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City of Devils

(City of Devils)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  106 ratings  ·  43 reviews
World War II was only the beginning. When the Night War ravages America, turning it into a country of monsters, humans become a downtrodden minority. Nick Moss is the only human private eye in town, and he’s on the trail of a missing city councilor. With monsters trying to turn him – or, better yet, simply kill him – he’s got to watch his back while trying to find his man. ...more
Paperback, 330 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Candlemark & Gleam (first published September 23rd 2013)
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  106 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yorwtfiw
The other day Justin Robinson‘s new novel City of Devils became available to review and I jumped on it. Well, not literally, but close to it. I was doing something else, read the email on my phone and promptly ran to the laptop to add it to my reader. Cos Mr Blank was one of my favourite new-to-me-author reads of last year (and pretty much everyone I’ve forced it on has agreed), and after reading the description of this book, I knew it was something I would love just as much.

I love it when I’m r
Wayne McCoy
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
City of Devils takes the Los Angeles of the 1940s and 1950s and populates it with monsters. When monsters take over the world, and specifically L.A. it leaves the humans as the hunted. There are mummies, vampires, zombies, werewolves, killer robots, ghouls, shapeshifters, merpeople and the list goes on.

Nick Moss is a human detective in this crazy town. After surviving World War 2, he found himself at war with the monsters. Now he lives among them. A movie star's husband is missing and Nick is o
Mana Taylor-Hall
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Classic Noir and Movie Monsters in Just the Right Blend

A good noir detective story needs certain elements:

A wise-cracking detective with panache and moxie? Nick Moss fits the bill.

A long-legged receptionist whose is loyal to her boss but dreams for more? We have Serendipity Sargasso who dreams of being discovered.

A femme fatale with uncertain motives? Imogen Verity, star of the screen fits the bill.

Movie monsters roaming the street hoping to feast on the miniscule percentage of the p
Review originally published here.

There was once an episode of my favourite podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour (which I've talked about before here on the blog), where they discussed things that were so in tune with their tastes that it seems as though it was made especially for them. I'd never quite experience anything like that myself. I mean, I've liked a lot of things (and continuously like a lot of things), but never anything so spot on that it seemed like it was made for me.

That was until I ca
Life ain't easy for a private eye - especially when you can't go out after dark and the things that go "bump" in the night now run the world. Nick Moss, the last human PI in a 50s Los Angeles that is run by classic movie monsters come to life, is holding it together, though, doing his best to make ends meet while staying human. That simple goal becomes very difficult when he's hired by a doppelganger movie star to uncover what's happened to her politically connected mummy husband. A simple missi ...more
Timothy Pecoraro
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Going into this book I had no idea what expect. I have to say that if City of Devils does nothing else, it does original. I loved the world, the characters, it was an excellent book. The idea of using every monster ever in the same book at the same time; to help make your alternative history Raymond Chandler story was a stroke of brilliance. However, said tale wasn’t very good. That was my only real problem with City of Devils; great world, great characters, and one long boring story. Boring is ...more
Sep 20, 2013 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, arc
I want to apologize to author and publisher, but after reading half of this book, I really could not go on. I was simply bored by a great idea. Sounds weird? It is. City of Devils has a great idea, but it's one of those I'm not fond of.

Imagine Star Wars and then Space Balls. Now image The Maltese Falcon and then the cover of this book...See my point? Great parody, but it's not something for me.

In a parody you don't have, don't need, world-building, plot and the like. But these are the things t
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
City of Devils reads like a fun B movie romp. The only human detective in a Los Angeles overridden by classic movie monsters, Nick Moss finds trouble at every turn. These are werewolves, mummies, fishmen and phantoms unlike any you've see before. Written tongue-in-cheek, much like his earlier novel Mr. Blank, City of Devils will keep you chuckling while burning through pages in hopes of seeing Moss solve the case before time, and his ability to elude becoming a monster himself, run out on him.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
This is the story of the last human private eye living in the City of Devils, formally the City of Angels. Since the Night War, the world is overrun with every sort of monster you can think of, and some you can't!! During the day the treaty protects what little humans are left, but once night falls you are fair game! Nick Moss is just trying to live his life as a private eye, working during the day and getting home before dark because there are things that want to turn him. Things change for Nic ...more
Adam Martin
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Monster Noir

The setting is fantastic and the world is fully realized. The characters feel instantly familiar and full formed but my favorite part is the humor. I laughed through out the book and would often stop to read passages out loud to my wife. Highly recommend checking this one out.
C Patrick Daily
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun and inventive entry in this genre

A well written P.I./Monster world book. I generally like urban fantasy and detective mixes and this is one of the better ones I've read to date.
"That's the problem with hiring a human dick, ma'am."
There was a long silence while we stared at each other.
Finally, I said quietly, "It's just a figure of speech."

