Guest Review: Tombyards & Butterflies by Orlando A. Sanchez

Friday, March 23, 2018

Tombyards and Butterflies by Orlando A. Sanchez 
Narrated by Kevin T. Collins
#1 Montague and Strong Detective Agency
Urban Fantasy
Publisher:  Tantor Audio
Published: 2.27.18
Time:  6 hours 42 minutes
Rating: 4
Format: MP3
Source: Tantor Audio
Available: Amazon
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Book Deets

A Missing Ferryman. An Undead Dilemma. An Immortal Detective.
An emissary from the Dark Council has just materialized in the office of the Montague & Strong Detective Agency, and makes Simon Strong an offer he can’t refuse. Charon is missing. The legendary ferryman responsible for transporting sorcerer souls across the river Styx hasn’t been seen in days. And with each passing hour, those unable to cross the river are left to walk among the living, tilting the world further out of balance.

Meet Simon Strong, an immortal, who is also the best private detective in New York City. Together with his surly partner-Tristan Montague, a mage of indeterminate age, they must find the Ferryman and get him back to work  before another Supernatural War ravages the earth, destroys humanity, and Simon’s local coffee shop.

Time is running out. His landlord wants the rent and Karma with a capital K is paying him a visit, and she can be a real…

 Join the Montague & Strong Detective Agency and help them locate Charon, so he can restore balance to the universe, put the dead sorcerers to rest, and maybe solve the age old conundrum-coffee or tea?

Sophia's Review
I confess that it was the title that caught my attention first.  The author explains in the beginning that it comes from a Ray Bradbury quote which intrigued me all the more.  So with eagerness, I pressed forward and popped in my earbuds for a good time with this new to me urban fantasy and author.

The beginning was a tad rough for me because I had the disorienting sense that I'd somehow skipped the opening and dropped into the middle of things.  A quick check showed that yes, there appears to be a prequel short story that likely introduces matters.  I haven't read it, but I'm going to guess that this one probably wouldn't feel so disorienting if read after the prequel.  That said, the confusion didn't last that long and I was soon cruising right along swimmingly in this fun, madcap story about a pair of paranormal PIs who end up getting tossed into the deep end of the pool more often than not. 

Simon Strong tells the story.  He's something of a loose cannon and brazens things out when facing powerful vampires, powerful gods, or any authority figures.  Simon is a human immortal after being cursed by a god.  His investigation partner is a reticent, powerful mage with a British stiff upper lip named Tristan Montague.  Monty and Simon shouldn't get on.  At all. But they are as tight as can be and have each other's back during the course of their work and in personal friendship.

Other quirky and fun characters were introduced even as the pair tackle a few different cases and missions that usually involve near death and lots of destruction.  But, it’s the rise of a god determined to end the world that has Simon and Monty pushed to their extreme.  I loved the snark, action, and intensity as they somehow find their way out of some tight spots.

In summary, I had a good time with this sometimes humorous, but very exciting first in series.  It will hold strong appeal for Urban Fantasy lovers who enjoy a blend of gods and paranormal with an appealing pair of supernatural detectives and their quirky acquaintance and friends.

My thanks to Tantor Audio for the opportunity to listen to the book in exchange for an honest review.

Narrator Review:
4 stars

The narrator, Kevin T. Collins, was as new to me as the author and the series.  I thought he did a decent job at both the voices and the action.  I think he did pretty good with genders and accents and catching Simon's voice the best.  It took me some adjustment to get used to his way of narrating, but in the end, I got used to it and settled in nicely.

Orlando Sanchez has been writing ever since his teens when he was immersed in creating scenarios for playing Dungeon and Dragons with his friends every weekend. An avid reader, his influences are too numerous to list here. Some of the most prominent are: J.R.R. Tolkien, Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, Lee Child, George Lucas, Andrew Vachss, and Barry Eisler to name a few in no particular order.

The worlds of his books are urban settings with a twist of the paranormal lurking just behind the scenes and generous doses of magic, martial arts, and mayhem.

Aside from writing, he holds a 2nd and 3rd Dan in two distinct styles of Karate. If not training, he is studying some aspect of the martial arts or martial arts philosophy.
He currently resides in Queens, NY with his wife and children and can often be found in the local Starbucks where most of his writing is done.

Please visit his site at: for more information about his books and upcoming releases. 

Many thanks to Sophia for stopping through with the review! 

Sophia’s Bio:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate. GoodReads

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