Category Archives: hard boiled

Hard Boiled and Hard to Hate. The City of Smoke and Mirrors by @NickPiers

City
The City of Smoke and Mirrors (Armadillo Mystery)
Nick C. Piers
Fiction Noir
256 pp

Mutant detective five foot armadillo private dick with a fedora. Check. Hardboiled fiction. Check. Mafioso and vigilantism. Check. It’s at this point you’ve either decided you’re intrigued or not. I’m hoping for the former.

Dilbert (his friends call him Dill) Pinkerton is our protagonist mutant private dick tasked with recovering a pearl necklace. The task seems simple enough until he has to go to Nevermore Bay; home of the Buzzardman and the (ugh) Buzzardmobile. With me so far? Good. Because there are quite a few nods to the comics and industry itself as well as to wrestling and some other acknowledgements.  The Joker reference was very subtle (and if it wasn’t a Joker reference, then I totally over read into it :p). And then there’s Don Komodo and his goons chasing after Dill from a previously botched case.

Told in first person from Dill’s POV in this hard boiled fiction, we’re introduced to a variety of characters. Even the dog.  The non mutant one.  The characters are all over the top and what you would expect given the genre; all memorable in one form or another. No-one sticks out as a love to hate or a love to love character but it is fun to read about them.

The overall tone, setting, and atmosphere was well done, however,  “City of Smoke…” is not without its errors.  There were some minor typos and syntax errors as well as a one HUGE consistency flaw towards the end regarding the Buzzardmobile, but that’s neither here nor there. With or without the (ugh) Buzzardmobile, it’s an enjoyable ride.

Edited to remove self published comment per author correction.