Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Glen Cook‘s The Black Company books and his witty voice and his gritty worlds. When I found out about his Garrett P.I. series, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I was thinking something along the lines of Urban Fantasy mixed with Sherlock Holmes (I’ve recently finished The Complete Sherlock Holmes collection and there ends my experience with detectives). But since I love Glen Cook’s work, I decided to give the first three books a try.
Introducing Garrett, P.I. consists of the first three books of the series:
- Sweet Silver Blues
- Bitter Gold Hearts
- Cold Copper Tears
Garrett is a private detective with a knack for figuring things out. His cases take him whenever they take him; once he’s got the scent, he never relents, not even when his own life is in danger. Which it always is, it seems. But Garrett is known for getting things done and if he has to knock on some doors and knock some heads together to get to the truth, he will.
I must say that I was very surprised at the world Glen Cook created for this series. TunFaire is a city shared by humans and non-humans alike and Garrett’s home base. Garrett himself is a snarky, sarcastic lazy ex-Marine who has an eye for things. His “friends” include a dead Loghyr – whatever that is – who communicates through telepathy, a half-breed (half darkelf, half human) called Morley who runs a vegetarian bar and harps on Garrett for not taking care of his diet, but who knows about everybody worth knowing in the underworld, and a human called Saucerhead whose speciality is knocking heads together and who considers his hands deadly weapons.
There are grolls, gnomes, ogres, vampires, magic users, trolls, elfs, darkelfs, vicious unicorns, centaurs and even woolly mammoths aren’t strange, only when they appear where they shouldn’t be at that time of the year. The funny thing about the books is that all of this is presented as normal and Cook doesn’t dwell on the creatures at all. You, as the reader, just take everything in stride and continue reading. Well it works. I was never distracted by any of the creatures that appear in the story…well, maybe I was a little surprised at the woolly mammoth, but then I laughed it off.
Garrett is a bit of an anti-hero mixed in with some good guy and I’m always interested in characters like that. The books are written in first person from his perspective and you really get to know the guy and how he feels about the people in his life or the people introduced to him via his cases. One of the things that’s especially hilarious, is his weakness for pretty women. That gets him in trouble some times but it also bolsters his resolve in finding out the truth – especially in the third book.
I would really recommend these books to other lovers of Cook’s work and Fantasy fans in general. They’re great.