The Profound Art of Omens by M.E. Nyberg
“The Profound Art of Omens” by M.E. Nyberg introduces us to a mysterious and inconspicuous company of Karras and Corbeau: Investigators of the Strange and Occult. Their clientele include “the extremely rich to the desperately poor, the atheist to some of the highest ranking members of the Church, kings and queens – Western and Oriental – literally all members of society whose sudden, or chronic , foray into the inexorable and mysterious, demand a deferential and discreet effort of resolve.” Our narrator is the business manager of the firm and through him travel the world investigating strange and inexplicable events.
Each of the five chapters stands alone as an episode in the series of investigations – in each, the author presents a separate mysterious case the firm is hired to solve. So, each chapter has a natural “situation – suspense – resolution” formula that fully engages the reader. The first tale is told in a letter from Anton Corbeau to his partner Lucien Karras. It is the strange story of Corbeau and his connection with the Loup Garou (werewolf), which took place long ago in a hamlet near Bourges, France. In the second story, we are introduced to a new colleague – the enigmatic Emerald Montaigne-Eisenswartz – as they encounter a Vampire in Brassac, a town in the south of France. The third story is told by Karras over beers in a pub. He narrates a previous account of a haunted mansion in Kingsbridge, England – one that had an eye in a keyhole – an actual one that looked back at you. The next chapter takes place in Japan, where our narrator relieved himself in a cemetery, causing grave – uh, sinister – consequences. The fifth and final chapter sizzles with a story about the remains of a burning man found in a San Francisco apartment.
The book is written by author Mitch Nyberg, whose background and professional career is in the cinematic arts. He studied film with August Coppola in San Francisco and worked seventeen years in the entertainment industry in California. He now teaches film at Baker College in Muskegon.
The book is cinematic in nature – the attention to detail of place brings the scenes alive. The author weaves his own travel experiences into the stories lighting them up with interest and intrigue. One can actually imagine a TV series about the company of Karras and Corbeu: Investigators of the Strange and Occult.
I do not usually delve into this genre, instead attracted more to “realistic” fiction. However, having the logical, skeptical narrator looking with us from the outside in makes each situation more believable and real.
Tune in to WZZM Channel 13 Take Five morning show at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 6, when Mitch joins Bryan in the monthly TV Book Club. Also, everyone is welcome to join TBNJS’ monthly book club at 6:00 p.m., Monday, April 6 at the Book Nook & Java Shop in downtown Montague for camaraderie, food and drink, and discussion.