This Charming Man [Stranger Times #2]

C.K. McDonnell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Vampires do not exist. Everyone knows this. So it’s particularly annoying when they start popping up around Manchester . . .

Nobody is pleased about it. Not the Founders, the secret organisation for whom vampires were invented as an allegory, nor the Folk, the magical people hidden in plain sight who only want a quiet life. And definitely not the people of Manchester, because there is nothing more irksome than being murdered by an allegory run amok. Somebody needs to sort this out fast before all Hell really breaks loose – step forward the staff of The Stranger Times.

It’s not like they don’t have enough to be dealing with. Assistant Editor Hannah has come back from getting messily divorced to discover that someone is trying to kidnap a member of their staff and while editor Vincent Banecroft would be delighted to see the back of any of his team, he doesn’t like people touching his stuff – it’s the principle of the thing.

Throw in a precarious plumbing situation, gambling debts, an entirely new way of swearing, and a certain detective inspector with what could be kindly referred to as ‘a lot of baggage’ and it all adds up to another hectic week in the life of the newspaper committed to reporting the truth that nobody else will touch.


First things first –This Charming Man is not one of those sequels that you can dive into without knowledge of the rest of the series, so do not attempt to read this book without first reading The Stranger Times. You need to know the characters, and you definitely need to know the background and people behind all the weirdness.

I adored The Stranger Times, so I was slightly worried that the sequel wouldn’t reach the same standards. I worried in vain. Having established the foundation of the characters in the first book, This Charming Man builds on almost all of them. I would have liked a little more development of Manny and his ‘friend’, although I’m sure that will come in future instalments. I especially enjoyed the glimpses into Reggie’s past, but it was the expansion of Banecroft’s character which pulled me in the most. With The Dublin Trilogy’s Bunny McGarry McDonnell demonstrated that humorous needn’t be shallow, and he’s proven it yet again with Vincent Banecroft.

Fast-paced, brilliantly written, and with characters to die for, This Charming Man will have you laughing out loud time and again. I can’t wait for book three. 

I received a free reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publication date: 17th February 2022

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