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Stamping Butterflies End of the World Blues Stamping Butterflies and End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
reviewed by Greg L. Johnson
Each novel feature a connection between a character from our own time and a mysterious figure from the far future. In both stories, the mystery of just what that connection is is hidden within the intimate details of the characters lives, revealed only at last in casually oblique hints and twists of phrase. But even with their similarities in set-up and style, both are more than distinct enough to lay to rest any criticism of a writer repeating himself. The effect is instead akin to that of a master composer using a memorable melody to craft two separate symphonies, each worthy of standing on its own.

End of the World Blues End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
reviewed by Paul Kincaid
Kit Nouveau has more than his fair share of buried traumas: an abusive father, service in Iraq as a sniper during which he killed a child, the death of a friend just as Nouveau was stealing his girlfriend. The fact that the girlfriend was the daughter of Britain's most powerful and fearsome crime family just adds another complication to the mix. As the novel opens, he has somehow found his way to Japan where he runs a disreputable biker bar; is married to a famous potter; and is bedding, in a desultory manner, the wife of a Japanese crime lord. Then, on the same day that a street urchin saves him from an apparent assassination attempt, his bar is blown up and his wife killed.

9Tail Fox 9Tail Fox by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
reviewed by Sandy Auden
On the reassuringly familiar side, this is a murder mystery. Sergeant Bobby Zha works for the San Francisco Police Department and he's trying to find out who has murdered him. One minute he's round the back of a warehouse with his gun drawn, the next he's a coma patient waking up after years in a medical facility. And if that wasn't weird enough, now he's being haunted by a nine-tailed Celestial fox.

Lucifer's Dragon Lucifer's Dragon by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
reviewed by Nathan Brazil
In two tales separated by a century, Passion diOrchi, daughter of a West Coast Mafia boss, has a plan to rebuild Venice, in the middle of the Pacific. As a base, she uses a huge fleet of old, worn out, barely seaworthy ships, and couple of oil rigs. Fast forward a hundred years, and New Venice is firmly established, with a central area of extreme opulence, surrounded by bolt-on floating slums. Count Ryuchi, and the other members of an equally divided ruling council, maintain the status quo, under the symbolic rule of the Doge, a 10 year-old boy named Aurelio. Then the Doge goes missing.

Felaheen Felaheen by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
After the events of Effendi, Raf is at loose ends. Apart from his mostly ceremonial Third Circle directorate, he's jobless, beset by the frustrations of looking after his frighteningly intelligent niece and the stresses of living with a woman he loves but isn't sleeping with. Out of the blue, he's approached by Eugenie de la Croix, director of security for his putative father the Emir. There has been an assassination attempt; the Emir's eldest son, Kashif Pasha, has declared that a group of populist rebels is behind it, but Eugenie has her doubts, and wants Raf's help protecting the Emir. As payment, she promises money, and something of much more value to Raf: proof of what he's always doubted, that his mother really slept with the Emir.

Effendi Effendi by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
reviewed by Rodger Turner
This book is set in the mid-east of a different 21st century world where the Ottoman Empire rules and Germany didn't lose WWI. All are beholden to the Kaiser and Berlin is its centre. As Ashraf Bey enters the city governor's office, he figures he's going to be chided for his lack of success solving the cities woes and finds himself promoted to running the city and the governor. Earlier, he thought he was in over his head; now he isn't sure which way is up. All he has is bluff and bluster plus his AI-augmented brain to keep him going. Now his AI, nicknamed Fox, is short-circuiting and won't answer his calls for assistance. Things are swirling out of control.

Pashazade Pashazade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
reviewed by Victoria Strauss
This novel is an SF/mystery hybrid set in an alternate world in which Germany won the First World War, and the Ottoman Empire never collapsed. Egypt is an autonomous province of the Empire; on its Mediterranean shore sits the free city of El Iskandryia, where sybaritic luxury rubs shoulders with desperate poverty, and the strict, ancient codes of Islam coexist uneasily with the decadent excesses of the modern world.

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