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Lord Darcy Paperback – July 1, 2002

31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Garrett's writing style is as elegant and charming as his setting and his mastery of atmosphere is admirable ... [Darcy's adventures] deftly combine elements of mystery, espionage, suspense, Tolkienesque fantasy, science fiction, the techno-thriller, CSI-style forensic mystery, and swashbuckling historical romance." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Randall Garrett was an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was a prolific contributor to ASTOUNDING and other science fiction magazines of the 1950s and 1960s, and acted as mentor to a young Robert Silverberg. He is best known for his innovative Lord Darcy stories, which take place in an alternate version of our world where the Plantagenet dynasty never fell. He was married to fellow novelist Vicki Ann Heydron, with whom he wrote the Gandalara Cycle of fantasy books. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 673 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Original edition (July 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743435486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743435482
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Raul S. Reyes on November 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
I had the pleasure of knowing Randall Garrett, and he was an incurable punster. Be warned, he really cut loose in this one.
This book is fun. The protagonist, Lord Darcy, and his Forensic Sorceror, Master Sean, serve the Plantagenet Empire, which in this time-line still exists. (Richard the Lion Heart recovered from that crossbow wound and founded an empire.) Together they solve many cases of murder and espionage. The stories are clever and good mystery stories in their own right. The "gimmick" is that in this time-line magic has been developed as a science, and we get to see a forensic Sorceror apply the laws of magic to crime scene investigation. Lord Darcy then applies his deductive talent to the evidence. They make a good team.
All the Lord Darcy stories are here, from the very first one, "The Eyes Have It," to "The Napoli Express." "Too Many Magicians" is a great fun read, long enough to develope several characters and fill in a lot of the background of the Empire.
In these stories Randall threw in as many puns and allusions to spy and mystery novels and series as he could. Nero wolf and Archie Goodwin, James Bond, the Man From Uncle, The Pink Panther, they're all here, as well as many more.
Finally we have "The Spell of War" an atypical story in that it is a war story, and takes place early in Lord Darcy's life, when he is a young officer in the Imperial Army in the war of '39.
Aside from that one the dates in the stories are approximate to the date they were written. Randall gives the impression that the stories were happening at the time of writing, in a parallel universe.
Highly recommended.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Jamison on July 28, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I started reading science fiction and fantasy one of the first books I read was _Too Many Magicians_ by
Randall Garrett. Over the years I read other Lord Darcy stories that were collected in various volumes, but as time passed I lost my copies of those books. Thus, it was with great pleasure that I discovered that Baen Books had reissued all of the Lord Darcy stories, including the novel _Too Many Magicians_ in one volume.
The book is organized into three sections, the first is the Lord Darcy stories written before _Too Many Magicians_, the second section is _Too Many Magicians_ and the third is the Lord Darcy stories that were written in the 70's. Finally there is an appendix that contains the last Lord Darcy story that Garrett wrote, which details the first meeting of Lord Darcy and his sorcerer, Sean O'Lochlainn. If you like mysteries and fantasy then this book is for you.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Chrijeff VINE VOICE on April 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
It's great to see paperback publishers bringing out "unitary editions" of OP classics for the benefit of those who were too young to know them when they first appeared (or have read their original copies to rags), and Garrett's Lord Darcy trilogy is one of the best choices this particular house could have made. In a splendidly imagined and explicated parallel/alternate 20th-Century world where magic not only works but has been officially codified and where the milieu takes off from recognized historical events (Richard Lionheart didn't die at the Siege of Chaluz in France in 1199, and his descendants went on to create the Anglo-French-speaking Angevin Empire, where physics, not sorcery, is the stuff of fairy tales--the internal-combustion engine and wired communications have never been invented, yet magic operates according to mathematical theory), Garrett seamlessly brings together sf, fantasy, espionage, and murder mystery in the adventures of Lord Darcy, Chief Investigator for the Duke of Normandy, and his friend and assistant, Master Sorcerer Sean O Lachlainn. "Too Many Magicians" is a full-length novel with elements of international intrigue lent by the machinations of Casimir IX of the Polish "quasi-empire," who, like Hitler, dreams of continental (if not world) domination, while "Murder and Magic" and "Lord Darcy Investigates" are collections of short stories originally published in various sf magazines in the '60's and '70's. Garrett (now, sadly, deceased) was obviously a student of history, and he's also a skilled and ingenious plotter who shows a real mastery of what used to be called the "locked-room mystery.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Lord Darcy stories are set in an alternate universe where magic works and King Richard I lived longer, leaving Britain and France still under the control of the Plantagenet family. Lord Darcy is the chief criminal investigator for Richard, the Duke of Normandy, and Master Sean O'Lochlainn is his sidekick and forensic sorcerer. They are called in to investigate crimes in which magic has been used. It is a series of short mystery stories, including locked room puzzles and a knockoff of Murder on the Orient Express. The writing is a little repetitive--in particular, I grew very tired of the phrase "the tubby little Irish sorcerer". But overall, these stories are just incredibly fun.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on October 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
In an alternate universe where magic works and Richard the Lionheart founded a dynasty that lasted for centuries, Lord Darcy investigates murder and espionage assisted by his able forensic sorcerer, Master Sean O Lochlainn.

The magic in these stories does not provide a deus ex machina for the writer to extricate himself from overwrought plotting. The magic (which obeys strict scientific laws) is used to solve murders, not commit them. Although forensic magic (which is much more helpful than real world forensic science) plays a pivotal role in solving the crimes, none of them would be solved without Lord Darcy's deductive powers.

"Lord Darcy" collects between two covers all the independently published Lord Darcy stories, including "Too Many Magicians," "Murder and Magic," "Lord Darcy Investigates," and two additional short stories. When these stories first appeared in book form in the early 80's, I was a science fiction fan and a mystery foe. Consequently, I missed almost all Garrett's allusions to the mystery genre. I could see Sherlock Holmes and James Bond, but the rest went right over my head. Regardless, I still thoroughly enjoyed the stories and I still have the well-thumbed paperbacks I bought approximately 20 years ago.

I picked up "Lord Darcy" because it promised to give an additional story I hadn't read. You can imagine my chagrin as I re-read the Darcy canon, recognizing further allusions to the mystery genre. My Lord de London turned out to be, not Mycroft Holmes (as I thought upon my original reading of the stories), but Nero Wolfe. "The Napoli Express" became "Murder on the Orient Express," and other allusions abounded. I'm still not much of a mystery fan, so I'm sure many of the allusions still escape me.
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