Sep 12
2023

Publishers Weekly on Long Past Dues

Long Past Dues by James J. Butcher

“Grimshaw Griswold Grimsby returns as the newest—and least magically skilled—Auditor for the Department of Unorthodox Affairs in Butcher’s dynamic urban fantasy sequel to Dead Man’s Hand. Grimsby’s partner, Leslie Mayflower, aka “the Hunstman,” has been AWOL for weeks, limiting Grimsby to routine drudge work—until he swaps out his latest assignment for a RUIN case assigned to his newly distant colleague Auditor Rayne Bathory. Grimsby isn’t ready to investigate the “ritual of unknown intent and nature” alone, so he tracks down Mayflower, who, recognizing something from his past in the ritual’s details, reluctantly agrees to help investigate. Meanwhile, Bathory, who is still searching for her ex-partner, Hives, receives unexpected help from the New York office’s Agent Defaux, who offers to provide some ritual assistance. Complicating things further, the creature Wudge, whom Grimsby rescued in the previous volume, now needs his help to recover an item from the Elsewhere. Functional magic or no, “half-witch” Grimsby stubbornly forges ahead in his mission to save others, making up in heart what he lacks in talent. The message that determination trumps ability will please fantasy readers who love to cheer for the little guy. Butcher proves that this series has legs.” — Publishers Weekly

Aug 15
2023

Library Journal on Long Past Dues

Long Past Dues by James J. Butcher

“Grimshaw Griswald Grimsby has achieved his dream of becoming an auditor for the Department of Unorthodox Affairs, which enforces laws about magic, yet the job is not filled with exciting, magical investigations as expected, but instead with mundane check-ins and mounds of reports. Grimsby takes matters into his own hands by lifting a case file meant for his friend and soon finds himself in the middle of a mysteriously unfinished ritual that mirrors one seen by his reclusive partner, the Huntsman Leslie Mayflower. Except that foe was vanquished by the Huntsman 20 years ago. Grimsby knows he must ensure that this ritual is not completed, for if it is, the cost could be too high—and one of his friends may have to pay. Butcher’s deft dialogue continues with tongue-in-cheek humor, wry commentary, and snark, while this magical Boston setting is both familiar and fantastical.

VERDICT Grimsby continues his awkward hero’s journey, complete with reluctant partners and magical mysteries in the second installment of “The Unorthodox Chronicles,” after Dead Man’s Hand. This well-paced urban fantasy is a delightful addition to the subgenre.” — Library Journal

Oct 25
2022

Dead Man’s Hand is a USA Today bestseller!

Dead Man’s Hand by James J. Butcher, his debut novel and the first book in The Unorthodox Chronicles, has entered the USA Today bestseller list at #107!

Oct 6
2022

Publishers Weekly on Dead Man’s Hand

Dead Man’s Hand by James J. Butcher

“Butcher, the son of bestseller Jim Butcher, puts a fun twist on hard-boiled urban fantasy thrills in his debut. Hero Grimshaw Griswald Grimsby is a failure who was scrubbed from the Auditor program of the Department of Unorthodox Affairs and now uses his meager magical talents to entertain children at Mighty Magic Donald’s Food Kingdom. Despite his paltry skill set, Grimsby is implicated in the murder of powerful Auditor Samantha Mansgraf, who, in her last moments, used her own blood to scrawl his name. Mansgraf’s retired ex-partner, Leslie Mayflower, aka the Huntsman, rapidly concludes that Grimsby would have been no threat to Mansgraf, but as the Hunstman isn’t magical himself, he reluctantly brings Grimsby along to search for clues in Mansgraf’s lair outside of Boston. Together, this unlikely duo find reference to a mysterious Hand and face off against mechanical/magical constructs, succubi, and Department personnel on their way to solving the crime. While not a true coward, Grimsby’s understandable fear in the face of players who are all more powerful than he is makes him an accessible hero (“He tried to steel himself, but it ended up feeling more like tinfoiling himself”). This is sure to capture genre fans.” — Publishers Weekly

Aug 16
2022

Library Journal on Dead Man’s Hand

Dead Man’s Hand by James J. Butcher

“Auditors, the most skilled magical beings, are enforcers of the magical community in Boston for The Department of Unorthodox Affairs. Grimshaw Griswald Grimsby spent his youth training to become one of those elite, only to be dismissed by Samantha Mansgraf, one of the most powerful witches in the Department. When Mansgraf is found murdered, Grimsby becomes a suspect. Clearing his name will take all of Grimsby’s talent, along with some assistance from the legendary Huntsman and an unusual resident of Elsewhere, the magical space that overlays the regular world. As Grimsby searches for the truth, he will discover a complex plot that would not only take away his freedom, but impact both the supernatural Unorthodox and common Usual residents of his city. Butcher’s outcast protagonist and city setting ground the prose even as the mysterious Elsewhere introduces even more unusual action and questions for the future.

VERDICT: This debut from Butcher (son of “Dresden Files” novelist Jim Butcher) hits all the right notes for an entertaining urban fantasy series. Readers will want to see what happens next.” — Library Journal