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Reviewed by Justine Reyes for Readers' Favorite
Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds by Columbkill Noonan is a rather unique blend of mythology and mystery. This is the second novel Noonan has written about the Victorian private detective Barnabas Tew and his friend Wilfred Colby. In this installment, the pair is headed for Asgard to meet with their new client, the God of all Norse gods, Odin. He tasks them with finding the bowl which Sigyn, Loki’s wife, uses to keep serpent venom from falling onto Loki’s face. Without the bowl, Loki will flail about causing earthquakes, something Odin would rather do without, especially since Ragnarok is just around the corner. Barnabas, Wilfred and their new companion, Brynhild, traverse the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology to delay the end of the world.
The concept of Barnabas Tew is brilliant. Victorian private detectives go off on a crazy journey to solve mysteries, but not for regular people. They help gods! I had a lot of fun reading Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds; it is both charming and quirky. It is a nice and cozy read for days when you can afford to just sit down and get lost in a merry little misadventure. I love the dynamic between Barnabas and Wilfred, the former being a bit pompous and impulsive at times, while the latter is mostly well-mannered and more reasonable, though only compared to Barnabas. They play off each other fairly well and show off the humor in the novel, one of the many great qualities of Noonan’s writing. I urge others to read Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds; you will not be disappointed.