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Dread Brass Shadows

(Garrett Files #5)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  2,447 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Everyone wants to find it?a treasure so rich it makes even a hard-boiled detective like Garrett nervous. It's the legendary Book of Shadows, made of brass and holding secrets no mortal was ever meant to master?and Garrett must make sure no one ever has the chance to work its spells on an unsuspecting and unprotected world.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 1st 1990 by Roc (first published 1990)
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Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013

Let's meet (or get reacquainted with) the hero of the series. In his own words:

I'm what the guys who don't like me call a peeper. An investigator and confidential agent, the way I put it. Pay me - up front - and I'll find out things. More often than not, things you didn't really want to know. I don't dig up much good news. That's the nature of the racket.

In this episode Garrett is plagued by an over-abundance of redheads ( I'm a sucker for redheads. I've been known to favor the occasional blon
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is certainly not the place to start reading Cook’s novels of Garrett and his world of TunFaire. For you who are unfamiliar or those who want to refresh themselves on background to the Garrett novels, see my review of Cold Copper Tears.

Dread Brass Shadows has a complex plot featuring multiple red-headed girls and a book of powerful magic that are on the loose. Garrett (and thus we) can’t put the clues together to know why so many strange events are o
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book was really, really hard for me to get into. It was confusing, had too much of a cloak-and-dagger element where even I had no idea what anyone was doing, and Garrett whined incessantly. But by some miracle, Cook pulled it out of the fire at the end. I actually wound up liking it, not as much as previous books but enough that I will keep reading about old Garrett.

After I digest this thing some more, I'll write something coherent about Dread Brass Shadows, just not right now. I gotta go.
Dan Schwent
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Garrett's sometime girlfriend Tinnie gets knifed in a case of mistaken identity. The trail leads Garrett to a mysterious Dwarven book called The Book of Shadows and everyone that's after it, including a voluptuous rehead...

This was probably my favorite of the Garrett books so far. Garrett is in fine form, much more entertaining than the previous volume. Winger, an amazon of a woman, is introduced and fills the role Saucerhead and Morley normally take. Chodo Contague's top guys, Sadler and Crask,
May 10, 2011 rated it liked it
This series is not for everybody. There is a bittersweet undertone that makes them worth reading - and re-reading - but you have to have a certain amount of... life experience, I guess, to really get it.

The cynical take on war, immigration, and the economics thereof could have been written yesterday. Yet, the series began in 1987.

Very prescient, but then Glen Cook has an almost depressingly accurate understanding of human nature.

Also, although the dead Loghyr is supposed to be the center of the
Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, hard-boiled
Sydney Greenstreet should play Fido Easterman in the movie, Cooks dialogue between Garrett and Fido is pure Fatman and Sam Spade.

Another smile tried to break through and died young, smothered by fat. "Yes. As you surmise, my name is not Lubbock. No sir. That is merely wishful thinking, the heartfelt desire to walk the same path as the great Lubbocks of centuries past."

Fido doesn't have a large part in the novel but he's pure hard boiled fun, for a crazy man. This series get's better the deeper
Jim Carleton
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I "discovered" the Garrett, P.I. series by accident, decades ago, when I forgot to send in my monthly "I don't want these books" goodie from the Science Fiction Book Club. Thus, I got an omnibus of the first three books, and decided that I might as well take a look as long as I had it. After a couple of chapters, I was hooked, and I quickly read all three of those novels, and have been collecting new ones as they are published, as well as anything else that Cook has written. He became one of my ...more
Ben Truong
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dread Brass Shadows is the fifth book in the Garrett P.I. series written by Glen Cook and centered on the adventures of private investigator Garrett.

Tinnie Tate comes to visit Garrett at home and is stabbed in the middle of the street by an unknown assailant. Garrett and Saucerhead run down the would-be assassin, but before they can interrogate him, he is killed by a crossbow-wielding band of hooligans.

