By Peter Roman
Something is rotten in the court of the faerie queen. A deadly spirit is killing off the faerie, and it has mysterious ties to Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. The only one who can stop it is the immortal Cross, a charming rogue who also happens to be a drunk, a thief, and an angel killer. He is no friend of the faerie since they stole his daughter and made her one of their own. When it appears she may be the next victim of the haunting, though, he must race against time to save her. He encounters an eccentric and deadly cast of characters along the way: the real Witches of Macbeth, the undead playwright/demon hunter Christopher Marlowe, an eerie Alice from the Alice in Wonderland books, a deranged and magical scholar—and a very supernatural William Shakespeare. When Cross discovers a startling secret about the origins of Hamlet itself, he finds himself trapped in a ghost story even he may not be able to escape alive.
“The Dead Hamlets is smarter than it has a right — or a real need — to be. What comes across most sharply when reading the Cross novels is a sheer joy in storytelling, a steady, gleeful ramping-up of the tension and the excitement. Darbyshire-as-Roman is clearly having a great time writing these books, and it’s contagious. They’re classic big dumb fun, and readers would be more than thrilled with that. The fact that they’re not dumb at all is just the icing on the proverbial cake. Come for the chase scenes and the grave-digging, stay for the literary references, strewn like candy thrown from a parade. And have I mentioned just how much fun these books are?”
–The Vancouver Sun
“[A]t times shocking and at times laugh-out-loud funny and it is always exciting. Roman brings a unique twist to literature as he traipses across the literary landscape…The Dead Hamlets resembles something written by Neil Gaiman at times with its somewhat mystical imagery and at other times it reads as a full-blown work of bizarro fiction. This novel is a very strong work of fantasy that will make the reader laugh at times and cringe at others but will force the reader to think at all times. This novel is a rare treat and I cannot recommend it more.”
ChiZine, World, January 2016