Review: Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector

Author: Nicole Kimberling

Publisher: Blind Eye Books

Rating: 5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Anthology

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb:  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!

Review:  I love the stories about Keith Curry. He’s an entertaining misanthrope who has to get over himself to get what he wants in life. Keith is an anti-establishment guy who works for the establishment. Keith is also in love with a guy who represents everything the establishment purports to love. The establishment isn’t what it used to be and Keith is very much a giant ball of contradictions and self inflicted ironies. Throughout his investigations Keith learns humanity is a subjective term, love blooms in the most strange places, and goblins love their children too.

Most of this book was stories I had already read. It was still worth it. There was one decent sized mystery that’s new to this collection and some very short, short stories. For me, the real gem of this book was one of the micro-short stories, “The Little Golden Book of Goblin Stories.” Oh man. I became the crazy lady crying in her car while her kid was at practice while reading this story. Ostensibly, it’s the story of a mother going the extra mile for her son. However, in the Curry-verse, it’s when we see Keith recognize the sacrifices demanded by love and he begins to make them himself. Keith is not a nice goblin boy, he has opinions about Gunther’s cookie cutter collection, and he spent a day asking people about something that doesn’t exist then prepared to spend his night recreating Gunther’s mother’s sacrifice for the next generation. Maybe, just maybe, we see Keith becoming someone who is not a douchebag.

I didn’t unreservedly love everything in this book, but it was close and that’s good enough. I like Keith and his low key growth. Keith is still all about the contradictions. He’s still the same chef who eats grilled cheese sandwiches and he’s still a bit of a misanthrope, but he’s expanded his horizons. He’s a punk rock kind of guy who works as a civil servant and does what he can to fit into goblin culture to keep his future mother-in-law happy.

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