Book Reviews

By Fairy Means or Foul (Starfig Investigations 1) by Meghan Maslow

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller / Elves/Fairies/Sidhe / Magic / Mythological Creatures / Shifters
Reviewed by Dora (Guest Reviewer) on 16-April-2018

Book Blurb

The last thing half-dragon, half-fairy private investigator Twig Starfig wants to do is retrieve a stolen enchanted horn from a treacherous fae, but there’s no denying the dazzlingly gorgeous unicorn who asks Twig to do just that. Literally, no denying, because compelling the reluctant detective is all part of a unicorn’s seductive magic. 

To add to his woes, Twig is saddled with the unicorn’s cheeky indentured servant, Quinn Broomsparkle. Dragons are supposed to want to eat humans, but Twig’s half-dragon side only wants to gobble up Quinn in a more . . . personal way. Making matters worse, it’s obvious the smokin’ hot but untrustworthy sidekick is hiding something. Something big. And not what’s in his trousers. In the PI business, that means trouble with a capital Q. 

Throw in gads of zombies, a creepy ghost pirate ship, a malfunctioning magic carpet, and Twig’s overbearing fairy father’s demands to live up to the illustrious Starfig name. Naturally, an old but abiding enemy chooses this time to resurface, too. Those inconveniences Twig can handle. The realization he’s falling for a human who isn’t free to return his affections and whose life may hang on the success of his latest case? 

Not so much.

Book Review

What fun! High fantasy with a twist of humor.

First off, kudos to the author for the amazing title. Who needs a cover? Who needs a blurb? ‘By Fairy Means or Foul (Starfig Investigations, #1)’ had me from the get-go. Enjoying a bit of the story during a GayRomLit panel pretty much sealed the deal.

I enjoyed this work in audiobook format, and Greg Boudreaux brought the characters to amazing life. I mean, how many distinct voices can one actor do? Wow. I mean, really. Wow. What a remarkable cast of characters too! We have Twig, our hero, a half fairy, half dragon shifter private investigator; Quinn, a failed wizard; a meddlesome, politically-minded father who wants his son to do great things for the family name; giants, sprites, ghost parrots, unicorns, zombies… did I leave anything out? Oh, right. Let’s not forget the demon, one of my favorite characters, though I found the father incredibly amusing too. And the parrot. Oh, yeah, loved the cyclops and giants. See where I’m going here?

I must warn you that there is mention of abuse and non-con of one of the characters, but it’s part of his history and helps to explain his point of view—it’s not shown on the page. Indentured servitude is a thing in this world, a thing our hero doesn’t agree with. Twig freeing a bunch of indentured servants from a tyrant made me want to cheer. Quinn’s courage is also a highlight to see.

The settings are vivid and the world-building fantastic as we enter a fairy realm ruled by lots and lots of rules. Like, millions of rules, codes, statues, policies, etc., mostly made up by Twig’s father, I think. At least he can quote them verbatim whenever the need arises.

Insta-love this isn’t, even if there is a touch of “fated mates” and it takes a whole fantasy road trip to break down the walls these two have built up. Ironically enough, they’ve built those walls for the same reason: they don’t fit in no matter where they go.

But you know what? Sometimes fitting in isn’t all that. Surrounding yourself with other who don’t fit in can be even better.

I’m restraining myself so I won’t give spoilers but suffice it to say that this is one of those, “Please! Just one more chapter!” stories that holds your attention and won’t let go.

I’ve never read anything by this author before, but I’m now hooked and looking for more. Now, here’s hoping the second installment comes out soon!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchassed by the reviewer (audio book).

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 283 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 29-September-2017
Price $5.38 ebook, $13.99 paperback
Buy Link