15 September 2018

Review of The Last Living Detective


In a world where people die and come back as immortal mythical creatures (vampires, werewolves, zombies, gods etc.) the mortal Elmer Jones scratches out a living as a private investigator. An elf hires him for a case that starts out with a dumped husband stealing a wedding ring and escalates into a plot to exterminate the human race. With the aid of his vampire assistant Val, Elmer must recover the ring, decipher its meaning, and save the world. 

All in a day’s work for the Last Living Detective...

The last Living Detective in a comic homage to the noir works of Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane, only with more dead bodies and funnier jokes.




"Now me, I'm alive. It's not that I haven't had offers mind you, but I prefer breathing to placing a bet on the postmortem roulette wheel."
The Last Living Detective brings an interesting take to the urban fantasy genre and to the creation of paranormal creatures. You may be human while you live, but when you die, you are regenerated as some flavor of mythical being. The drawback is that you don't get to choose. Some get vampire or werewolf. Others aren't so lucky and come back as ghouls and zombies instead. It's explained as a new phenomenon, a gas that changed everything and imparts immortality. It's become all the rage though, with staying human becoming the unpopular choice. 

Enter Private Detective Elmer Jones. Elmer is an interesting protagonist. In a world where normal is unusual, he's just an average joe trying to make a go of things. While he's not the most complex of characters, he's likable enough to make his story worthwhile. The dialogue is witty, with some laugh out loud moments. 

I enjoyed his interaction with the vast parade of side characters. If you can think it, it's in there. Elves, ogres, vampires, werewolves, dragons, leprechauns, cthulhu...all in there!  I especially loved the undead goldfish, Oscar. I think I giggled everytime he was in a scene. 

Ok, but let's talk about elephant in the room, shall we? There are two versions of the cover. The Amazon cover looks like something I did in high school IT class. While the Goodreads cover is slightly better, I would have never chosen this book based on the cover alone. Yes, I'm highly biased to an attractive cover as most readers are, so I didn't have high expectations. Understandably, I was then quite astonished to enjoy this as much as I did! 

The Last Detective has unique world building, fun characters, and great snarky humor. While much more lighthearted than The Dresden Files or The Nightside series, Bruce Levine's detective caper was a surprise. 

Proof that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

(but I still will.)




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4 Paws Up!

4 paws up