Bellet, Annie: Avarice (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division I) (2012)

avarice with text
Cover art: Nathie
Cover design: Greg Jensen

Avarice: excessive or insatiable desire for wealth or gain (Merriam-Webster)

Avarice was not what I expected. Now that I have read it, I do not know exactly what I did expect. Perhaps something along the more traditional lines of paranormal police procedurals. Avarice is that, but to my relief there were no vampires or werewolves. Sometimes it is nice to read something different.

Avarice had humans interacting with Kirgani (somewhat catlike people) and Anuran (more humanlike in appearance, but with scales and weird eyes). Due to the interaction of these three races we get a sniff of racism. As Avarice is a police procedural we also get a bit of police bias from some of the public – guess which part of the public.

I got a clearer sense of who Cordonate Zhivana Nedrogovna was compared with Cordonate Parshan Koury. Perhaps that had to do with Parshan dealing with his grief and guilt connected with the loss of his previous partner (and lover). The two have one thing in common. Somehow they seem to get more or less unscathed through pretty severe situations. Something is up with that.

The mystery was straight-forward. Some things were clear to the reader early on in the story while others revealed themselves later on. In fact I would say that Avarice is a good old fashioned story of crime and punishment placed in a world of swords, magic and strange creatures.

I’m trying to decide if I deem Avarice a young adult novel. It is dark, but not too dark. There is no sex and the violence is pretty safe. If you can handle Agatha Christie and her likes, you can certainly handle Avarice. I really enjoyed this meeting of minds.


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