The only clue as to the villain's motive is mention of a book. Meanwhile, a woman named Winger
Pye Josephus Joestar
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mystery, crime, noir, fantasy
This one was alright. The story had a really cool concept with "the book" but there wasn't much else to this one. The characters had potential to be more interesting but kind of fell flat in my opinion and were mentioned shortly then never touched upon again until the end of the book (the dwarves). The absence of Morely and Tharpe was really intriguing at first however the climax of it just felt a bit lazy, like "oh yeah those guys, they were doing this" just to wrap it up quickly. there were a ...more
Kelly Stark
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It Is What It Is

A person probably won't start the Garrett series with this book, so by now the reader knows the series and its primary characters. And, like me, you've formed opinions. Either the characters are sufficient to keep you interested or not.

For me, they are. The parallels with one of my favorite series, Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, are fun, though Garrett for me isn't as good a character as Archie Goodwin.

This one's a good read, shaking up the power structure of TunFaire a little and cha
Gio C
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another Great installment. The author really mixes things up from book to book. There really hasn't been one that is like the other and this book is no different. Some characters are involves while others don't make any appearances. There is a new character introduced and it will be fun to see if she continues to be a part of the stories. I look forward to see how the world is going to shape up with all the changes that seemed to have happened. Can't wait for the next one.
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another several players at the time and treadcatching mystery. Intresting in its own way but can't help feeling Garrett don't do much but solve it anyway. He is a slacker and don't work when he can avoid it
I've liked the previous ones in this series, but for some reason this one didn't really hold my interest. Not sure if it was the book, or if my taste has changed since I last read one of these.
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
The 5th in the Garrett PI series, I find myself approaching this book a little bit lukewarmly. Don't get me wrong the story is just as good as previous books, and there's still plenty of action involved but I can't really justify giving this book the 4/5 stars I've given previous novels for a couple of personal reasons with this book in particular.

1stly was the total absence of Morley Dotes, the usual foil to Garrett that gives a bit more life to the story. This book introduces a new character w
Jul 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting premise, decent story, some game changers, but it continues to suffer from the All The Women Want Garrett And He Just Can't Help Himself Syndrome. What's was worse this time is that it at least seemed like there were so many more words about his love for women than usual. It got real repetitive real quick. And it was just stupid that he and Winger did the deed, let alone _when_ they did the deed. Honestly, it felt like the writer was going through a dry spell in real life.

Thinking a
Sep 24, 2013 rated it liked it
This series is a mix between the hard boiled PI and urban fantasy. In the world that Garrett lives in there are dwarves, elves, wizards and vampires. Add to this the need for a hard nosed and stubborn investigator and you have the basis for some interesting tales. The only complaint that I have with the series is that the writing is not the best. That being said, I still enjoy the stories.

In Dread Brass Shadows, Garrett is asked to find a book that allows the holder to assume the identity of an
Nov 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Glen Cook is growing on me. A friend told me that he wrote the book, "The Fatman, The Lawyer and The Gunsel" but I've not been able to verify it or find any mention of that title anywhere.

This is another fantasy/sci-fi/hard-boiled detective story writer. That's what I love about Sci-Fi, you can include any genre as long as you put something odd in it.

When Garrett's redheaded girlfriend gets stabbed over a book written on brass pages (and then more redheads that look a lot like her, but possess
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's so much fun to have rediscovered Glen Cook and his Garrett P.I. fantasy series. In DEAD BRASS SHADOWS Garrett's beautiful red-haired girlfriend is knifed in the back and he is out for revenge. He soon discovers several other red-haired beauties who are looking for the legendary Book of Shadows. The book is made of brass and holds secrets no mortal was ever meant to master. It would be best if Garrett could find the book and destroy it. The usual characters are around to help Garrett includi ...more
I'm so torn about this series! Garrett, PI; lazy, incorrigible, woman-chaser, womanizer. A dead Loghyr full of secrets and powers as yet unknown. Many other interesting characters (Morley, Crask, Sadler, Tinnie), some who show up in the book and some who don't. But the humor comes off as funny only sometimes, more often predictable and "wah waaaah".

