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Emerald City Blues [Kindle Edition]

Peter Smalley , Bev Gelfand
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 67 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

Gumshoe. Flatfoot. Bulldog. Professional snoop. They've got a lot of words for someone like me. Most of them you wouldn't say on a Sunday in front of your mother. It's not easy being a private investigator in a town where no one is innocent, but it's twice as hard if you're a woman. I have to be twice as tough, twice as sharp, and take ten times as much horse manure to solve every case I take. Good thing I'm also ten times as much of a detective as all the coppers down at the station put together. Not that it would take a lot, but you know what I mean.

Right. So it all started when a man from my past showed up at my door one dark, rainy night. Of course, it's Seattle. I don't have to tell you it rains here, right? Right. So he was pounding my door. I was pounding a drink. He had a problem in need of solving. I solved problems for a needy living. It was a match made in heaven. Except that matches start fires, and fires are more in line with the opposite of heaven. I didn't know it yet but that's right where my world was headed with this case: straight to hell, with a whiskey chaser. I was about to be a lot toastier than I really wanted to be, and things were just getting warmed up.

But hey, someone's got to do it. Why not me? Oh, right. Because I'm a dame, just a flatfoot floozie with a closet full of tar-black memories and a chip on my shoulder the size of Gibraltar. Maybe so. But I'll get this case solved no matter what it takes. Even if I have to call on skills I haven't used since my Master went off to combat Germany's special occult forces in the Great War. He never came back, and I'm still half-trained at best. Hopefully it's the right half. If not, I'm a walking obituary.

Remind me again why I do this for a living? Oh, that’s right: it's really not much of a living.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 441 KB
  • Print Length: 67 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Kindling Press (1 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C57KWRM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #481,962 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition
This was my first read of any of Smalley's work. I was impressed early on. The description throughout the book is tantalising and I felt like I could TASTE the world of Maddie Sheehan. The characters were easy to visualise and although the "noir" or "mystery" genre is not normally one I read, I found myself enjoying the dark fantasy world and the sense of mystery.

Smalley is a clever writer, always building the plot and description into a well-paced story through each chapter. I believe this is the first in a series and I can't WAIT to read the next book. I hope there are several.

It is a great read because it is also quite short. I read it in about 2 hours.

Do yourself a favour and download this fun, dark tale and enjoy the genius that is Peter Smalley!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant 14 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
At first I was fooled into thinking it was a standard noir detective genre tale, but then there were hints at something labelled The Art by the protagonist.

It was also unusual because the gumshoe in question is a woman; something new for me at least in this genre. In my opinion this is one of the elements that lifts this book above others in this category.

One downside, and possibly a great attraction too, was the length. It was quite short. On one hand this is great because I was able to get to the climax of this excellent story very quickly. On the other hand, I wanted to know more about this world and the people within it.

SPOILER: Only a slight one but as more of The Art is revealed through the tale and the antagonists are introduced, there is a hint of a twist. For me it was fairly obvious what the twist was, but that DID NOT detract from the enjoyment of this story at all.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Editor-Brain Read for Pleasure! 13 April 2013
By Starglade - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I suffer from editor-brain. Over the years it's become increasingly difficult for me to read for pleasure, because I'm forever seeing all the errors other people can gloss over. I'm not talking about enormous typos or chunks of missing text. I'm talking about errant spacing between words or sentences or words and punctuation; just-left-of-center word choice; homonym issues, and all the other niggling things that "normal people" don't much care about but that drive copyeditors mad. It's gotten to the point where I nearly stopped reading self-published books for pleasure. I know that paying an editor (of any stripe) can be cost-prohibitive, and that many writers use friends and family to proofread their work. I get all of this. However, I can spot a book that's not been properly copyedited from miles away, and I had just about decided not to read any more self-published books for fun. For pay, sure. Not for fun.

I took a chance on Peter Smalley's book.

Before I finished the first chapter I was shouting from the rooftops. "I CAN READ FOR PLEASURE! I CAN! THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!" And it's true. This book is not flawlessly edited (there's always something, just like Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say), but it's damn near perfect in terms of typos, word choice errors, and mechanical problems. Those are the things that keep me from enjoying what I read. Not plot problems, not characterization, not pacing -- the little things are HUGE things to me, because every time I bump into one, I want to fix it (and I wonder why it wasn't corrected before the book saw publication), and the more of them I find the more annoyed I get until I put the book away because I'm not getting paid to read it and fix it.

::deep breaths::

So, Emerald City Blues.

GET THIS BOOK. If you are at all a fan of hard-boiled detective stories, or urban fantasy, or well-written characters, or just plain want a fun read that's different from the usual stuff you pick, GET THIS BOOK. It's a short read (I finished in just a couple of hours). It's sharply written. Consider this sentence:

"The length of (the warehouse) jutted out into the waters of Elliot Bay like the aggressive chest of a waterfront prostitute trying to convince Harbor Island to let her show it a good time."

Yeah. You need to read this book, for sure.

You get a femme fatale private eye with a drinking problem because she lost everyone who meant anything to her in the Great War. Oh, and she's a lapsed occultist. The guy who's moon-eyed over her is in trouble with some unknown villain who knows Latin. Without giving anything away, I'll say that there's also some funny business with Russians, a stereotypical Irish beat cop who's not quite what one would expect, and a smattering of ceremonial magic.

You NEED to read this book. Go get it. I'll wait.


Why are you still here? GET THIS BOOK.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing short story, with a female heroine and an interesting style. 27 July 2013
By Charles J. Kravetz - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review is for the Kindle edition ebook.

A detective, who happens to be female, who seems down but not out yet and the murder of a friend.

The heroine of this story is a detective, following in her father's footsteps, more or less. She is depressed, but will attempt to help a friend in need. His murder becomes a mystery to be solved, one of several in this short story.

I thought the author did a very good job building a lot of suspense and intrigue into a short story. The story progresses well, but is also a bit of a mystery. This book is not a true fantasy, unless you dream of being a detective. It does lean towards mystery, and will leave you, the reader, wanting more.

This is one of those books I have to read twice. I was very intrigued by the story, and thought it was well written. I like the way the author expands on parts of the story, leading the reader with bits and intrigue.

I would recommend this story to those who enjoy a short mystery and fantasy combined. There is very little actual magic performed in this story, however, there are subtle hints of magic having been used. I will read more from Peter Smalley, myself. I am impressed by the ability to tell a truly intriguing short story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story in what could be a great series 16 July 2013
By Paul D. Cobbs - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a very enjoyable stand-alone read, but hinted at more stories set in the same world that could make it even better. I would love to read a sequel to it, as well as a prequel, possibly one delving into the life of the main character's father and cohorts.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read! 24 Jun. 2013
By Ronda Reed - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the main character's humor and tenacity, creating a believable storyline as well as weaving in historical facts and connotations of a great speculative fiction with the fantasy. It left me wanting to read more.
A great read!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detective Noir with a Twist of Sorcery 14 May 2013
By Cellophane Queen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While drawing on the tried and true formula of a tough PI in the mean streets, the book is given a twist and a half with a woman detective who happens to be a sorceress (not practicing). While women detectives are a dime a dozen in modern times, the 1920s setting makes the MC a unique being. Good writing, fun plot. I liked it.
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