Sweet Silver Blues - This is the first of the Garrett PI novels, written back in the mid 1980's. Like with Cook's Black Company, this was groundbreaking stuff back then, and remains incredibly readable today. Raymond Chandler meets Tolkien sums it up in a nutshell but does not do it justice.
Garrett is a detective living in a gritty, noirish city called TunFaire, which is kind of like Lankhmar but populated by elves, dwarves, ogres and other things, as well as humans. TunFaire is part of Karenta, which has been fighting a dirty Vietnam-style war with rival nation Venageti, over silver mines in a place called the Cantard. Every male has to do 5 years military service; Garrett is an ex-Marine.
Now one of Garrett's old marine buddies is dead, and there is a Will to prove, which names a woman who was an old flame of Garrett's back in the war. So Garrett, needing funds, takes the case and goes back the Cantard, with some hired help.
Glen Cook has made a wonderful world come alive here - or rather, he has described a hard, nasty place wonderfully well. This book takes the conventions of both fantasy adventure and pulp noir, combines them, and subverts them beautifully. There are femmes - fatale and otherwise - vampires, elves, unicorns and shapeshifters. Everyone has an agenda of their own, and a pretty clear role outside of "Garrett's sidekick #1" etc.
With the hindsight of having read all 12 books to date, this is an introduction to Garrett's world, with later volumes focusing more on TunFaire and Garrett. The evolution of the series is a joy, with Garrett's role changing from Don Quixote to captain of industry, from ... but I get ahead of myself.
Sweet Silver Blues is Glen Cook mixing genres in sublime fashion, with well-drawn characters that make you laugh in a world that makes you weep.