A Stroke of Midnight Chapter 9-10: Don’t make me go full bogart

Chapter 9 begins with Merry and Co having to fight their way into the kitchen/crime scene. Maggie May, the brownie who runs the kitchens, was chucking cast iron pans at anyone who tried to enter. Merry has to try and calm her down before she turns “fully bogart” and joins the ranks of the sluagh. Turns out, Maggie was attacking Onilwyn, one of Merry’s assigned guards who pledged himself to Cel, Merry’s cousin and main adversary. Onilwyn had kicked one of Maggie’s terrier pups, which is why she beat him with the iron pans.

And iron is toxic to the sidhe. So Onilwyn is pretty much fucked. He’s passed out on the ground, laying in a pool of his own blood. Merry doesn’t bother trying to help him at all. Instead, she’s focused on trying to calm Maggie down. Eventually Maggie realizes that Merry is kin (her grandmother is a brownie, remember?), and the chapter ends with her and Merry hugging.

That’s it. Seems like it’d be a short chapter, yeah? NOPE. Still several pages of just boring filler to slog through before we close the chapter. It’s chapters like this that make these books so difficult to get through, especially on re-reads.

Chapter 10

Chapter 10 begins with people arguing! The police had arrived, and they’re all arguing about who is in charge of the crime scene. Before they go to deal with the cops, though, they see something or someone hidden under the sink. Peasblossom and some other demi-fey, Mug, are hiding. They claim that they were afraid of Maggie May’s craziness and so they hid by the good china because they knew Maggie wouldn’t damage that. They keep trying to coax the two demi-fey out of their hiding space, so that they can question them, but the little guys are pretty much terrified of everyone in that room. Except Merry. So they spend several pages going over how afraid of everyone except Merry they are, and Merry has to get everyone’s promises that they won’t harm the two. Ugh, it’s so frustratingly written! Scenes like this go on for FAR too long.

While they’re trying to coax the two demi-fey out, some of the other guards happen to find another hidden creature, and they take him “prisoner”. It’s Harry Hob, a “hob”, which is small and hair and similar to a brownie. Merry knew him as a kitchen worker. Harry tells them he was hiding from Onilwyn because he thought Onilwyn was there to kill him, “they way he killed my Bea.”

Onilwyn conveniently wakes to hear this, and immediately defends himself. For some reason, this causes all of Merry’s guards to start threatening Harry? Because he had dared to suggest a sidhe had killed someone. It’s truly stupid how angry Doyle gets because Harry thinks that a sidhe, one no one even fucking likes, mind you, could have murdered a human. Harry finally admits that, no, he didn’t actually see Onilwyn kill anyone, he just assumed, and so everyone conveniently goes back to being suspicious about Onilwyn. Yeah, you got that right. When a non-sidhe was suspicious of Onilwyn being the murderer, they all had to flip out over him being proven innocent, but they immediately become suspicious once the non-sidhe fey retracts his accusation.

Faerie logic, amirite???

Turns out that one of the small demi-fey knew Beatrice had a sidhe lover, so they all start grilling her about this. Mug, the demi-fey, doesn’t know anything, but of course it takes several pages of dialogue to get to this. Finally Harry admits that he was also Beatrice’s lover, which causes most of Merry’s asshole guards to scoff, because how dare a sidhe have sex with something lesser? Blah, this chapter sucks. It’s so BORING.

Anyway, the chapter finally ends on an ominous tone with Doyle suddenly asking “Do you smell that?” I hope he means WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKING, because there’s not much else that’s interesting me about this story at the moment.

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