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UF BOOK CHAT > Urban Fantasy featuring a PI

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message 1: by Jennifer (last edited Oct 09, 2017 04:30AM) (new)

Jennifer Blackstream (jenniferblackstream) | 12 comments I'm dying waiting for Peace Talks, so I need a distraction. I'm looking for a UF series with a private investigator for a main character. Something Dresden-ish. If no PI, then I'd at least like a murder mystery feel to it, like a cozy, but with more teeth ;)

I've found that with UF, I like the pacing better when there's a crime to solve, as opposed to the somewhat more meandering pace of the Urban Fantasy that leans more towards Fantasy plots than Mystery plots. I'm a sucker for Anita Blake and Dresden, and even Mercy seems to be called in for this sort of thing more often than not.

JB


message 2: by Troy (new)

Troy Cornford | 10 comments Rivers of London (Peter Grant #1)
by Ben Aaronovitch (Goodreads Author)
Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.


message 3: by Jana (new)

Jana Brown (jana_stocks_brown) | 5 comments I second Rivers of London. The October Daye books by Seannan McGuire are also excellent in this vein.


message 4: by Moria (new)

Moria Fainberg (mfainberg) | 5 comments You could try Faith Hunter, CE Murphy, Lisa Shearin & Ilona Andrews.


message 5: by Apollo (new)

Apollo | 23 comments I “thirdify” Rivers of London and the series itself.


message 6: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Blackstream (jenniferblackstream) | 12 comments Rivers of London it is! I'll admit I've been eyeing that series for some time. Something about the cover art turned me off, but obviously I need to get over that and stop letting it keep me from what I'm hearing is a fantastic series.


message 7: by Amyiw (last edited Oct 16, 2017 01:57PM) (new)

Amyiw | 86 comments Rivers of London is my favorite of the above.
Also good
Clean, Mindspace Investigations by Alex Hughes (PI, I think the most like Dresden. Magic world not creatures)
Once Bitten, Twice Shy; Jaz Parks by Jennifer Rardin
Dying Bites; Bloodhound Files by D.D. Barant, male writer but a bit surreal at points.
Dirty Magic; Prospero's War by Jaye Wells
Burn for Me; Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews (definite romance element between 2 main characters)
All of those are either investigators or police detectives.

I think these are good waiting books too, not quite P.I.s
Fated; Alex Verus by Benedict Jacka
He is hired to investigate too. He is a foreseer.
Charming; Pax Arcana by Elliott James.
Male writers seem a little different in interpretation.


message 8: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) | 18 comments I did a search of my books, doing a multiple-shelves view (urban fantasy + mystery) and I found a few.

Beyond the ones already mentioned, including the Peter Grant one, there are:
The Arcadia Project by Mishell Baker - not a PI, but does investigate mysteries.

Kate Kane Paranormal Investigator by Alexis Hall - is a PI (and does investigate mysteries).

Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger. Not PI, though does investigate stuff. Mix of Steampunk/Urban Fantasy/Mystery.

I rather liked the first book in the Shadow Police series, by Paul Cornell, until I attempted to read the second in the series. Series had initially reminded me of the Peter Grant one.

More for those who have already read the Imp series by Debra Dunbar:
At least two side books (books not in the main Imp series line) delve deeply into mysteries -
Stolen Souls & Far From Center

In a similar vein to the Dunbar books above, the dog from the Iron Druid investigates a mystery in The Purloined Poodle. Kind of a Fantasy cozy mystery vibe to it - and the Poodle one is the first in a side-series starring that dog. Second book due out this year.


message 9: by Amyiw (new)

Amyiw | 86 comments I really liked Far From Center, Gabriel and Nyalla's book. I didn't think I would so much as I don't love him from the Imp series. I loved Raphael and liked his book too but didn't love it so didn't think that Gabriel could compare. I thought his was definitely above Raphael's book. It was a hoot seeing him have to deal with humans.

Haven't read Stolen Souls yet. Kind of going backwards on the spin offs.

I would put in White Trash Zombie for a good UF Mystery, and maybe Nice Dragons Finish Last, as there is definitely a lot of conniving happening there with great twists and characters. Still no one is an investigator per se.


message 10: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) | 18 comments I was pleasantly surprised by both Gabriel and Nyalla. Gabriel because he's a not very likeable stiff dude in the rest of the series; and Nyalla because I had mostly known her from the main series as a young woman who would freak out if elves were nearby (which is a natural reaction, considering).

