and plotlines are brilliant and never boring. And the writing is just gorgeous and fits Whyborne’s character well. Couldn’t have imagined a better narrator.
For more Whyborne & Griffin series:
Book 1: Widdershins (FREE)