Dark Horse Comics 2015
Created & Written by Peter Hogan
Created & Illustrated by Steve Parkhouse
After surviving a crash landing that destroys his spaceship, a stranded alien hopes to live quietly undercover in Patience, USA, masquerading as Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle—a semi-retired doctor—until his home world can find him. He has some alien powers of empathy and the ability to mask his odd appearance from most people, which comes in handy after the local mayor and the police chief both ask for Harry’s help. Harry replaces the town’s murdered doctor and solves the mystery of his death—but soon discovers that the contents of a strange old briefcase may actually implicate the deceased physician in another murder!
There really is something quite spectacular about this series. I love that Harry is reading this unpublished manuscript that he’s found along with some papers that seem to be about a tale of love, loss and murder. Of course the Sam Hain Mystery’s were all about that right but this one may possibly ring more true than the other books it could be that basis for this manuscript actually happened. Isn’t that just one of those things that you’d find terribly exciting if it were true and you went and discovered the true circumstances surrounding it all?
Well on a side not Ethan comes to see Harry about a job offer he’s received in Chicago and Harry tells him he’s free to leave, today in fact. The reaction around the office is festive at this news and a problem for Harry and the ladies is written out of the story almost as quickly as he arrives. Though the party does give Harry a chance to ask Ellen about Sam, the previous Doctor who’s stuff including the manuscript Harry has found.
I do like that this story isn’t really a Sam Hain Mystery that it reads more like a confession by the woman involved though the notes surrounding it seem to be trying to indicate it’s a work of fiction leading to finding a direction to close the story, with multiple choices. It’s kind of fun to watch Harry play the role of detective that he can get so wrapped up in this that it drives him to uncover the truth. Almost like an obsession if you will, that need to know what really happened if anything at all did. Peter does a magnificent job here putting that on display and that it’s Harry who has this makes him all that more human to me.
Plus I love not only his relationship with Ellen and Zoe but his and Asta’s relationship really is something extraordinary. Seeing them play off each other as they try to unravel the names and roles of those in the book, the theories they come up with and then quite possibly the solution they are looking for it’s just one of those relationships we all long for in life and only the lucky truly find it.
Steve’s interiors here are just as charming and inviting as the story itself. They compliment each other so well in creating this town called Patience and the folks who live there, making it warm, inviting and lovely place to get lost for a while. Also his different styles where the books story is concerned so you know immediately which is which showcases a diverse range of talent and makes me as a reader want to see more.
Charming, unique and full of colourful characters this series is repeatedly on the must read list thanks to it’s incredible writing and comforting interiors.