Relight My Fire continues the great series based around a weird newspaper called The Stranger Times. I’m very grateful to the publishers and Netgalley for an ARC. The book is due to be published later this month (Jan 24th).

relight my fire

Relight My Fire (The Stranger Times #4)

by C K McDonnell

Some comebacks can be murder . . .

Stella is enjoying life as an almost student, or at least she is until a man falls from the sky right in front of her, leaving a big old hole in the pavement for Manchester Council to fill. The obvious question of how he ended up in the sky in the first place has no obvious answers, which is where The Stranger Times come in. This isn’t just the hunt for another story though. Dark powers think Stella might have been involved and the only way she and the team can prove her innocence is to find out what the hell is really going on. What have dodgy gear, disturbed graves and a decommissioned rock star got to do with all this?

Vincent Banecroft has problems of his own in the form of a tall, dark but-definitely-not-handsome man dressed like a one-man funeral who has been sent to make the paper’s editor atone for his sins. Once he finds out exactly what that entails, Banecroft is not keen. Being banished to a Hellscape for all eternity looks like being no fun at all, not least because he has that pale Irish skin that burns really easily . . .

All that plus territorial ghouls, homicidal felines, eternal (and seemingly unstoppable) gnomes and a celebrity ‘Who’s Who’ that’d put a royal wedding to shame, and you’re looking at a wild few days for The Stranger Times. [goodreads]

My Review

Given that book 1 in the series got five stars and a listing in my Book of that Year, Relight My Fire has a lot to live up to. Although I didn’t enjoy book 2 so much, book 3 was back to the series’ usual high standards.

In Book 4 C K McDonnell picks up more or less where we left off, and sends us on a fast and furious adventure with our favourite characters. If you couldn’t remember them when you first renew your acquaintance, you remember everything about them, which is often far too much for your health or sanity, within about ten seconds.

What I really love about this series is the combination of great characters, ridiculous scenarios, a bonkers Manchester, and brilliant story-telling. Relight My Fire is definitely the best of the sequels so far. I think C K McDonnell has a difficult line to tread in how many sequels to attempt before it becomes ordinary. This is exceptional. And great fun.

Book Review | Relight My Fire by C K McDonnell
Tagged on:             

3 thoughts on “Book Review | Relight My Fire by C K McDonnell

  • 6 January, 2024 at 2:59 pm

    Another great review. I seem to recall not being quite as excited about Book 1, though as usual when I persisted I got engaged. Can’t seem to remember how it all turned out, though I’m pretty sure I finished. Still, your continuing positive reviews make me think I really ought to try a few more!

    • 6 January, 2024 at 7:51 pm

      It may be the British sense of humour that is limiting your attention span 🙂 OTOH I just read a cosy mystery by a UK writer (set in UK), and thought the writing was terribly old fashioned and the whole thing needed more/better editing, which is interesting since this author is trad published. Am I too used to US cosy mysteries? I’m reviewing that next week.


What do you think? Or just say hi!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: