The first outing of Jake Conrad, a hard boiled detective in the mold of Sam Spade who gets wrapped up with some strange goings on in post-War L.A., A Servant of Muses was far better than I’d anticipated. I read the concept and wasn’t really thrilled. But author Brad A. White makes it work. He gets the vibe of Film Noir and Hard Boiled Detective novels, and he manages to weave in fantastical elements seamlessly. It’s not nearly as clunky as other Urban Fantasy type stories I’ve read.
There’s a pretty good mystery that plays out over the course of the fairly short book. I think this would qualify as a novella, as opposed to a novel. The POV character, Jake Conrad, is the right blend of tough and broken. White handles the first person narrative very well, which is difficult.
If you’re a fan of any of this, Hard Boiled Pulp Fiction, Film Noir, etc., I strongly recommend this book. I will definitely be reading the next Jake Conrad story.