Ari Marmell’s Hot Lead, Cold Iron is a new take on the 1930’s private eye genre. The protagonist, Mick Oberon, is not your run-of-the-mill detective: his fedora and trenchcoat hide a slender frame and pointy ears.
It’s a fantasy twist to the nit and grit of the mystery novel genre. It follows Mick, the last of a line of aristocratic Fae, who takes on the case of a lifetime: the wife of a Chicago mobster needs him to find their real daughter, who was switched at birth 16 years ago.
The first person narrative makes this book and couldn’t have been done any other way. The way Mick Oberon talks about his world and ours gives a different weight to the fantasy portion of this book. The action and suspense aren’t lacking, either. In the proverbial gun fight, the hero packs a wand instead of heat.
The double edged sword of Hot Lead, Cold Iron is that there isn’t anything left unexplained, save for a few details of Mick’s past. Which is great, it keeps the reader hooked, but there’s almost too much detail and information that slows down the pace. For example, whenever Mick’s walking through the streets, it’s just a mite over-descriptive and speed readers will find themselves going back over it if they feel like they missed a key detail.
For those looking to venture into a new cross-genre, Hot Lead is one series that has my recommendation. I am not one for the fantasy genres, save for Lord of the Rings but this changes it up.