Title: Introducing Garrett, P. I.
(Omnibus containing Sweet Silver Blues, Bitter Gold Hearts, & Cold Copper Tears)
Author: Glen Cook
Genre: Hardboiled Detective / Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 of 5
Glen Cook’s wisecracking private investigator fits right in with Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, and the rest of the hardboiled detective crowd from the Dime Detective and Black Mask era. The only difference is that he lives in a world inhabited by elves, trolls, sorcerers, vampires, and such. Before I got this book for my birthday I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but thought that it might be something in the satirical farce family (something along the lines of Discworld).
It turns out that Cook plays the story pretty straight. The humor comes mostly from Garrett’s smart mouth and quirky associates as it does in most decent detective fiction. The world is well-constructed with its own politics, religions, etc. that (mostly) do not ape the real world in a ham-fisted satire kind of way. The plots are fairly messy with the occasional loose end, but mostly in the way that characterizes pulp detective stories rather than being due to poor writing.
Garrett’s womanizing and cynicism toward faith made me cringe occasionally, but overall I greatly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in the series.