Merrily Watkins series
The upcoming New Year is already the most eagerly-anticipated in our collective memory, and we now have yet another reason to look forward to 2021: the release of the 15th installment in Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins series. These wonderful books, which I stumbled upon accidentally a few years ago, have proved a strangely-constant source of literary comfort food during these anxious pandemic days that otherwise upended all of my normal reading habits and tastes. Set in Hereford , England, they're a genre-defying delight - part occult suspense, part cozy British village mystery - and offer lively pulp fiction plots balanced by irresistible characters.
There's a single mom/recovering lawyer turned Anglican priest and latter-day exorcist, an aging rock musician still trying to find himself, and a snarky but brilliant teenager - not to mention an endearing cast of supporting village characters. And while mining the occult for his material, Rickman wisely leaves his heroine (and his more rationalist reader) plenty of room to find solutions strictly within the realm of simple human venality. "For the Hell of It," the latest book in Merrily's saga, arrives in January of 2021 and can be pre-ordered now at B2Plz.