Blood and Wisdom

Verlin Darrow
The Wild Rose Press, Inc. (2018)
ISBN 9781509220861
Reviewed by Adrienne Johnston for Reader Views (2/19)

Meet Private Investigator Karl Gatlin, his dog Larry, and assistants Matt and John.  Together, they work towards solving an issue brought to Gatlin by former classmate, and crush, Aria Piper.  The first few chapters set a scene of murder, questionable spiritual and religious leadership, and eventual adventure.  “Blood and Wisdom” by Verlin Darrow is a “comfortable” mystery, not because of the content so much as the fact this is a good book for a rainy day. If you’re honest with yourself, these kinds of books are a real pleasure to curl up with any day. Especially if you want to get lost in a world of good characters and a story that moves along at a good pace.

The author creates a storyline that is not entirely unexpected.  A damsel in distress hires a PI and his gang to investigate odd or distressing occurrences that are happening in her life.  The PI is smitten with the damsel but does not let that interfere with his overall work. There is a loveable sidekick, the dog Larry in this instance, and a support group for the PI that help keep the investigation going.  The storyline is not new or original; it is a tried and true line that sits comfortably with what the author has created. Darrow has produced a good, solid, and most importantly, entertaining novel.

Darrow has created a relatable cast of characters, and that is what I appreciated most about this book.  The main character, PI Karl Gatlin, is not some hunky heartthrob, he is a real guy with a realistic backstory.  Gatlin and his dog Larry were probably my favorite part of the book. There is just something about a man and his dog that makes a person feel good. 

I would recommend “Blood and Wisdom” by Verlin Darrow to readers wanting a cozy, rainy day read. Not only are the characters well worked, but the story is a solid tried and true trope. The only thing I would like to have seen is more eye-catching cover artwork. Overall, though, it is a good book and I would not mind meeting the PI Gatlin and the gang again in future books.