A book about a human private detective in a world of monsters...
"You're a dick."
I nodded.
"But you're not a werewolf."
I shook my head.
"Then what the hell are you?"

Overall City of Devils is a humorous book with a very creative, very different world that has a mystery woven in. It follows human private
Patrick Murtha
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
It comes as no surprise that Justin Robinson, author of City of Devils, is an accomplished novelist with more than a dozen books under his belt. It takes a certain of amount of practice to be able to sustain a comic tone against the realities of the book's premise. City of Devils takes place in a Chinatown-meets-Who Framed Roger Rabbit fantasy reality in which World War II was followed by a "Night War" between humans and monsters, of a couple dozen varieties - witches, vampires, ogres, gremlins, ...more
Red Lace Reviews
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of detective novels & humour
Top Read 2013

The former City of Angels now belongs to the monsters of all shapes and sizes, whom now greatly outnumber humanity. Nick Moss, Private Investigator, finds himself caught in the middle of all the madness when he’s hired by a famous doppelganger actress. Trying to find her missing husband, Nick (the Dick) has to put his life in danger and face off against werewolves and phantoms, among other things, to crack the case.

(I received this book via NetGalley for my honest review. I give my
Fanbase Press
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The following review was originally posted on Fanboy Comics at the following link:

'City of Devils:' Book Review
by Jodi Scaife, Fanboy Comics Contributor

A missing city councilman, his frightened movie star wife, and more suspects than you can count without taking off your shoes. Private Eye Nick Moss is on the case. There’s only one problem. He’s the last human PI in the city. His client is a shapeshifter, the missing councilman is a mummy, and most of the
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Do you like detective stories? Do you like mysteries? Do you like femme fatales and gumshoes and old Hollywood?

Do you like monsters?

Then stop right now and go get this book. Read it, and come back and thank me later.


Our hero, Nick Moss, is a private detective, specializing in investigating missing persons cases. But this is no run of the mill detective story: in the world of City of Devils, monsters are real, and humans are at a distinct disadvantage. While most cops and detectives ar
Don Sloan
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"The man knocking on the outside of my office window had the head of a fly. I sighed. Not another one."

So begins the thoroughly offbeat and wildly entertaining murder mystery set in a comically dystopian Los Angeles, sometime after World War 2. Humans are decidedly in the minority in the City of Angels. Monsters of every kind are in the majority, and being anywhere but barricaded in his home at night is not an option for private investigator Nick Moss.

The hard-bitten P.I. has been retained by be
Rosalind Hartmann
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
World War II was only the beginning. When the Night War ravages America, turning it into a country of monsters, humans become a downtrodden minority. Nick Moss is the only human private eye in town, and he’s on the trail of a missing city councilor. With monsters trying to turn him – or, better yet, simply kill him – he’s got to watch his back while trying to find his man. Or mummy, as the case may be.

Once, it was the City of Angels. But now, Los Angeles is the City of Devils…and Nick has a dev
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nick Moss is the only detective left in Los Angeles; the only human one anyway. Ten years ago, humans lost the Night War to the monsters and humans are relegated to second class citizens. Now, Nick's business consists of missing persons cases. Granted there's no shortage of missing people but most humans just assume their loved one is either dead or turned and don't bother looking.There's a treaty in place which makes it illegal for monsters to kill or turn humans during the day but after dark a ...more
Gecky Boz
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Devilish Good Time - Here There Be Monsters (that you should read about ASAP)

City of Devils by Justin Robinson

* Provided by Candlemark & Gleam/NetGalley for Review

5 out of 5 gnomes

This book made me smile so much while reading it. I love the noir atmosphere, the plethora of puns, and the myriad of monsters that are seen.

Nick Moss is a human in a world where monsters are the norm and far outnumber humans. He also happens to be the only human Private Investigator and the actual police force consist
J. Ringo
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What's it like being one of the last humans living in a city filled with monsters? Well, you could ask Nick Moss, but he'd probably be too busy dodging phantoms, werewolves, gremlins, crawling eyes, and friendly pumpkinheads to answer you. In City of Devils, Robinson uses his considerable knowledge of both classic monsters and classic noir to create an intricate and engrossing (and at times, hilarious) tale of trying to make your way in the big city. Owing as much to H.P. Lovecraft and Universal ...more
Paul Harmon
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, urban-fantasy
My review is subjective its a good book that didnt click for me, most who check it out will enjoy it I believe.

