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Sweet Silver Blues (Garrett P.I.) [Mass Market Paperback]

Glen Cook
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback, 27 Oct 1988 --  

Book Description

27 Oct 1988
An investigator is hired to track down a woman to whom his dead pal has left a fortune. His task turns out to be much harder than he'd expected since he's up against gnomes instead of humans. A nasty collection of vampires, centaurs, and gnomes have him on the double take at every turn.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: New American Library (27 Oct 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451150619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451150615
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,755,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Christopher Meadows VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Glen Cook is perhaps best known for his Black Company series - a stylish exploration of a grunts-eye-view of fantasy. The same level of skill at crafting a style is evident here. The text carries overtones of film noir, wrapped within a fantasy world which exceeds (and often subverts) expectations. The text is narrated in first person by the central figure, Garrett PI, in a wry and humorous tone that makes the text easy to engage with. The dry humour makes the text easy to read, and often draws out a chuckle; the convoluted plot serves as a foil for the well-crafted dialogue. Each twist and turn is well foreshadowed, but arrives as a surprise, and means that it is very difficult to stop turning pages.

The merger of the fantasy genre and that of film noir is a rare one; that the result in this case is such an intriguing page-turner makes it worthwhile. The central character carries the weight of development - the others sometimes seem a little superficial, or simply serve as foils - but has an interesting enough background that this is easy to forgive. While Cook may not yet have written his Maltese Falcon, the quality is undeniable, stylish, snappy, funny and intriguing, and the book is well worth reading.

Edited to add: This is the first novel in the sequence, which as of November 2010 is composed of thirteen novels. It is followed by Bitter Gold Hearts
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Every bit as good as I had hoped it would be. 19 Oct 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've been wanting to read this book ever since it arrived last week. What a really fun experience this was. An interesting amalgamation of the old fashioned gumshoe private eye and the magical world of all things weird. I loved it. Garrett is the only human in the story which was chock full of strange characters and locations, but managed to incorporate a real mystery at the same time. Garrett was that paragon of a detective whose word was his bond and nothing was going to stop him from accomplishing the job he had taken on for the Tate family. Denny Tate had died in an accident but what was found in the basement of his house caused Garrett to be hired to find the heiress named in his will. The hunt led from one dangerous encounter to another until they finally met up with the people of the night.

These characters were wonderful. I liked Garrett immediately and that liking just got stronger as the story unfolded. Morley Dotes, a dark elfin, was the muscle with brains that Garrett hired to help him find Kayean Kronk. Morley spent time trying to convince Garrett that eating the vegetarian way would not only cleanse his colon but make him a better private investigator - sort of clear his thinking along with other areas. Those conversations were really funny because they were happening in the middle of all sorts of mayhem. And of course there were the groll triplets, brothers Dojango, Marsha and Doris. Dojango convinced Garrett to take Marsha and Doris along on the trip instead of buying mules. It's just that kind of story.

I enjoyed the whole book. It was funny, it was well written, it had quirky characters, but within it all was a quest to find the answers to questions Denny Tate's family needed to know. I've read quite a bit of fantasy fiction now and I don't usually get spooked by it. This story had the hairs on my arms standing up during one scene so don't get fooled by the comedy aspects. There is a kick to it too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By John Middleton TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great fun 17 April 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Light fantasy with a dark edge as a human PI operates in a fantasy world full of fantasy creatures.
Our PI, Garrett, takes on a case to to locate the heir of a surprising hoard of silver and with a bantering team of non human allies, finds himself in all sorts of trouble.
Not deep stuff, but great fun throughout and while not played for laughs, there is a strong sense of wit in the writing and the characters. This is not a book that takes itself seriously and just wants the reader to enjoy some light-hearted fun. And it delivers exactly that.
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