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The God of Mischief    by Paul Bajoria order for
God of Mischief
by Paul Bajoria
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The God of Mischief is the sequel to Paul Bajoria's The Printer's Devil, a tale with a Dickensian feel, with a strong flavor of Kipling's Kim, mixed with mystery and magic. In the first book, Mog (short for Imogen) Winter, who worked for a printer and roamed London with her dog Lash, met a boy called Nick and discovered he was her twin brother. They survived horrors and great danger together.

Now the siblings have been taken to live with a cold and distant relative, Sir Septimus Cloy, in a turreted, drafty mansion, Kniveacres Hall, guarded by two elderly manservants, Melibee and the particularly unpleasant Bonefinger. As the story opens, the siblings spy on the latter burying a body in the grounds of the isolated estate. They learn of a prophecy that their new guardian will die on his approaching birthday 'at threescore ten and seven, and that this shall come when the Devil resides here.' There are indications that the mysterious, magical Damyata is back, lurking on the edges of their lives once more - who is he and what are his intentions?

The plot - and the mystery - quickly thickens. Both Mog and Nick come close to dying in odd accidents. They find a book of maps of the house and grounds, and an addendum full of intriguing riddles, many linked to India. They discover dark secrets in Sir Septimus's past, and secret passages in his mansion. The villagers - suspicious of the twins, aside from Mrs. Nisbet and her mute son Lamb - are busy preparing guys for a celebration. A murder at Kniveacres Hall changes the villagers' reserve to outright hostility towards Mog and Nick, whom they call devils. Bonefinger is clearly up to no good, and soon a monstrous figure their past is chasing brother and sister once more.

It all builds to a breathtaking, action-packed, and very satisfying conclusion, in which the villains are defeated, an old friend reappears in the twins' lives, and they learn who was trying to kill them and more about their own origins.

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