Book Review: A Nymph Returns to the Sea, by Douglas Lumsden

The Alex Southerland series is one of the very best urban fantasy detective series out there, and I’m always keen to jump into the latest installment (see my reviews on past novels).

What to Expect

Alex is in a bad place in his life, sinking into a bottle of rye after a bad breakup. In an effort to crawl out he’s looking for work, and when no one would hire him he drums up a tenuous case for himself. Which, naturally, ends up pitting him against crime organisations, intelligence agencies, and living forces of nature.

What I liked

As always, I love the world Lumsden has crafted, with its detailed alt-history and unique setting and mythology coming to life. I love Alex as a detective, operating along the hard-boiled unwritten rules (though much better adapted to the modern world and modern readers!) and never mind his extra abilities.

This series epitomises blending the genres in the best of ways, and it’s great to see Lumsden’s style maturing and exploring literary devices for an immersive and engaging story.

What to be aware of

This is book five in the series, with many references to previous events and characters previously introduced. While each ‘case’ is more or less independent and you could just jump in, I’d recommend reading this excellent series from the start.

Felix’s Review

Felix is not unfamiliar with the dangerous allure of alcohol, and bad breakups. Been there, done that, and he’d be happy to take Alex on a journey of redemption (starting with a pub-crawl, of course). A kindred spirit, he appreciate his doggedness to serve his client and solve the mystery, even when facing powerful authorities and supernatural forces.


If you’re a fan of Urban Fantasy detectives, this series is an absolute must read. Lumsden’s writing stands out as unique and refreshing. If you haven’t read it before, start with A Troll Walks Into A Bar.

Enjoying the reviews, but wondering who the heck is that Felix fellow? Glad you asked! He’s the protagonist of the Togas, Daggers, and Magic series, an historical-fantasy blend of a paranormal detective on the background of ancient Rome.

Come meet Felix and his world on the free short stories and novels!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s