Our Lady Of Mysterious Aliments (Edinburgh Nights book 2) by T.L. Huchu (book review).

‘Our Lady Of Mysterious Ailments’ is the second instalment of a series set in Edinburgh. It’s not quite the city we recognise. It’s a dark and dangerous place but there is light and hope because there is still the Library of the Dead. Our heroine, Ropa Moyo is a young and often hungry in many ways ghosthunter. She needs the money that the lately departed offer to keep her grandmother and sister. In the first book, ‘The Library Of The Dead’, she discovered the underground library. This time she is offered an unpaid internship instead of an apprenticeship by the library’s secretary, Sir Callender.

He is keen to get her onboard, despite the attitudes of the other staff. With no money coming in, Ropa takes up her friend Priya’s offer to investigate the mysterious coma of a teenage patient in the hospital known as Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments.

Chock full of detail and some truly excellent adventure, this is a superb tale for the young adult reader and anyone who loves a good story. The setting is close enough to our own to make us wince at the differences. Ropa is a sassy and resourceful young woman and her friends are also well-drawn and endearing.

This is a refreshing and enjoyable jaunt. It’s essentially a mystery for Ropa and us to solve and, along the way, we learn more about the society she lives in, her normal teenage worries and how hard it is to be responsible for two other human beings. As a heroine, Ropa is both flawed and inspirational. She is loyal, hard-working and has a fox as a pet. That’s quite a lot and those with her ability to talk to ghosts are her character quirks, not forgetting her dreadlocks. This is the TV mini-series we all need.

Sue Davies

July 2023

(pub: TOR, 2022. 384 page paperback. Price: £ 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-52903-954-2)

check out website: www.tor.com

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