When someone suggested that Inspector Hobbes and the Blood, the title of my first book in the unhuman series of fast-paced, comedy crime fantasies, sounded rather gruesome I thought it was time for some explanation of how blood sits within a comedy book. It depends on how blood is interpreted, for it can mean many things.
- Blood is vital for life. Andy, my hapless narrator, was living a sort of half-life before meeting Inspector Hobbes; Hobbes became a vital force, almost like a blood transfusion, to bring Andy back to full life.
- Blood can be used in the sense of ‘it’s in the blood’, meaning a certain feature, or set of behaviours, regarded as part of someone’s nature or inherited characteristics. Since one of the themes of the book is nature vs nurture, how much of an individual’s behaviour is genetic, and how much comes from upbringing, this sense seemed appropriate. Inspector Hobbes, although having a fundamentally savage nature, remains civilized, at least for most of the time. Andy, on the other hand, starts to learn that he has spirit and strength of character, traits that have largely been suppressed by the way he was brought up. Hobbes was adopted; Andy was raised by his natural parents.
- There is also a theme of blood sacrifice. On one level, this manifests as a selfish urge to kill for a character’s own insane needs. On another level, Hobbes, going about his duty, puts his own life on the line to try and rescue a member of the public. Then, Andy risks all, abandoning his habitual selfishness and cowardice, to help.
- There is hot blood, a passionate, fiery nature, as exemplified by Hobbes, in comparison to cold blooded other characters, especially in their plans to murder.
- There is the verb ‘to blood’, meaning to initiate. Hobbes initiates Andy into his world, where not everything is how it appears on the surface. Andy is also ‘fresh blood’ in Hobbes’s circle of friends.
- And, yes, the title does also encompass some darker meanings, such as bloodbath, blood-letting, and a little blood-curdling!
Inspector Hobbes and the Blood is the first in my unhuman series of novels. It is published by The Witcherley Book Company and available in paperback and kindle from Amazon, and other online bookshops.
I talked about and read a couple of short extracts from Inspector Hobbes and the Blood on Corinium Radio in July 2013 (starts 12 minutes in)
This was first published on blogger.com, the original home of Wilkie’s blog, in 2013. The cover above is the original cover of Inspector Hobbes and the Blood.
Inspector Hobbes and the Blood is now available in ebook, paperback, hardback, audiobook and large print paperback.