It’s not my first night working the beat. I’ve experienced a lot of detectives solving a lot of crimes. Of course I’ve read the greats. Poe & Doyle. Agatha Christie and Dorthy Sayers (ugh I should do a whole post on Wimbsey alone). I can’t think of any modern authors right now but I think I’ve watched enough Law & Order (and NCIS . . . and CSI . . . You get my drift?) to know a Police Procedural when I see one.
Needless to say, most detective fiction fails to impress. However, I still seem to have a ‘soft spot’ for ‘hard boiled’ detective fiction. Dashiel Hammet and Raymond Chandler will always be my go to guys when it’s time to start handing out recommendations (unless you like fantasy and sci-fi, then it’s a whole different list). There’s something about a guy who has every chance to take the easy way out but doesn’t. Something about a man who stays by his principles (even if they’re screwed up principles) and does the right thing (even if it’s for the wrong reasons) . . .
Well let’s just say I’d like to buy that guy a drink. Maybe I’m a Romantic. Or maybe that guy would have great taste in drinks. Not sure which (what’d I just say about doing things for the wrong reasons?). That being said, sometimes even my precious hard-boiled detective fiction can run a little dry. After all, formula is formula and lord knows there are hundreds if not thousands of imitators out there (will the real slim shady please stand up?)
What was the title of this post again?
Ah yes. Not your average case. Well in the case of Richard Levesque’s Dead Man’s Hand (Ace Stubble), imitators need not apply. When I say Ace isn’t your average detective, I mean it. He’s actually not a detective at all. He’s a lawyer who defends less than normal clientele . . . Oh and did I mention zombies? That should give you at least a hint as to what’s going on here. Should at least give an idea of the world we’re inhabiting.
Basically, Ace Stubble defends vampires, werewolves and any other sort of paranormal crook who ends up on the wrong side of the law. He’s going about his business, drinking (ah yes the true staple of a hard boiled detective) and needing a vacation, when he’s attacked by a werewolf on a full moon. He’s able to walk away with his neck (mostly intact) because of a young, seductive hacker (possibly a vampire?) who happens to have some silver. Ace does the gentlemanly thing to do and accompanies her back to her flat. Turns out she has an abundance of problems and when Ace offers a helping hand, our vixen (name pixel) pulls one (a hand) out of the refrigerator. You’ll have to read the rest yourself, and I recommend that you do.
Incase you’re skimming . . .
What I love about this book is the way the author mixes two genres that I don’t think normally mix together. The whole ‘Vampires, Werewolves, & Zombies’ thing seems pretty trendy right now and there is a lot of content being produced in this vein. However, I wouldn’t say there is a lot of quality work out there (I’m sorry that you love Vampire Diaries but really?).
And ‘Hard-boiled’ detective fiction?
Well it died around the same time Kennedy got hitched. So essentially, Levesque takes one dead genre mixed with a dying (or perhaps undying?) genre of fiction and creates something that is refreshing and quite comical at some points (oops forgot to mention the humor until now).
But enough of me prattling along. Just go and read it already!