This book might be one of my favorite of the series thus far, because the female co-lead although not prominent is stronger, smarter, and more indep
Michael Hall
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Garret must track down an evil book of sorcery that gives the user the power to be almost anyone. Things get complicated when differing factions that know of Garret's search decide they want the book for themselves. Despite remaining true to form as our lazy womanizing swiller of beer Garret seems to wander, and wonder, a little too blindly from one encounter to another. This is probably the most tedious of the Garret Files books, it's at least the most repetitive of the ones I've read so far.
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am really enjoying this series - Raymond Chandler meets David Eddings. As with the others this is amusing, entertaining and witty, with a decent plot and nice characterisation.
What middle Earth would look like from the seamier side if you were a PI and ex-soldier. There is a huge conflict going on in the background as war rages in the distance, but in the City of Tunfaire the characters continue to act as humans (or non-humans) do. Crimebosses run what crime bosses do, ordinary people try to
Oct 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Glen Cook gets better and better with every Garrett book. I am always impressed by the complexity of his characters and self-effacing narrative style. I'm really not sure that anyone does first person quite as well as he does. Best Garrett book yet, I recommend it for just about anyone, and you don't really need to have read any of the others to enjoy.

I'm a masochist and reading them in order, but each one stands on its own merits.
Maggie K
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A real solid 3.5-4 stars.

The last Garrett book ended on a really depressing note...I appreciate that, as it is more realistic, but I took my time in getting around to reading this book, and I shouldn't have.

Garrett gets sucked into a case because of Tinnie, and his inability to get over trying to do the right thing. He sounds like Dresden in that way, but they really aren;t anything
Feb 10, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

"It's only a little airborne, it's still good!" -- Homer Simpson

Cook is beginning to repeat himself, massively, in the same book.
It's still good and kinda fun, but the endless repetitions of the came phrases and descriptions and explanations are distracting. Hopefully it'll rebound soon (his other series had similar slumps in about the same places)
Jan 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Sadly, i didn't enjoy this as much as the last one, it was a little stilted although you get to know a number of the characters a lot better. You learn a little more about their natures each time! However, as a book, this wasn't as gripping as the last, and the main femme fatale was never really developed as a character.
Leonard Anthony
Dec 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jim Sanderson
Dec 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
This was the first Garrett book I read, and I was immediately hooked. I love the world weary wisdom of the series. This is perfect stuff for people who've been around the block, have a few scars, are pissed off about the wages of age and enjoy a book that blends several genres...
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, series
I love this series, so I'm biased and these titles all get four- and five-star ratings. On this outing, Garrett's on-again girlfriend, Tinnie Tate, is knifed on the way to his house, so Garrett's out for revenge.
Apr 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: box-5
A fairly humdrum addition to the Garrett PI series, until the end, when things get very interesting. Not my favorite Garrett book, but adds an interesting character, and creates a significant shift in the Garrett "world".
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Without giving anything away at all....Great twisty plot. Expanded the Tunfair universe without diluting or confusing it. Some of the characters fleshed out and new ones introduced.

Very enjoyable.

4.5 stars.
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Glen Cook was born in New York City, lived in southern Indiana as a small child, then grew up in Northern California. After high school he served in the U.S. Navy and attended the University of Missouri. He worked for General Motors for 33 years, retiring some years ago. He started writing short stories in 7th grade, had several published in a high school literary magazine. He began writing with m ...more

Other books in the series

Garrett Files (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Sweet Silver Blues (Garrett P.I., #1)
  • Bitter Gold Hearts (Garrett P.I., #2)
  • Cold Copper Tears (Garrett P.I., #3)
  • Old Tin Sorrows (Garrett Files, #4)
  • Red Iron Nights (Garrett Files, #6)
  • Deadly Quicksilver Lies (Garrett Files, #7)
  • Petty Pewter Gods (Garrett P.I., #8)
  • Faded Steel Heat (Garrett P.I., #9)
  • Angry Lead Skies (Garrett P.I., #10)
  • Whispering Nickel Idols (Garrett P.I., #11)

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