Yeah, I was all over the place in my reading of the spin-offs. Stolen Souls stars the dog, and Nyalla. And no, not as a couple.


message 11: by Amyiw (last edited Oct 18, 2017 07:43AM) (new)

Amyiw | 86 comments Lexxi Kitty wrote: "Stolen Souls stars the dog, and Nyalla. And no, not as a couple. "

LOL, I hope not as that would be strange after Gabriel's book.

Did you read? Three Wishes (Imp World #10) by Debra Dunbar , it is included in Demons & Djinn by Christine Pope if you managed to snag it for 99¢. Still it is a full size novel even though it was in compilation.

Here is one that is free with one of her templar books
https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Magic-Witc...


message 12: by Lexxi Kitty (new)

Lexxi Kitty (lexxikitty) | 18 comments Yeah, I liked 'Three Wishes', though I read the 'continuation' of that coupling in the Imp series before I got to reading the spin-offs. I forget which story continues the Dar and Asta story, though. Would probably have to be 'Kingdom of Lies' or 'Exodus'.

At this point I believe I've read all of the novel-length stories in the expanded Imp universe, except for that Half-Breed series starring the half-succubus half-elf who doesn't want to be a succubus (or, probably, an elf). One of the reasons I really liked Imp was because Sam embraced who and what she was. I prefer those types of characters to reluctant characters.

Wait, no, the most recent Northern Wolves book is book length. Haven't read that one. Probably won't. That whole 'the alpha needs to make her submit or he'll kill her' in the description is quite off-putting.


message 13: by Amyiw (new)

Amyiw | 86 comments I've only read Raphael's book in the Northern Wolves and the first 2 Half-breed books. I don't particularly like the half-breed spin off. It is OK. Just doesn't have the humor and yes... I agree, she fights who she is too much. I think it is the point for when she gives in but I've already given up by then. Still they are OK plots and characters, I just don't think I'll continue. Not the great Demon or Angel meet human world and figure it out fun.


message 14: by Susan (new)

Susan (ofearna) | 18 comments In a similar vein to the Dunbar books above, the dog from the Iron Druid investigates a mystery in The Purloined Poodle. Kind of a Fantasy cozy mystery vibe to it - and the Poodle one is the first in a side-series starring that dog. Second book due out this year.


I love that Oberon will have his own "series" of novellas


message 15: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Blackstream (jenniferblackstream) | 12 comments These are great! I love the Alex Verus series, and I just recently finished Dirty Magic and A Demon Bound. My TBR pile is healthy again!

You all rock.


message 16: by Amyiw (last edited Nov 06, 2017 01:46PM) (new)

Amyiw | 86 comments I've been reading Harbinger P.I. and have been really liking it, maybe more than Felix Castor. Just started Felix and it is quite good though he does go into telling histories sometimes (boring) but most of the time it is current and action packed, at least at the end for certain. He is a Ghost Exorcist and always has some mystery to solve. The second is about a stolen ghost, I'm at the end of 2nd.
The Devil You Know (Felix Castor, #1) by Mike Carey Vicious Circle (Felix Castor, #2) by Mike Carey Dead Men's Boots (Felix Castor, #3) by Mike Carey Thicker Than Water (Felix Castor, #4) by Mike Carey The Naming of the Beasts (Felix Castor, #5) by Mike Carey

My main complaint about Harbinger is that although he answers the main question in a book, there are so many other plot lines and most are left hanging. They are just over 200 pages and you think it stopped in the middle. Still I am really loving the plot and characters. In the middle of 3rd
Lost Soul (Harbinger P.I., #1) by Adam J. Wright Buried Memory (Harbinger P.I. #2) by Adam J. Wright Dark Magic (Harbinger P.I., #3) by Adam J. Wright Dead Ground (Harbinger P.I., #4) by Adam J. Wright


message 17: by Loriidae (new)

Loriidae Amyiw wrote: "I've been reading Harbinger P.I. and have been really liking it, maybe more than Felix Castor. Just started Felix and it is quite good though he does go into telling histories sometimes (boring) bu..."

Are the hanging plot lines answered in the next book?


message 18: by Amyiw (last edited Nov 07, 2017 05:22PM) (new)

Amyiw | 86 comments Harbinger P.I.? Yes, book 3 ends pretty well. There is still questions about his dad and Mallory, a friend of his, but the church mystery is all wrapped up. I didn't consider it a cliffhanger like #2. Really I felt like if you put 2 & 3 together you get a book. They are like only 200+ pages. There are several plot lines going on in each book whether they are about friendships, family, or the mysteries going on. Maybe it is why I like it so much? There are not too many history lessons so my distracted brain doesn't go off into la la land and the plots keep me engaged. Still with so many different plot lines, it is very hard to get many finished in one 200+ book. I am going to wait until the 5th comes out to start #4 as 3 left off at a good point to stop.


message 19: by Loriidae (new)

Loriidae Amyiw wrote: "Harbinger P.I.? Yes, book 3 ends pretty well. There is still questions about his dad and Mallory, a friend of his, but the church mystery is all wrapped up. I didn't consider it a cliffhanger like ..."

