This is a straightforward mystery novel, as in private eye rather than the mysteries that I normally write about. So...no supernatural elements, no magic. But still a good story, I hope. It's something I wrote in 1985, but didn't try too hard to market since I was already too busy with my career as a fantasist to try to establish myself in a different genre. But while mythic fiction swallows up all of my writing time, and happily so, I still retain a soft spot for the mystery novel, and aspects of it have crept into more than one of my books. As I write in the introduction:
I've flirted with variations on the mystery form in other books. Mulengro, Angel of Darkness and From a Whisper to a Scream (the latter two first published under the pen name of Samuel M. Key) were all, at their heart, police procedurals, sparked mostly, I'd guess, from years of reading Ed McBain. I'd also touched on spy thrillers (the RCMP sections of Moonheart), tropes such as organized crime (the Mafia in Greenmantle), and various hardboiled characters who've shown up in the pages of various novels and stories.
But this was the first time that I sat down to deliberately write a mystery novel, with a PI as a lead character, and no fantasy elements whatsoever, hedging my bets only slightly by giving Jevon "Jake" Swann a love for Celtic music. (It doesn't matter where you put Celtic music; it always holds a touch of magic to it.) And then I set the story in Ottawa, because that's where I was living at the time and I liked having my characters walk around in the same neighbourhoods that I did, or could.
So if you enjoyed the hardboiled elements in the above-mentioned books, you'll probably like this one, too.
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