If you’re a lover of the supernatural who likes their fair share of humour and detective arcs, then ‘Small Change’ by Andrez Bergen deserves to be the next purchase for your bookshelf.
The book is coupled with several short stories the author has created along the years about the two main characters of the story: a sarcastic gunslinger Roy Scherer and his bookish but eccentric “assistant” Suzie Miller.
‘Small Change’ switches back in front through time, starting with a few strangely funny cases that fall into Roy and Suzie’s hands, and then exploring the beginnings of ‘Scherer and Miller, Investigations of the Paranormal and Supermundane’.
Specifically how Roy managed to get himself involved with the detective business and the relationship he had with Suzie’s father, Art, who was the one that decided to switch their area of expertise to the supernatural in the first place. Of course, we also have Roy’s first experience with the uncanny; which is very refreshing to the paranormal genre, let me tell you!
It is also Roy who narrates their adventures with a great dose of cynicism, which you grow immediately fond of, and likes to be your usual chain-smoking asshole with a heart. He makes a great contrast with his partner Suzie, whom her quirks mixed with her curiosity for the paranormal make her a great intellectual asset for the team.
Ultimately, this book is about the interactions between these two characters and how they balance each other out, the mystical backdrop of their cases making their personalities pop out more thus creating further meaningful and funny exchanges between the two.
Towards the end we also get an interesting change between Roy and Suzie’s partnership. I’m not going to give spoilers here, but it’s a moment which drives Roy to respect her a lot more than he did before and we finally see Suzie is not as feeble as we once thought.
I just wish we could’ve had more. I understand these are all short stories but I think it exists a great potential for a larger arc, I guess you could say I fell in love with Roy and Suzie so much I wanted to see more of their ‘odd-couple’ dynamic against super evil-y forces (a Cthulhu parody maybe? Just throwing it out there).
But besides that, this is a great read! I’ve had so much fun going through Roy and Suzie’s adventures I didn’t want to put the book down. I just love this kind of literature, the ones who mix mystery stories with supernatural elements with such ease that it actually makes you ache for more. And, as I said before, I loved Roy and Suzie. Their relationship was the best part about this book, both characters were surprisingly interesting and the unusual cases they had to deal with were a great treat.
I can’t wait to read more of this author. Perhaps I’ll even pick up an issue of the Roy & Suzie comic since I just can’t get enough of them.
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