Thanks for the jnfo. One of the ones to wait until the series is completed before starting.


message 20: by Julia (last edited Nov 08, 2017 08:35AM) (new)

Julia | 615 comments Alias, Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis is about a P.I., it is urban, set in NYC, but is it uf? She knows superheroes, but doesn't wear a costume herself, anymore. It's a graphic novel and the main character is named Jessica Jones.

I also recommend the Bone Street Rhumba novels that start with Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older. He's a soul-catcher, not a P.I., but he solves mysteries and it's set in Brooklyn. There are three books in this series.


message 21: by Jolinda (new)

Jolinda Simon R. Green! His Nightside series is one of my absolute favorites! Ranks way high up there with Dresden Files and Mercy Thompson. It's about John Taylor, who's a PI in Nightside, which is like a whole hidden realm underneath London, where all the strange and supernatural things happen and creatures hang out, and "it's always 3 am".

Second choice has to be Ilona Andrews's Kate Daniels series. Set in a world where everyone knows about magic, it follows Kate, a mercenary, who has to track down the person or thing that killed her mentor in the first book. The basic premise is that magic used to exist, and then it fell to technology when magic got too out of control, and now that tech has gotten out of control, the tech is falling and magic is rising once more. So the world has to live through "waves" of either magic or technology crashing through at any given moment and they are both weakened when the other is in power, so cars don't run when magic is in power and spells don't work when the tech is in power. It's a very interesting premise and it's set in Atlanta, which was a huge draw for me, because I used to live there.

Or, CE Murphy's Walker Papers, about Joanne Walker. She's not a PI, but a cop. She starts out as a mechanic for the police force, but she inadvertently pisses off her new boss and since she had to technically go through the police academy to be a police mechanic, he pulls her into active duty and makes her a beat cop. It's really hilarious. The books mostly deal with either Native American or Celtic mythology (her mother's Irish, her father Native American).

Lastly, I would recommend Mercy Thompson, but since you already read that series, I'm going to skip to my next favorite, Kalayna Price's Alex Craft series. Alex Craft is a PI who is a grave witch. This essentially means that she can communicate to some degree or the other with the dead. The degree depends on if she's communicating with a ghost or a shade, the distinctions of which you will discover if you read the series. (Which you should!) The fantasy part leans toward traditional faerie stories, as there has been a "reawakening" of the fae and magic in this world. People are aware of magic and it's set around 50 or so years (I think?) after magic came back, so people have adjusted to it.


message 22: by Amyiw (new)

Amyiw | 86 comments I agree that Kate Daniels is great but you have to stick through the first book. I started it 3 times in a 5 year period and finally was told to stick the hell to it as it is one of the best. Well I docked book one a star for being so slow and complicated to start but... it is my favorite UF series. She does investigate in the first book for the Guild, and she ends up with her own firm later on, and every book has a mystery, but it is not a P.I. really. Still a must read for any UF fan. Just stick the first book out, 1/2 or somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 way it really does pick up.


message 23: by Jolinda (new)

Jolinda Amyiw wrote: "I agree that Kate Daniels is great but you have to stick through the first book. I started it 3 times in a 5 year period and finally was told to stick the hell to it as it is one of the best. Well ..."

You know, now that I think about it, I had to start the first book a couple of times before I really got into the series. Of course, not I'm so hooked that I have to get the newest one the day it is released. I can't wait for Magic Triumphs!


message 24: by Amyiw (new)

Amyiw | 86 comments It was probably good to have waited 5 years as I had more books that I could read without waiting. Now I'm waiting every year.


message 25: by Jolinda (new)

Jolinda Amyiw wrote: "It was probably good to have waited 5 years as I had more books that I could read without waiting. Now I'm waiting every year."

