Hot Lead, Cold Iron by Ari Marmell
I have really enjoyed all the titles I’ve heard from Graphic Audio, but Hot Lead, Cold Iron is probably my second favorite (next to Cemetery Girl). This music and voices in this production really added to the “noir mystery” feel.
Publisher’s Description: Chicago, 1932. Mick Oberon may look like just another private detective, but beneath the fedora and the overcoat, he’s got pointy ears and he’s packing a wand.
Oberon’s used to solving supernatural crimes, but the latest one’s extra weird. A mobster’s daughter was kidnapped sixteen years ago, replaced with a changeling, and Mick’s been hired to find the real child. The trail’s gone cold, but what there is leads Sideways, to the world of the Fae, where the Seelie Court rules. And Mick’s not really welcome in the Seelie Court any more. He’ll have to wade through Fae politics and mob power struggles to find the kidnapper – and of course it’s the last person he expected.
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Since my husband is big into tabletop gaming, I’m familiar with the name Ari Marmell, but I hadn’t before read his fiction. I’m so glad I picked up Hot Lead, Cold Iron in Graphic Audio as it’s now a new favorite.
Set in the early 1930’s in an alternate Chicago where magic and the supernatural exist, the story is, essentially, a noir detective mystery. The period-style music used in the production really enhances this sense of “noir,” in addition to the voice acting and character’s use of period slang. The main character, Mick, takes a side trip to Faerie, and the Celtic music used behind that piece of narrative is just perfect. I can’t say I’ve paid too much attention to the music used in previous GA titles I’ve heard, much like one doesn’t pay too much attention to the background music used in television shows. But the musical choices in Hot Lead, Cold Iron really stand out as purposeful and make the production very enjoyable.
I love some of the traditional faerie details used in the story, such as the use of salt to dispel bad luck and Mick’s love of milk and cream. But there are some fun unique aspects, too, such as Faerie being patterned after earth because the Fae are essentially mimics. Mick’s snark makes him a perfect detective of the genre and is fun to hear.
I hope there will be more Mick Oberon books done by Graphic Audio. I really enjoyed this first installment.
If you like this book…
..you might like the Mindspace Investigations series–it has the same noir feel, but in a sci-fi setting instead of a supernatural one. Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series might also appeal to you, since it is about a faerie P.I., but in modern times.