City of Devils is Detective Noir, Humor and classic horror monsters set in an alternate post WWII Los Angeles that has seen the world more or less run by every possible movie monster and trope you can think of and using humans for entertainment and surrogate children.

Detective Nick Moss takes a case from a famous Hollywood actress/Doppelganger to find her missing Mummy husband.

It's a sh
Henry Lazarus
Dec 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Los Angeles in the fifties was a great era for classic detective tales. Justin Robinson puts Nick Moss in a weird version of that era, a City of Devils (trade from Candlemark & Gleam) run by every monster possible and where humans are a small minority. The actors in Hollywood are all doppelgangers, The directors are mad robots and huge evil eyes. The cops are all werewolves and witches fly over the light traffic. Humans are only safe by treaty during the day, and Nick finds lost human children, ...more
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite of Robinson's novels so far. There's something about the tone and the characters that I really get into. Also, and although I like his other novels, this one feels most "comfortable" for him as an author, in terms of the voice and style.

I heartily recommend this for fans of humor and monsters alike. One of my favorite characters in this novel has a pumpkin for a head, and a very special relationship with the protagonist.

I haven't read anything else like this before, and I l
Jul 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that I wish I had stumbled upon once several sequels had been written - so I could just skip on to the next one.

It manages to be noir and funny at the same time, which is a pretty impressive feat.

I'd classify it as paranormal detective - although the main character is a Private Investigator, he is a human working in a city filled mostly with monsters. Monsters who are trying to convert him.

By the end of the book, I was very comfortable with this world - it's easy to si
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nick Moss is the last human private eye in a Los Angles run amuck with monsters. When a mummy politician goes missing, his beautiful doppelganger wife becomes the prime suspect, and it’s up to Moss to prove her innocence. Nick soon finds himself embroiled in the sordid world of corrupt werewolves, Hollywood big-shots and monster snuff films in this LA noir who-done-it.

City of Devils by Justin Robinson is utterly bizarre and a real hoot. Written in noir speak, it’s straight camp, which makes the
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Robinson has a particular gift for sliding serious topics subtly into a fantastical and thrilling tale such that they never become heavyhanded or intrude upon the story. As with X-Men and Homestuck, the stories stand on their own but if you want to look deeper, there is wonderful critical discussion to be had. This is perhaps particularly true of City of Devils, where the only human private detective in an alternate Los Angeles dominated by the denizens of monster movies takes a case from a beau ...more
Aug 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
If I hadn't wanted to get this review out in time for the book's publication (Sept. 24), it would've been a fitting October read - fast, funny, full of monsters and frights and new riffs on age-old themes. I like the world that Robinson has set up and I like Nick Moss - and while things felt a bit like a Hollywood lot at times (lots of lights on the facade, but no house behind it), I was happy to let the story rush over me instead of focusing too hard on anything in particular. There's a lot hap ...more
CJ Jones
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Between this and second season Peggy Carter, it seems like everybody's nicking my idea for 'Ar Noir'--the bomb brings something scary and supernatural into the world. This is your book if you've been looking for a 'hard boiled dick tries to avoid being eaten' story. Moss, our shamus in residence, works Los Angeles after the Night Wars that humanity fought with monsters soon after WWII. The good guys didn't win this fight. Humans are the underpowered minority in the City now, which makes investig ...more
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Robinson offers a fun, readable gumshoe who's hard on bad citizens, not hard-hearted. In the alternate historical LA/Hollywoodland, you'll encounter covens, wolf packs, gremlins, ogres, brainiacs, phantoms, robots, gil-men, crawling eyes, doppelgangers, flaming pumpkinheads, and the human minority. Nick Moss is the pleasant, mild-mannered, humane protagonist as we slink through a noir tale of disappearance, abduction, prostitution (but not really, insists Mary), and murder. But his gloves come o ...more
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Much like film noir, Justin Robinson was born and raised in Los Angeles. He splits his time between editing comic books, writing prose and wondering what that disgusting smell is. Degrees in Anthropology and History prepared him for unemployment, but an obsession with horror fiction and a laundry list of phobias provided a more attractive option.

Other books in the series

City of Devils (4 books)
  • Fifty Feet of Trouble (City of Devils #2)
  • Wolfman Confidential (City of Devils #3)
  • A Stitch in Crime (City of Devils #4)

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