I know! I caught up around book 5 and have had to wait ever since! It's driving me crazy. And then there was that time that we thought that book 7 was going to be the last one and I was so heartbroken. It was one of the happiest days of my life when they decided to go on with more books after that.


message 26: by Amyiw (last edited Nov 10, 2017 10:28PM) (new)

Amyiw | 86 comments It was right around there for me too as I finished Magic Bites in 2012. Gunmetal Magic came out shortly after but I still hadn't caught up until right before the 6th, Magic Rises, So disappointed with the new model and cover as I think of Kate like this,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tCBm...
Not the 19 year old skinny model. I liked the older model as this isn't NA or YA.


message 27: by Nerdy Werewolf (new)

Nerdy Werewolf (halogen) I got really lucky with Kate Daniels, and by lucky I mean I didn't read any of the series until this year. Then I read them all. I'm a binge-reader at heart!


message 28: by Jolinda (new)

Jolinda Amyiw wrote: "It was right around there for me too as I finished Magic Bites in 2012. Gunmetal Magic came out shortly after but I still hadn't caught up until right before the 6th, [..."

I don't like the new cover model either, but I don't let it phase me. I laugh every time I see a cover because they're usually so ridiculous compared to what's in the book. Like, why does Dresden have a hat in every cover ever? He never wears a hat in the books, but every cover has one. It's so prevalent I think Butcher actually made some kind of joking reference to a hat in one of the books (not sure which one, but I remember thinking, that it was hilarious at the time).


message 29: by Jolinda (new)

Jolinda Holly wrote: "I got really lucky with Kate Daniels, and by lucky I mean I didn't read any of the series until this year. Then I read them all. I'm a binge-reader at heart!"

I don't think I would call myself a binge reader, but maybe. I mean, I never get through books that fast, but when I get a series that I'm really into, I read them all the way through first before moving on to another series, so I guess that makes me kind of binge-y?


message 30: by Loriidae (new)

Loriidae I am in the same predicament with Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter. I have three before I am UTD. Feeling like I should space them out a bit but I am loving the series especially the audio.

She is not a PI, but a security expert. There is a mystery to be solved in every book.


message 31: by Jolinda (new)

Jolinda Loriidae wrote: "I am in the same predicament with Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter. I have three before I am UTD. Feeling like I should space them out a bit but I am loving the series especially the audio.

She is..."


I do really like Jane Yellowrock, and I read all her books, but I do feel like they drag a bit in places. :(


message 32: by Loriidae (new)

Loriidae Jolinda wrote: "Loriidae wrote: "I am in the same predicament with Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter. I have three before I am UTD. Feeling like I should space them out a bit but I am loving the series especially th..."

Yes I understand what you mean and have found n particular when she's exploring her heritage, it is more background info rather than moving the story along. I have read reviews on the Soulwood series in particular about the annoying intricate details, but for me that is just part of the author's style.


message 33: by Jolinda (new)

Jolinda Loriidae wrote: "Jolinda wrote: "Loriidae wrote: "I am in the same predicament with Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter. I have three before I am UTD. Feeling like I should space them out a bit but I am loving the seri..."

Yes! Very detailed! And that can be a good thing in some places, but I also find that I read her books a lot slower than I read another author's book of the same length. But even with all that, I still love her books! So she must be doing something right!


message 34: by Amyiw (last edited Nov 11, 2017 09:08PM) (new)

Amyiw | 86 comments I've loved the Soulwood books so far, but I never have connected with Jane. I like her books, not love at all. I would never be able to binge read them. I don't know why I connect to Nell Ellie and the group but I find the world very interesting.


message 35: by Jolinda (new)

Jolinda Amyiw wrote: "I've loved the Soulwood books so far, but I never have connected with Jane. I like her books, not love at all. I would never be able to binge read them. I don't know why I connect to Ellie and the ..."

Interesting. I've never even tried the Soulwood books. I'm not sure I remember them even existing, although the first one is marked want to read. Strange... I'll have to give them a try.


message 36: by Loriidae (last edited Nov 11, 2017 04:46PM) (new)

Loriidae Jolinda wrote: "Interesting. I've never even tried the Soulwood books. I'm not sure I remember them even existing, although the first one is marked want to read. Strange... I'll have to give them a try."

Soulwood is a spin-off from Jane Yellowrock. Jane meets Nell in #7.5 Off the Grid (Jane Yellowrock, #7.5) by Faith Hunter . Jane isn't in Soulwood but Ricky-Bo is as Nell's boss.


message 37: by Amyiw (last edited Nov 11, 2017 07:08PM) (new)

Amyiw | 86 comments I really have to read that novella, I am up to book 8 of Jane so should go to the novella now. I've been wanting to see how they met up.


message 38: by Loriidae (new)

Loriidae Amyiw wrote: "I really have to read that novella, I am up to book 8 of Jane so should go to the novella now. I've been wanting to see how they met up."

Yes it is interesting to see Nell from Jane's POV.


message 39: by Amyiw (last edited Nov 11, 2017 09:08PM) (new)

Amyiw | 86 comments Argh, Nell, yes don't know where Ellie came from. Must be the double L


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