Garrett for Hire by Glen Cook
Garrett P.I #7, 8, &9
Meet Garrett, P.I. He’s a hardboiled human detective who stands out in a crowd of elves, trolls, and other otherworldly denizens in the magical city of TunFaire. Garrett For Hire is “fantasy noir at its best" (Library Journal), collecting three novels from Glen Cook’s classic urban fantasy series. Deadly Quicksilver Lies
A rich woman hires Garrett to find her missing daughter…or to act as her hitman. In TunFaire, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference, leaving him no choice but to sift through the sex, intrigue, and murder to uncover the truth behind this case…
Petty Pewter Gods
With TunFaire real estate at a premium and prayer palaces at a minimum, the big gods on the block hold a contest: find the “key” to the one temple still available for worship. And when two rival pantheons try to hire Garrett to find it on their behalf, he finds himself facing the wrath of gods…
Faded Steel Heat
Riots between humans and non-humans have turned TunFaire into a war zone. And when a powerful gang of “human rightists” drag Garrett into the fray, he defends himself with a circle of friends no one would wish on their worst enemy…
Garrett for Hire by Glen Cook collects Deadly Quicksilver Lies, Petty Pewter Gods, and Faded Steel Heat. The collection tells the stories of Garrett, P.I, a human detective, meaning many of his clients aren’t - they’re trolls, elves, and other creatures that live in the city of TunFaire.
The books have been described as ‘fantasy noir,’ and the author lives up to that with the hero’s characterization, as well as the language, which includes such phrases as ‘gams,’ and other words that are familiar to the genre.
In the first book, Deadly Quicksilver Lies,Garrett is hired to find a woman’s missing daughter, or maybe to pose as her hit man, because sometimes it’s hard to tell which one is the right role in this town. The setting is richly drawn, and the city, as much as its characters is given due attention; making it clear that this is one series where ignoring one’s surroundings is a very bad idea.
The second, Petty Pewter Gods features a story about real estate and religion - and the fact that there’s a single temple where TunFaire’s citizens are still able to worship. Then, Garrett gets hired by two squabbling factions, and gets the gods’ attention - in the worst way possible. The handling of gods, as well as the questions they raise seems a bit out of step at times with the other volumes, and it may be that Garrett is not the right person to handle such themes, or it may simply take the reader a little while to adjust to the way that he handles even the most serious of situations.
Faded Steel Heat focuses on the riots that have broken out between nonhumans and humans. Taking advantage of the chaos are a group of human rightists, who pull Garrett into the mess. Of course, Garrett has friends that most people wouldn’t want to be seen with, let alone piss off, so he’s got a few surprises for them.
While all the books are by and large well-paced reads, handling most situations with levity that won’t be unfamiliar to anyone who enjoys a private investigator as the main character, they definitely won’t appeal to everyone, and if you can only handle small doses of noir or this style of humor, it’s best to read this one in bursts, and not a single sitting.