A desolate valley.
A missing mathematician.
A glamorous and beguiling council bureaucrat with a hidden past.
A cryptic map leading to an impossible labyrinth.
An ancient conspiracy; an ancient evil.
A housing development without proper planning permission.
All leading to the most mysterious mystery of all.
Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley is a dark and forbidding new comic farce by the author of Unspeakable Secrets of the Aro Valley.
The second book from NZ based author Danyl McLauchlan MYSTERIOUS MYSTERIES OF THE ARO VALLEY follows on UNSPEAKABLE SECRETS OF THE ARO VALLEY. If this reader's experience was anything to go, it may be better to have read the first book, as there was quite a bit that remained somewhat unfathomable in this second instalment.
Having said that, MYSTERIOUS MYSTERIES might be relying heavily on an in joke. Whilst the comedic farce aspect is a huge part of this novel, it also leans more towards supernatural than straight suspense or even fantasy, which means you've got a pretty tricky kettle of fish to deliver to potential readers.
This is one that's definitely going to come down to personal taste, connection with characters (and maybe place / events). The problem is in knowing who to recommend something like this to. Having seen some comparisons with the likes of Ben Elton there could be something in the comedic stylings there - although MYSTERIOUS MYSTERIES doesn't do rant in the same way. I'd personally disagree strongly with other comparisons I've seen to Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett. Both of whom are particular favourites of this reviewer and nowhere could I sense any similarities to work by either of these authors.
Perhaps it comes down to readers who are looking for something different. I'd have no hesitation whatsoever in saying MYSTERIOUS MYSTERIES OF THE ARO VALLEY is undoubtedly different.