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