The Road to Hell Is Paved With Parsnips by R.J. Hore

The Road to Hell Is Paved With Parsnips by R.J. Hore
Housetrap Chronicles 10
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Suspense/Mystery/Thriller, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Randy’s old, sometimes good buddy, Charlie is accused of murder most foul and Randy and Bertha must stash him away from the fingers of the law and discover the truth. What they uncover are parsnip hijackings and strange goings-on, vegetable cartels, and demons.

While north to the parsnip fields Randy falls into the clutches of Freydis, the queen of the Huldufolk, who don’t usually take kindly to strangers. She’s willing to make an exception for Randy if he signs their agreement in blood. All he has to do is rescue several loads of parsnips from an army of villains, get the vegetables back to the city in time for the Annual Parsnip Festival, discover who the mastermind behind the hijackings is, and clear Charlie’s occasionally good name.

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This mystery was well written. I had a good time playing around with the various clues about the possible identity of the killer as I tried to piece them all together before the final scene. It was also nice to see how the fantasy elements of the storyline played into the main plot. They added layers of depth to the characters and setting without ever distracting the audience from our primary goal of figuring out what really happened to the poor victim.

I had trouble keeping track of the large cast of characters, especially since some of them were introduced with little to no information about who they were or what they were trying to accomplish. It would have been helpful to have more detailed introductions of everyone. Even something as simple as one additional introductory sentence per character would have gone a long way to helping me remember who everyone was.

To be perfectly honest, parsnips aren’t a vegetable I’ve ever put much thought into at all. The fact that they kept showing up over and over again was delightful. This became even more true once I realized why they were such a common topic of conversation and how they were affecting the storyline in ways I wouldn’t have ever imagined in the beginning. The author did a wonderful job of taking something as ordinary as a root vegetable and turning it into fodder for an incredibly unique story.

This is the tenth book in a series, but it can be read as a standalone work.

The Road to Hell Is Paved With Parsnips made me smile from the first scene to the last one.

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