** This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review **
I am a D&D nerd. I also am a big fan of urban fantasy, and appreciate a little bit of the gumshoe schlock of the classic Raymond Chandler school of pulp fiction.
Sirgrus Blackmane Demihuman Gumshoe & The Dark-Elf really nails it in all of those genres and was an absolute delight to discover.
The story opens up with us meeting Sirgrus Blackmane, a Dwarf who, after the Great War in Europa against the Orcs, opened up a detective agency with his war buddy, Craig Mason. It turns out, though, that Mason had a whole lot going on regarding the rum-running organized crime bosses in town that Sirgrus just wasn’t privy to.
The story opens with Sirgrus being escorted by the cops to a busted illegal whiskey barrelhouse. Of interest to Sirgrus is one dead Craig Mason. On top of all that, Sirgrus finds himself investigating the death of a singer from The Dark-Elf that seems to have some very interesting ties to Mason’s death.
Oh, all the while, he’s also trying to figure out what Mason promised these mob bosses, and how he can fix the situation without getting killed. Yeah, it’s not a fun situation for our hero.
Mr. Schlichter sets up this story masterfully. It has all the hallmarks of great pulp fiction, with the added twist of the Demihuman slant. The world-building is wonderfully on-point, and I really wanted to know a lot more about the Great War and the aftermath. One sign of a really well thought fictional world is the ability of the reader to see that it really could expand well beyond the pages of the book they are reading. So much was hinted and teased that I really hope we have more Sirgrus Blackmane adventures in the future. There are definitely a few loose ends that need to be addressed.