Murphy’s Lore: Shadow of the Wolf
Padwolf Publishing, 168 pp.
In the mood for something light and whimsical? Padwolf Publishing’s Murphy’s Lore series is a sort of mythological version of Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon. Greek gods, vampyres, satyrs, Arthurian knights, leprechauns and an assortment of other fantasy mainstays are all common barflies in Bullfinches’ Pub—the center of action for this series. This particular tale focuses on Ted Brand, one of the bar’s regulars who just happens to be a werewolf. With the help of several of Bullfinches’ patrons, Ted must rescue his wife (an honest-to-god wolf) and his two kids (werehumans—they’re wolves all month until the full moon hits) from a rogue member of the government’s Department of Mystic Affairs—a fellow werewolf. Thomas keeps his tongue planted firmly in cheek for most of the story but still manages to generate an exciting tale. The scenes where Brand undergoes training in how to fully understand his werewolf abilities manage to be simultaneously hysterical and downright creepy. Like the Callahan’s series, the Murphy’s tales generally work better as short stories than novels but this is still a fun read for anyone that likes their fantasy evenly mixed with puns, quips and one-liners.