Book Review: Detecting Magic with Dick Hunter: The Mort des Hommes Files by A. Jarrell Hayes

Detecting Magic with Dick Hunter: The Mort des Hommes Files by A. Jarrell Hayes is a blend of urban fantasy and classic hard boiled mystery. Dick Hunter, yes there are jokes about his name, is a wise cracking detective. When a woman enters his office he knows that it will lead to trouble, because it always does, but he had no idea the extent of the trouble he is about to encounter. A simple case to find a missing husband leads him on a wild ride that leads him to defend the world from the very gates of hell. A crash course in magic and some serious taxi time might lead Dick to save the world, or he just might end up dead.

Dick Hunter is a intelligent and smart mouthed man with the expected penchant for alcohol. He is also unexpected in many ways. He is a young black man with a shaved head, rather than the middle aged binge drinker that one might expect in his position. Under all his bluster and cases he takes to earn a living, Hunter is a man looking to do what is right. A brutal murder is what draws him into the crazy world of magic, seeking justice for a wounded family.

Amie is his guide, and his temptation. She explains the world of magic and the animal familiars that are key in the story. Some of this came a little too fast and a little too heavy for my tastes, but everything was well drawn out and easily understood. One distraction that I had while reading were the names of the magical critters, they were just all so cutesy. Although I did get a sense of their very different personalities as the story progressed.

I recommend Detecting Magic with Dick Hunter to fans of books that blend fantasy with mystery. It is vaguely like the work of Jim Butcher or Simon Green but not in a way that will have you confusing Hayes with either of the other authors. Some of the writing is well suited for young adults however there is swearing and sexual situations so I would not recommend it for the younger set.
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