That’s the only decent explanation I can come up with for why I steadfastly ignored Glen Cook’s Garrett, P.I. novels for so many years. And that took some doing, too — in the 24 years since Sweet Silver Blues appeared, Cook has written no less than thirteen, with one more on the way. I’d probably still be ignorant of this highly readable and fast paced series if the charming Tina Jens hadn’t discovered this glaring omission in my fantasy education at Worldcon, and arrived at our booth the next morning with a brand new copy of Sweet Silver Blues, inscribed to me by Glen Cook.
Long story short, it wasn’t long before I was a fan. So you can imagine how delighted I was to open my mail yesterday and find a review copy of Garrett For Hire, a handsome omnibus collection of Deadly Quicksilver Lies, Petty Pewter Gods, and Faded Steel Heat, novels 7, 8, and 9 in the series.
I know what you’re thinking. Who does an omnibus of novels 7, 8 and 9? Unless…
A quick Internet search proved what I should have been able to figure out for myself: there are two previous collections. Introducing Garrett, P.I. was published August 2011, and Garrett Takes the Case in February 2012. Not sure how the hell I managed to miss them both. Clearly my detection skills are no match for my new hero, Garrett. Well, at least I’ve got one thing figured out: what books I’m going to be tracking down and reading this weekend.
Garrett is a detective in TunFaire, a gritty fantasy city populated by witches, elves, dwarves, vampires, ogres, gods, and stranger things. TunFaire has been compared to Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar, but it’s an original creation in its own right.
TunFaire is part of the vast kingdom of Karenta, which has been drawn into a prolonged Vietnam-like conflict with neighboring Venageti. Garrett is an ex-Marine who did a five-year tour fighting the Venageti in the Cantard; in these early novels we meet a few of Garrett’s fellow servicemen and his cohorts in TunFaire, including the half-elf Morley Dotes, the Roze triplets, and the Dead Man, a dead but still active Loghyr.
Introducing Garrett, P.I. collects Sweet Silver Blues, Bitter Gold Hearts, and Cold Copper Tears. In Sweet Silver Blues, Garrett is approached by the family of an old marine buddy recently killed in the Cantard. Denny Tate accumulated a large fortune in silver before his accidental death, and his will dictates it is to be left to the woman he loved, Kayean Kronk — an old flame of Garrett’s. The Tates hire Garrett to locate and deliver the fortune to Kayean, who is believed to be somewhere deep in the Cantard… the last place Garrett ever wants to see again.
In Bitter Gold Hearts, Garrett is hired by a Stormwarden, a powerful sorcerer, to find her kidnapped son. This one takes place largely in TunFaire. As the kidnapper’s demands increase, Garrett begins to suspect that the members of the Stormwarden’s family may be involved… along with a dangerous band of ogres led by the mysterious “Gorgeous.”
In Cold Copper Tears, Garrett takes a case for a woman so gorgeous it can only spell trouble. Jill Craight hires Garrett to discover who has been breaking into her apartment, and why. Soon afterwards, Garrett is attacked by a gang called the Vampires and finds himself battling an ancient eunuch cult… and that’s just the beginning of his troubles.
The next omnibus is Garrett Takes the Case. In Old Tin Sorrows, Garrett investigates why anyone would want to poison a wealthy, retired General, only to discover his employees are being killed; in Dread Brass Shadows, three young women press Garrett into service to search for The Book of Shadows, a sorcerer’s tome containing secrets no mortal was meant to master; and in Red Iron Nights, Garrett find himself up against a sinister killer targeting rich young women in TunFaire.
The Garrett novels are packed with humor, witty dialogue, and twisted plots that constantly surprise. There’s also a rich cast of characters, villains, and friends alike and TunFaire is a character in itself, vivid and alive. I’m looking forward to discovering them all, and I’m grateful to Roc for bringing these books back in print in handsome and affordable editions.
Introducing Garrett, P.I. was published August 2011 by Roc Books; it is 704 pages and priced at $16. Garrett Takes the Case was published February 2012 by Roc, it is 688 pages in trade paperback for $16. Garrett for Hire is a whopping 870 pages, priced at $17; it will be available March 5. As yet there are no digital editions.