Reviewed by: E
Dina DeMille may run the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, but she caters to a very particular kind of guest… the kind that no one on Earth is supposed to know about. Guests like a former intergalactic tyrant with an impressive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced-and-superhot werewolf; so don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage.
But what passes for Dina’s normal life is about to be thrown into chaos. First, she must rescue her long-distant older sister, Maud, who’s been exiled with her family to a planet that functions as the most lawless penal colony since Botany Bay. Then she agrees to help a guest whose last chance at saving his civilization could bring death and disaster to all Dina holds dear. Now Gertrude Hunt is under siege by a clan of assassins. To keep her guests safe and to find her missing parents, Dina will risk everything, even if she has to pay the ultimate price. Though Sean may have something to say about that!
This blurb came from Amazon.
Three years ago as a change of pace between novels, Andrews started writing a serial novella. At the end of the novella it was gathered up, revised, packaged and made available as a complete story. I gifted a digital copy of Clean Sweep to each of them Christmas morning. In the following week I was pestered with questions about it AND questions about a sequel. Thankfully the following year Andrews started the next serial, Sweep in Peace, so I was able to tell them one more was coming. Basking on the success of my Christmas present selection I again gifted Sweep in Peace. This year as Andrews was working on One Fell Sweep I started to get multiple persistent questions regarding the progress of and expected release date. I think my family is hooked and so am I. So when Andrews asked if we would be willing to say a few things about One Fell Sweep I almost sprained my fingers answering. Disclaimer I am friends with Andrews but I hope you can still trust my opinion of this story.
Let me get straight to the point here. You WANT to get and savor One Fell Sweep! If you haven’t been introduced to the Innkeeper Chronicles yet please start with Clean Sweep follow it up with Sweep in Peace and then dive into this latest installment. There will be some spoilers for the previous books in this series so if you wish to avoid them I recommend you stop reading now.
When we last saw Dina, Sean, and the inhabitants of Gertrude Hunt Inn they had halted an interspecies war, survived treachery, cut a few bargains, and realized things were never going to be the same. Both Sean and Dina had been through too much and the recent events were changing the reputation Dina strove to create for Gertrude Hunt Inn for them to fall back into their previous more innocent dealings. While reading Sweep in Peace it was fascinating to watch them feel their way through the new dynamics and determine exactly what their roles could and would become. In addition to the main characters, several members of the supporting cast also occupy fond spots in my heart and one of them surprisingly enough is Officer Marais, poor guy.
Andrews introduced several new characters while expanding the roles of some familiar ones. For vampire lovers and fans of Arland, he is back on scene and in full Lord Marshall mode with a slight twist. It was really fascinating to learn more about him and vampires in general by way of Dina’s sister. I loved watching Maud interact with Arland, so much intensity and ferocity on display tempered with the occasional considerate action. The previously mentioned Officer Marais and Lady Caldenia the inn’s permanent guest, stepped up and started making active contributions towards the safety of Gertrude Hunt and Dina’s mission. This really changed the dynamics between the characters and was quite delightful to see. I am really starting to get the feeling that Dina is ending up with family by choice after so many years alone and it is lovely to see. She probably would not have survived the events in One Fell Sweep without them and given how things are progressing, she will need the support to come.
As much as I love Andrews’ characterization, it is impossible for me to pick a favorite between her characters and her world-building. The vivid detail and vast expanse are amazing. Each new installment brings more to the picture and really feeds my early SF/F exploration reading roots while anchoring them in a sense and feeling of home. The plot, world, and characters are thoroughly entwined making it extremely easy for me to sink into the story and not emerge until it ends.
One Fell Sweep was a delightful read. Relationships grew, changed, and moved forward. Dina built new connections and started learning for herself she was never going to be an ordinary Innkeeper. Lady Caldenia has become much more engaged in events and I have a funny feeling she knows more about what is going on then anyone suspects. I can’t wait to find out what happens next so I really hope Andrews continues what has become a tradition.
Now do I tell my family on release day or do I surprise them on Christmas?
I give One Fell Sweep an A