Title: Sweet Poison Wine
Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: InCryptid #0.06
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 12th August 2020
Format: eBook, Short story
Publisher: Seanan McGuire
5th sentence, 74th page: The three men he’d brought along to assist in proving his point climbed out on his signal, following him inside.
Jonathan and Frances Healy are beginning their new lives together with that most traditional of celebrations: the honeymoon. Leaving their infant son with Jonathan’s parents, the Healys are leaving Buckley Township, Michigan for the cosmopolitan wonders of the city of Chicago, where they can properly celebrate the fact that they managed to have a wedding without anybody winding up dead.
Of course, these are the Healys we’re talking about, and nothing in Chicago is exactly fitting the description provided by the Bureau of Tourism. From the gorgon-run hotel where they’ll be staying to the swamp hags in the Chicago River, things are definitely business as usual, at least by the family definition of “usual.”
Bootlegger Arturo Gucciard has only just been introduced to the Healy definition of “usual,” but he’s going to need to get awfully familiar with it if he wants to live long enough to have a honeymoon of his own. And Jonathan, well. Jonathan just wants to have a normal honeymoon.
Good luck with that.
This is the longest Fran and Johnathan short story yet. Which, of course, pulled me in fairly quickly – I wanted to know what was going to happen after their wedding that would take longer than everything before. And I really wasn’t disappointed. This is exactly the kind of honeymoon that I would have imagined for these two. A perfect, fun and kind of quirky journey.
I love that this story features wine… of the supernatural variety. Each cryptid in this series has its own culture and needs (much like humans) and McGuire’s talent at seamlessly integrating this into her works is not only fun, but incredibly potent and powerful. Particularly when you think about the fact that part of culture is also food and wine. And in the case of this short story, it’s the wine that is an integral aspect of Gorgon culture.
One of the things I think I love the most about Fran is that she just gets bored seriously easy. Luckily for me, I mostly find my entertainment in books, rather than in fights. But there is still that same sense of adventure and need to try something new that I find completely relatable. The fact that in this case it leads to an adventure that delivers wine and justice… she’s definitely my kind of lady.