cover image Dead to Rites: A Mick Oberon Job

Dead to Rites: A Mick Oberon Job

Ari Marmell. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-785650-97-0

PI Mick Oberon, who has been “on both sides of a lot of different magics, thrown by a lot of different creatures,” gets on the trail of a talisman thief in Marmell’s clever third supernatural noir set in 1930s Chicago (after 2015’s Hallow Point). Marmell makes his premise convincing through frequent infusions of period slang, such as Chicago typewriters (aka tommy guns), and the inclusion of plausible details, such as a corrupt politician. He’s also good at varying his tone. An opening section ends on a light note when a crystal wren statuette that he just recovered for some clients is accidentally shattered by one of them. Marmell also has a gift for unusual imagery (“His shirt and his coat had more wrinkles between ’em than the firstborn of a basset hound and a raisin”). Mystery readers with less of a taste for fantasy may be reassured to know that the bulk of the book is classic hard-boiled detective fiction. Fans of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series will find plenty to like. [em](Aug.) [/em]