From Publishers Weekly
This enchanting blend of fantasy and hard-boiled detection, back in print after two decades, heralds a new series from prolific multiple-award–winner Resnick, best-known for his Birthright Universe series. On a gloomy New Year's Eve, recently bereft of wife and partner, down-and-out New York City PI John Justin Mallory is hired by Mürgenstürm, a little green elf who wants Mallory to track down a stolen unicorn. After gradually accepting that his client is not an alcohol-fueled hallucination, Mallory deftly takes on a shadow city of demons, leprechauns and gnomes even as he learns that his own future hinges on the unicorn's recovery. The crisp dialogue and imaginative setting will have many fantasy readers wanting to revisit Manhattan's magical side. (Aug.) ""
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Originally published in 1987, this novel introduced John Justin Mallory, the world-weary New York City private investigator who wound up working cases in the “hidden” New York, the one that exists alongside the familiar NYC but behind the scenes. The story begins on New Year’s Eve. Mallory’s wife has run off with his partner; he’s broke and facing the prospect of being evicted. Then a client walks through his door, a most unexpected client: an elf, Murgensturm, who claims that someone has kidnapped a unicorn he was looking after, and if the unicorn isn’t found by daybreak, the Elves’ Guild will kill him. Naturally, Mallory thinks he’s hallucinating—he’s been drowning his sorrows in place of celebrating the new year—but, when the elf reveals the hidden Manhattan and its strange creatures (cat people, leprechauns, talking horses, and plenty more), Mallory jumps into the case with both feet. Unfortunately, he is new to alternate reality and doesn’t fully appreciate the dangers in it—dangers like the Grundy, a powerful demon who’s responsible for most of the evil in this New York and, it seems, in the “real” NY, too. Genre-bending is commonplace today, but back in the mid–1980s, it was out of the ordinary to impose a traditional fantasy story on the very real, very gritty landscape of the contemporary private-eye novel. A harbinger of what was to come, the book immediately caught on with readers, and it’s easy to see why. It’s clever, funny, and exciting, with a likable hero, plenty of offbeat supporting characters, and that beguiling blend of fantasy and mystery. --David Pitt
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