Last heard from in the 2014 release The King of Winter, MI13’s finest are back in The Gnomes of Death. It’s all go as Harry Crow (Warner) and Professor Dunning (Molloy) follow up on the death of Harry’s landlord from his local, The Six Bells.
Over the space of this one disc release, we learn of the deaths of multiple garden enthusiasts and the growing collection of feet without bodies. While the title might give a strong clue as to what is going on (as does the cover), as with all Scarifyers it’s about the journey as much as the destination. There’s an easy familiarity to the way the two lead characters work but the wider cast has plenty to contribute to the mystery, including Mathew Holness as sinister and strangely bearded gnome factory owner Thomas Kelley, along with Phil Rose as the wonderfully named Bunny Cheeswright. There’s also the beer aficionado Arachius Fitch (Ewan Bailey) adding to a cast of beer makers, Morris Dancers and much more besides.
Behind the apparently random set of characters, there’s a deeper story of magic and Indian deities at play, but before all is revealed our heroes must survive at least one attack of, yes you guessed correctly garden gnomes. There’s even the partaking of not a small amount of particularly strong ale in a story packed with the banalest elements of life in the 1930s.
It’s a great story, well directed and produced with the usual flair so evident in this series ever since it began back in 2006.
It’s been over two years since we least heard from The Scarifyers, and on the strength of this latest release, their powers to entertain are undiminished. If you’re new to the exploits of Crow and Dunning, this is as good an introduction as any. There’s even a couple of short bonuses tucked away at the end – The Curse of the Cult of Thoth and Mr. Crowley’s Christmas.
THE SCARIFYERS: THE GNOMES OF DEATH / AUTHOR: SIMON BARNARD, PAUL MORRIS / PUBLISHER: BAFFLEGAB / STARRING: DAVID WARNER, TERRY MOLLOY, MATTHEW HOLNESS, PHIL ROSE, LIZZIE ROPER / RELEASE DATE: 30TH JUNE