Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector – Nicole Kimberling
Vampire Hunter. Leprechaun Fighter. Food Inspector. Keith Curry has his work cut out for him. NATO’s Irregulars Affairs Division is a secret organization operating in thousands of cities around the globe. Its agents police relations between the earthly realm and those beyond this world, protecting citizens from both mundane and otherworldly dangers. Former chef turned NIAD food inspector, Special Agent Keith Curry found out about magic the hard way and is now determined to keep dinner safe for everybody. Includes the novellas Cherries Worth Getting, Magically Delicious and the never-before-published Bring Out Your Best plus bonus shorts and more!
The shared world of Irregulars is the kind of well-realized world authors can play around with and have lots of fun. I enjoyed the original Irregulars anthology where every conceivable mythological creature is real and there are special agents doing magical investigations. I had hoped for more stories about NIAD and all the humans and extra-humans like Rake and Archer, Deven and Silas, and Half-dead Henry and Jason.
Nicole Kimberling happily granted my wish with a short story collection about former chef and food inspector Special Agent Keith Curry and his boyfriend, trans-goblin and NIAD strike force member, Gunther Heartman. I like the slice-of-life feel of the interrelated short story format because I can read about several different cases while keeping up to date with Keith and Gunther’s relationship without having to deal with too many details.
Keith describes himself as average but he’s pretty damn good at his job. He goes above and beyond and gets into a lot of trouble. He has no magic but he gets by with tenacity, quick thinking and a bit of luck. Gunther is a snow goblin who was magically transformed into human form in-utero. He is blue-eyed, dark haired, really good looking and very loyal to Keith. He is close to his mom and dad and his gazillion cousins in the Heartman clan. And despite his ferocious goblin lineage, he is an “all-around sweetheart”. I love them both!
Cherries Worth Getting: posted here
Cookie Jamboree: I keep hearing about this Cookie Jamboree Gunther was so gung-ho about. Nice to know that the perfect Gunther Heartman has a dorky side. Cookie cutter collection?! Really?!
The Little Golden Book of Goblin Stories: Because goblin moms are the best! Expect to feel teary-eyed.
Magically Delicious: Keith deals with potty mouth leprechauns and missing pixies while Gunther is hospitalized. He gets three wishes but what would he wish for? Needless to say, this case involves defying death in creative ways. This story’s a win.
The Most Important Meal of the Day: The apocalypse has arrived. Keith makes breakfast for a lazy-ass wizard as the world falls apart. Equal parts urgent and laid-back. My favorite of the collection.
Bring Out Your Best: Contaminated blood investigation takes Keith and Gunther from vampire bars and deadly entertainment sports arenas to air force bases where Keith talks to a jet plane. Also, unsubtle hints from Gunther but Keith thinks he might not be good enough to be a Heartman. For crying out loud, just do it, Keith!!! That ending tho ( ˘⌣˘)♡(˘⌣˘ )
This is such a fun read! Definitely recommended!
I’m not into the genre but man, those goblins love their metal. Keith likes it too, so a metal love song for you both.
I received a copy of Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector from Blind Eye Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Cherries Worth Getting – 3.5 stars
Cookie Jamboree – 4 Stars
The Little Golden Book of Goblin Stories – 4.5 Stars
Magically Delicious – 4 Stars
The Most Important Meal of the Day – 4.5 Stars
Bring Out Your Best – 4 Stars
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
Irregulars – Nicole Kimberling, Josh Lanyon, Ginn Hale, and Astrid Amara
It’s a secret international organization operating in cities on every continent. It polices relations between the earthly realm and those beyond this world, enforcing immigration laws, the transfers of magical artifacts, and crimes against humanity.
The agents who work for the NATO Irregular Affairs Division can’t tell anyone what they do, or how hard they work to keep us safe. It brings a colorful collection of men together:
Agent Henry Falk, the undead bum. Agent Keith Curry, former carnivore chef turned vegetarian; Agent Rake, Babylonian demon with a penchant for easy living; and Agent Silas August, uncompromising jerk.
Four cities, four mysteries, four times the romance. Is your security clearance high enough to read on?
Cherries Worth Getting by N. Kimberling – made me glad I am a vegetarian. Former chef Keith Curry and trans-goblin Gunther Heartman investigate contraband food items while trying in vain to keep it professional between the two of them. Nicole Kimberling sets up a world where extra-humans exists side by side with regular people and the Secrecy Act is in place. Extra-humans being vampires, goblins, fae folks and other mythical creatures from all over the world. Foodies might get an extra kick with the gourmet part.
Green Glass Beads by Josh Lanyon – a fluffy faery-demon romance that’s also a heist and an obsessive quest for family heirlooms. Sidhe politics and history were mentioned but not elaborated upon. Archer, our half faery-half human protagonist, is an intelligence but impulsive ex-terrorist and Rake is the Irregular agent tasked to investigate him. This is my first Josh Lanyon story which, I’m glad, didn’t disappoint. It’s character-driven with demon action, magic and some heartwarming moments.
No Life But This by Astrid Amara – Aztaw history and culture is fascinating and terrifying in equal measures. For a moment, I bought the whole Aztaw thing as a real Mexican mythology until I tried googling it. Silas August is a jerk who wears designer suits. Deven is both a childlike man and skilled assassin, a combination that has its own ironic appeal. This is my favorite of the bunch since it was dark, bloody and dangerous with slow build romance simmering underneath.
Things Unseen and Deadly by Ginn Hale – another sidhe story involving Half-dead Henry who was almost a century old and Jason Shamir, a young man struggling with what he thought were hallucinations. I like how this is connected with the first story and a good wrap-up of the series.
Cherries Worth Getting – 3.5 stars
Green Glass Beads – 3.5 stars
No Life But This – 4 stars
Things Unseen and Deadly – 3 stars
Overall: 4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits