Death Warmed Over: Dan Shamble, Zombie PI by Kevin J. Anderson
You can’t keep a good private eye down, and a man like Dan Chambeaux isn’t going to let a little thing like his murder keep him from doing his job. And it’s a good thing too…
From a pair of witch sisters who want to sue a publishing company for not “spell checking” their grimoires to a disgruntled Egyptian mummy seeking to end his exploitation as a museum exhibit, Dan, his ghostly girlfriend Sheyenne, and his human partner Robin Deyer have plenty of work to keep them busy. There’s also the little matter of his own murder to solve. Who would want to kill him, did it have something to do with one of his cases, or was he too close to finding out who poisoned Sheyenne?
Life in New Orleans’ Unnatural Quarter is never dull, and Dan is about to find out that death there is just as exciting.
Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure by Michael Chabon
Frankish Zelikman is tall, dour, obsessed with excellent hats, and as thin as the needle-sharp blade he carries. Gray-haired Amram comes from Abyssinia and is broad, strong, with a wit as sharp as the edge of “Defiler of Your Mother” his Viking battle-axe. They are adventurers and hired blades making their way through the Caucasus Mountains circa A.D. 950 living as much by their wits as by the weapons they carry and using both to make their fair share of enemies.
Until an unexpected witness to one of their bamboozles forces them into more legitimate employment, as the guardians of Filaq, the dethroned prince of the Khazar Empire and as unwilling generals in the counterrevolution to restore him to his rightful throne.
It is an impossible task that will require quite a bit of daring, quick-wits, and even quicker blades. Surely child’s play to such experienced gentlemen of the road as these, assuming they live that long…
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Major Ernest Pettigrew (British Army, retired) has lived his life in the village of Edgecombe St. Mary as many other old English gentlemen have done before him: quietly and with dignity surrounded by old family momentos, books, and his garden. Until a chance encounter with the village shopkeeper, Mrs. Jasmina Ali, starts to wear away the foundations of his solid and somewhat ordinary life.
Out of their shared love of literature, and shared grief over the loss of their respective spouses, Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali begin an unusaual friendship (he the quintessential local gentleman she the foreign outsider). A friendship that soon blossoms into something more, something of which their families, and the rest of the village do not approve of. Are the bonds of culture, family and tradition too strong to break or does a retired army officer still have enough courage to make one final stand in the name of love.
A Darkness Forged In Fire: Book One of the Iron Elves by Chris Evans
All Konowa Swift Dragon wants is to be left alone in his disgrace. His reputation is ruined, his regiment has been disbanded, and to add insult to injury he’s been exiled to the one place he hates the most, the forest. Fate, and the daughter of the governer of Elfkyna, have other plans for him. He is to resume his commission as a major in Her Majesty’s Imperial Army and reform his regiment the famed Iron Elves, immediately.
There is no time to loose, a Red Star has fallen in the east, a magic long thought to be gone is beginning to return, and the dreaded Shadow Monarch has set her eyes on capturing both the Star and Konowa for herself.
It’s a suicide mission for sure, but it’s also a chance for redemption for Konowa Swift Dragon and a chance for the men (and one dwarf) of the Iron Elves to prove their worth. It’s a chance for battles to be won, legends to be born, lives to be redeemed, and souls to be doomed, for as the Blood Oath of the Iron Elves says:
“We do not fear the flame, though it burns us,
We do not fear the fire, though it consumes us,
And we do not fear its light,
Though it reveals the darkness of our souls,
For therein lies our power.”
Murder by the Book by Rex Stout
First Leonard Dykes is found floating in the East River, than a car runs Joan Wellman down in Van Cortlandt Park, finally someone helps stenographer Rachel Abrams out the window of the office. Three seperate people: a law clerk, a book reader, and a stenographer; three seperate murders; and nothing in common bewteen them. Or so it seems…who is Baird Archer and why is everyone who reads the manuscript of his novel, Put Not Your Trust, turning up dead?
It’s a case that has New York’s finest baffled, it may even be too much for private detective Nero Wolfe. It’s a case that soon has this orchid-loving, reclusive gourmand detective, and his wise-cracking legman Archie Goodwin, up to his substantial neck in murder, blackmail, jury-tampering, and the vicious internal battles of a prominant New York City law firm.
It’s a case that makes it clear, that some books are really worth reading…even if it is the last thing you will ever do.
The First Detective: The Life and Revolutionary Times of Vidoq Criminal, Spy, and Private Eye by James Morton.
Before Sir Robert Peel proposed the Metropolitan Police Act, before the New York City Police Department was founded, before Alan Pinkerton set up his famous detective agency there was Eugène François Vidocq.
Born in relative obscurity, this son of a baker from Arras would come to have a wild and storied career, on both sides of the law. Soldier, criminal, police informant, policeman, private detective, master of disguise, spy, patron of the arts, and man of letters Vidocq was the founder, and first chief, of the Brigade de la Sûreté (Brigade of Safety) a revolutionary plain clothes police force that would eventually become France’s National Police Force. After his resignation from the Brigade de la Sûreté (Vidocq also made enemies on both sides of the law) he established the world’s first private detective agency. His exploits and character were so well-known that he served as the inspiration for several literary characters (including Victor Hugo’s Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert), Vidocq was very famous (Or infamous depending on who you asked).
James Morton provides an entertaining and educational look into the life of a revolutionary character who was truely famous (or infamous depending on who you asked).
Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders by Richard Ellis Preston, Jr.
“Romulus Buckle was an airman, a zeppelin pilot, to be exact, or, to be less exact, in the local slang, a gasbag gremlin, a dirigible driver, a balloon goose, an air dog, or whatever moniker any lazybrat might cook up in his gin-stewed cerebellu. [...] He was shot bolt-through with aviator dash, that legendary, heart-stirring dash: he laughed heartily and often, and his eyes, deep and glacier-water blue, made women swoon (all except for the beautiful Martian named Max, of course, who found him far too droll).”
Dashing or not, droll or not, Romulus Buckle is going to need every good quality he has for the mission he’s about to undertake. Balthazar Crankshaft, the doughty leader of Buckle’s own Crankshaft Clan, has been kidnapped and is being held in the impregnable and mysterious City of the Founders.
But to do that, Buckle and the crew of the Pneumatic Zeppelin must cross a frozen wasteland populated by hostile scavangers, vicious alien beasties, and enemy clans and covered by the deadly Noxious Mustard.
It’s a deadly steampunked race against time to a deadly fortress city that no one knows how to enter or leave (or leave alive anyway).