What do you think of the club philosophy?
- It works, doesn't it?
- We're all animals! Why deny it?
So you don't believe in suppressing anything?
- Why would I want to suppress my urges? If your body wants something, it must be natural.
Well what if you get the natural urge to rip someones throat out, shouldn't they suppress?
"The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery"
Finally got rid of my backlog in review-to-be-written now! Though I cheated a little by postponing writing one review so long I simply don't remember enough of it to write a decent review.
William L. DeAndrea's The Werewolf Murders (1992).
The Werewolf Murders is the second book in the Professor Niccolo Benedetti series, following The HOG Murders and followed by The Manx Murders. I was not very impressed by the professor's appearance in The Manx Murders, but luckily, this second volume is more similar to The HOG Murders, which makes it a lot more entertaining. As always, the eccentric Benedetti is accompanied by his disciple Ron Gentry and his wife, and the three make a good team of three detectives. Ron and his wife basically act as the Archie Goodwin to Benedetti's Nero Wolfe and these series detectives are also joined by the local police and mystery-loving scientists, making The Werewolf Murders a fairly densely inhabitated novel.
The case in The Manx Murders was a bit underwhelming to me: definitely not the case here, with physically brutal murders held in a closed community (the OSI grounds) and a fairly colorful cast all doing their own thing (making the investigation perhaps more complex than realistically should've been). The result is a story that keeps up a good pace right until the very end, something that didn't work really in The Manx Murders, but did in The HOG Murders. In fact, The Werewolf Murders is really a lot like The HOG Murders, from the serial killings in the small community setting to the little problems like too-many-detectives and too-few-suspects.
I thought the puzzle plot a bit more fair in The Werewolf Murders compared to the The HOG Murders though, with better clues (though I still love the deductions surrounding one of the murders in the second half of HOG). The 'big twist' of The Werewolf Murders is a bit easy to guess, though that might be because it's is a very often used trope, especially by Christie (seriously: this is the first time I really thought about it, but she used this gimmick a lot). In The Werewolf Murders, this is done so straightforward I was actually guessing (hoping) it was a trap, but no. There are some other elements that work well with the werewolf theme and overall, The Werewolf Murders is a well-crafted yarn.
Looking back at the series, I think the Professor Niccolo Benedetti series is good, but a bit uneven. The HOG Murders and The Werewolf Murders are incredibly alike, almost like the same tale from different universes. The Manx Murders in comparison is not nearly as captivating as the first two books and is almost so different, it doesn't even feel like it's the same series (save for the same characters appearing).
Now I think about it, I think I've actually read fewer mystery stories featuring fake werewolves than real werewolves. Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within for example had a real werewolf and the werewolves in The Terror of Werewolf Castle...err, they were different werewolves. Even Scooby-Doo! of all things basically featured more real werewolves than fake ones.
Anyway, The Werewolf Murders is an amusing entry in the casefiles of Professor Niccolo Benedetti. It's a bit similar to The HOG Murders in terms of setting though, so I recommend not reading them back to back.