The Carborundum Conundrum

The Carborundum Conundrum (Quirk And Moth Book 2) by Robin C.M. Duncan #BookReview #SciFi

The Carborundum Conundrum (Quirk And Moth Book 2) by Robin C.M. Duncan

Space Wizard Science Fantasy, £4.99 e-book, £19.95 paperback on Amazon

Reviewed by Nadya Mercik

“Quirk and Moth – the most dysfunctional detectives this side of Luna!” they
say on the publisher’s website. My favourite detective duet, say I.

And I am not exaggerating. The first book in the series – The Mandroid
Murders
– was a wonderful discovery. But the second book felt even more
dynamic, powerful, cryptic, revealing and emotional. I swallowed it as fast as
I only could and was left simply stunned by Duncan’s talent and the
mind-blowing story told. I can’t recommend it enough. If you love a good old riddle
wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma with chases in the style of Mission
Impossible
, good humour, rounded, well-created characters you want to stay
with, interesting themes, and amazing scenery (if only a bit too freezing this
time), this book is definitely for you.

In The Carborundum Conundrum, Quirk and Moth once again return to
Earth – this time, they find themselves in cold Canada, solving another
mystery. As one job is done (not exactly as planned, but do things ever go
smoothly with this lot?), they ponder which other case they might take before
returning home. Their choice falls to a simple-looking task – someone noticed
something strange that the police would not be interested in. Quirk is sure
they can deal with it before supper and then go to Europe for another
commission. However, their clients die before they can learn much, and from
there on, all hell breaks loose. Expect National Guard scale, political
intrigues, some heavily genetically modified terra-fauna and ghosts from the
past – all trying to get to Quirk and his team.

It is wonderful how Robin C. M. Duncan manages to weave so many strands into
the story and, at the same time, keep a relatively fast pace. He continues to
explore the theme of corporations and how their greed, or more the greed of
their owners, is capable of destroying lives. The companies are capable of
producing stunning technology, but they are even more apt to close their eyes
to the price of those advancements. Though we are no longer in Italy, like in The
Mandroid Murders
, there are still some of the mafia vibes pertaining to
the story. In comparison to the first book in the series, The Carborundum
Conundrum
explores the past of the main characters in more depth. At the
same time, the relationship between Moth and Quirk is progressing to a new
stage. Duncan looks at what it means to be a family, how it shapes us and how
it can strike at us. All this happens while chasing the clues and the bad guys
or running away and saving their lives. All spiced with a good portion of
humour and funny dialogues between Quirk and Moth.

Duncan is also a master of drawing the scenery. Just as in the first book, I
dived into the beauty of Italy and the stark, functional landscapes of the Moon;
here, I felt like wandering in the freezing minus temperatures in the towns of
Canada. There are never excessive details, and yet you get the feeling you are
truly there.

Though The Carborundum Conundrum is the second book in the series,
I’d say you could read it separately (there are all the recaps you might need),
but I am sure it would make you want to go back and read the first one. There
isn’t a big gap in the events between the first and the second books, and you
would have a better understanding and feeling of the characters if you read the
books in order. Besides, you just don’t want to miss on all the quips Quirk and
Moth exchange. There is also a real intrigue waiting at the very end of the
second book, making me wonder what new adventures are awaiting Quirk and Moth.
I can’t wait to read them!

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One response to “The Carborundum Conundrum”

  1. Robin CM Duncan avatar

    You are very kind, Nadya. I’m delighted that you enjoyed the book! :O)