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New Treasures: Too Many Curses by A. Lee Martinez

Monday, December 27th, 2010 | Posted by John ONeill

too-many-cursesI have the week off between Christmas and New Year’s. Much of will be spent laying out Black Gate 15, to be sure, as well as catching up on my towering e-mail backlog.

But if you can’t recline in the glow of the Christmas tree and read at least one new book, it hardly counts as a vacation, does it? Santa brought me several great titles this year, but the one I’ve got my eye on at the moment is the latest novel by A. Lee Martinez: Too Many Curses. Martinez is the author of The Automatic Detective, Gil’s All Fright Diner, and A Nameless Witch, and his newest promises to continue in the same light-hearted vein as those:

The wizard Margle the Horrendous takes special pride in never killing his enemies. Instead, he transforms them into various accursed forms and locks them away in his castle. His halls are filled with his collection of fallen heroes and defeated villains, along with a few ordinary folk who were just unfortunate enough to draw Margle’s attention.

It’s Nessy’s duty to tend this castle. It’s a lot of work, but she manages, taking pride in housekeeping talents that keep the castle from collapsing into chaos. But when Margle suddenly dies, everything begins to unravel. Nessy finds herself surrounded by monsters, curses, a door that should never be opened, and one very deadly dark wizardess.

Happy Holidays to all Black Gate readers out there, and here’s hoping that your loved ones found a way to express their affection for you in the form of a great book.


  1. I can’t believe you’re posting this! A. Lee Martinez is one of my favorite authors and the one who got me back into reading with Gil’s. This is one of his best, and is similar to a John Bellairs novel the way it takes place in a giant household. It was originally entitled “Nessy’s Castle”, but Tor gave it this new name. Also, it’s not Martinez’s latest novel. Monster came out last year and Divine Misfortune, this.

    Comment by Mister_Alex - December 28, 2010 11:25 am

  2. I certainly hope you cuddle up and read it, O’Neill! My best friend bought me Pratchett’s latest audio book, “I Shall Wear Midnight,” and I spent all of yesterday making up chores to do so that I wouldn’t end up lying in bed all day doing nothing but listening.

    I did all my dishes and made cookies I don’t particularly want to eat, and then spent the rest of the day lying in bed doing nothing but listening. It was very relaxing and wonderful.

    Comment by C.S.E. Cooney - December 28, 2010 12:49 pm

  3. Mister Alex,

    Thanks for the comment — and you’re absolutely right. I had a look at the copyright date for my trade paperback, and it was originally released in 2008. This is the first I’ve seen it, so it must have slipped past me when it was first released.

    So many books, so little time!

    Comment by John ONeill - December 29, 2010 3:29 pm

  4. Hallo Claire!

    I love audio books. I’m currently listening to THE DYING EARTH during my commute to work.

    I have to admit, I haven’t thought of listening to them in the house. If I did that, I’d never get anything done!

    Sounds like I SHALL WEAR MIDNIGHT is a winner, though. I shall add it to my list!

    Comment by John ONeill - December 29, 2010 3:31 pm

  5. There is something about Terry Pratchett’s style that lends itself well to the audio book format.

    Also, GIL’S ALL FRIGHT DINER is one of my all time favorite books. I everything Martinez has written. It’s good to see people talking about him.

    Comment by darangrissom - December 30, 2010 6:45 am

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