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City of Wolves

3.19  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Alexander Drake, Investigator for Hire, doesn’t like working for the Nobility, and doesn’t prefer to take jobs from strange men who accost him in alleyways. A combination of hired muscle and ready silver have a way of changing a man’s mind. A lord has been killed, his body found covered in bite marks. Even worse, the late lord’s will is missing, and not everyone wants Drak ...more
Kindle Edition, 96 pages
Published July 26th 2016 by (first published January 1st 2016)
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3.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  182 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
Alexander Drake is hired in a dark alley to solve a royal murder case. The coin is good enough so he agrees to help on his terms although he does not like to serve nobility. Away from coble stone streets of the city with pub's galore, he is taken by horse carriage to the residence of the deceased and begins his investigation. With his first clues collected, the interrogation of family does not show anything promising to come forth. However, there is something strange going on. The body of the mu ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Out of’s big lineup of releases for this summer, City of Wolves was one that immediately caught my eye and I’m glad I got a chance to read it. New author Willow Palecek has written an outstandingly well-developed and complete tale in a brisk 100 pages or so, while still managing to leave me salivating for more. I’ve always had a penchant for paranormal Victorian mysteries and detective stories; throw in werewolve
An okay and quick read. Nothing great but nothing bad either in this one. A mix of style in this investigation story inside a fantasy world, which I like but Raphaël Albert does in better in his Sylvo Sylvain series. Some twist in this story were easy to see coming, others a bit less. If the writer continue to work and develop her own voice she could be doing something really interesting, because the biggest problem here is probably the lack of experience.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
A very okay piece of quick fiction, it felt like a beginners effort if I were being completely honest. I wasn't entirely hooked into any part of the story, but pushed to finish it because it was only 96 pages, so why not?

Whatever this was trying to be, whether steampunk, or noir, or some hybrid of gaslight paranormal slash urban fantasy, I'm not sure, but it didn't work. It lacked all the pop on the page that any of those categories require - in short, it was shallow. One might argue that it's i
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
City of Wolves makes a good, quick steampunk/mystery read, but it doesn’t have much depth. It’s competently enough written, but the fact that it zooms along hinders it somewhat from feeling like a fully developed world. I was actually intrigued by the background of the Loyalists and the War of the Wolves, but there was very little solid happening there. It felt like a potential setting for more, with this just being a taster.

It’s enjoyable, and I’d read more set in the same world, but it fails t
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

City of Wolves is a gas lamp noir fantasy, which was serviceable as a light, quick read, but isn’t much else.

The setting for this novella is an alternate nineteenth century England. At least, it appears to be England, though no one ever says that explicitly. Gas lamps, lords, ladies, vicars, cathedrals, and other Victorian-esque things seem to give it away however.

The action begins when a noble’s dead, naked body is found. The corpse is covered with unexplained
City of Wolves was a lot of things and all those things were packed into a swift-moving novella. While I enjoyed this one as, indeed, I did, I also felt that if this was not serving as a prequel- introductory story to something beyond then it fell short. Because I want to give the benefit of the doubt, I'm going to be generous as well as hopeful that there is a whole lot more coming from this fascinating and exciting alternate historical fantasy suspense staring the most impressive, witty, and r ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Written by Willow Palecek
2016; 96 Pages
Genre: fantasy, fiction, novella, steampunk

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)


"Alexander Drake, Investigator for Hire, doesn’t like working for the Nobility, and doesn’t prefer to take jobs from strange men who accost him in alleyways. A combination of hired muscle and ready silver have a way of changing a man’s mind. A lord has been killed, his body found covered in bite marks. Even worse, the lat
City of Wolves' down-at-heel investigator and first-person narrator, Alexander Drake, doesn't distinguish himself much beyond the many noir and UF protagonists he is reminiscent of. I'd like to have seen a bit more of his background and what makes him tick, aside from his having been on the losing end of the recent civil war.

This short novella's world is intriguing, though, and it's a good match for the mishmash of country-estate mystery and gaslit UF that forms its major plot. It's sketched in
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mon avis en Françaisv

My English review

I did not know about the book or the author but it’s true that I was curious about the story after such a synopsis. How not to be intrigued? A detective, a different time from ours, a good mystery? I’m always ready for that!

We therefore discover Alexander Drake a detective who is hired in a strangely enough way but also against an important salary. That’s why our hero does not hesitate to accept the survey offered. Indeed, a Noble asks him to find the murde
All Things Urban Fantasy
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-by-kate
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

CITY OF WOLVES is an enjoyable novella. I loved the main character, the sense of humor, and the world building, but I felt there were some aspects that were unnecessary and distracting, something which is all the more obvious in a novella length piece, where every word counts.

CITY OF WOLVES is described by as "gaslamp, fantasy noir" and it definitely fits those genres.The world that Alexander Drake inhabits in CITY OF WOLVES comes off as rather
Jul 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, ebook, own

My review in English: http://sentidodelamaravilla.blogspot....

Mi reseña en español: http://sentidodelamaravilla.blogspot....

May 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-goal-105
Cool, short murder-mystery-fantasy novella that I picked up on a whim at the library because the cover was cool.

Interesting story, interesting setting, interesting characters.

Looking forward to see if this author comes out with anything else, especially with more of Alexander Drake, Investigator for Hire.
Aug 05, 2016 rated it liked it

Publisher: Tor

Publishing Date: July 2016

ISBN: 9780765387356

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.6/5

Publishers Description: Alexander Drake, Investigator for Hire, doesn’t like working for the Nobility, and doesn’t prefer to take jobs from strange men who accost him in alleyways. A combination of hired muscle and ready silver have a way of changing a man’s mind.

Review: This was a short novella mystery set in the Victorian era?? The reviews are all over the place on thi
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like City of Wolves, but it didn’t quite work for me.

I’m not going to rehash the plot, because the description given is accurate. Gaslamp fantasy noir pretty much sums up the mood of the story, too.

The problem I had while I was reading this novella is that I didn’t really feel connected to the main character, Alexander Drake. Granted, this is a novella, and the author doesn’t have a lot of room within the story for either world building or character development. I’ve read other nove
Wayne McCoy
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
'City of Wolves' by Willow Palecek is a pretty decent fantasy novella. The lead is a decent detective, and one I wouldn't mind reading more of.

Alexander Drake is an investigator for hire in a pre-industrial world. He doesn't like to work for the rich, but this is exactly what he is called to do. When the head of a family dies suddenly and violently, he is called in to find out what happened, and, more importantly, to find the missing will. That the man was found naked and wounded outside his bed
Shera (Book Whispers)
**Review copy provided through Netgalley for an honest review.**

Hmmm. An interesting short and I believe a fun introduction to what could be a fantastic new series. I did feel that some of the mythology was sketchy. It didn't fully develop the world in a timely fashion. Like letting readers know how much of the paranormal is known and so on. Not to mention what kinds of paranormal is out there.

The short didn't fully sell me on the lead or what I would assume is the cast of characters that would
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
It might've been two, three days ago, no more, that I told a customer at the bookstore where I work, that, in my opinion, a novella published by Tor was as much a stamp of quality as a book being picked up by either HBO or, maybe even more so - I say, and think of the wonderful adaption of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - BBC.
Maybe that's also why I feel almost betrayed (that is a strong word, I know) by City of Wolves...

Alexander Drake, Investigator for Hire, doesn’t like working for the
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
City of Wolves is fast paced tale that takes place in a world that shares many characteristics of our own. The back cover blurb describes it as "gaslamp fantasy noir" and that is a pretty good description. In this world science works-we have guns, for instance, and the technology appears to be roughly that of the early eighteen hundreds. However magic also works and is very much an essential and accepted part of life. The action takes place in the country of Lupenwald-an aristo has been murdered ...more
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lupenwald, a city resembling 18th century Victorian London is the setting for the murder of Lord Abergreen, The nobleman is found naked in the gardens of his estate. He has apparently fallen from the window of his study and his body is covered in canine-like bite wounds. Enter Alexander Drake. Drake has been hired by Colin Abergreen, his son, to determine the cause of death. Since there is no evidence of a will, by tradition, the majority of the inheritance will pass to Corth Abergreen, the elde ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it liked it
I won this novella in a goodreads drawing.

A fun little tale about a private investigator active in an alternative Britain, circa 1700. Pre-industrial revolution, so not really steam punk, more wind up key punk, I guess.

A nobleman is murdered, and the PI investigates, and finds more secrets than he cares to learn.

Almost more of a gaming scenario than a real novel, but still entertaining.
Nadine Paque-Wolkow
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Sorry. this just didn't work for me. It was the essence of a good story, but it was to short to do the plot or the characters justice.


Jul 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full review to come!
Josh Jenkins
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Picked this up to read sitting in the mall while the family shopped. It was wasn’t high art, but it was exactly the right kind of filler, with a couple of pleasant (if mild) surprises. If the supernatural predator had been something less cliche or the ultimate motivations of the killer had been better drawn, it would be the difference between a sufficient snack and a book I’d recommend as worthwhile on its own merits.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoy novellas and short stories and there was a lot to like in this one; good voice, interesting premise, great descriptions. It is a fantasy mystery and was handled well. It just needed more. Not to be a full length novel, but another 15 - 20 pages would have been great. That being said, I would definitely try more from this author.
Chad Malone
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perfect short story really interesting case would like to read more stories about this detective and this world the war of the wolves that was mentioned seemed like something that would be interesting to read about.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: paranormal, mystery
short little novella, quick read, clean
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Fun historical fantasy involving werewolves.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not a big fan of the voice/writing
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