This is the first part of the long running Garret series that is, besides Cook’s Black Company, the best thing he’s written. Garret is the typical hero of detective fiction, a bit cynical about human nature, yet with enough hearth and skill to be an occasional good doer. Then there’s the Dead Man, a Sherlock Holmes like genius, who is dead, but whose mind hasn’t departed yet (he’s not human, but Loghyr, that’s normal for them). With the help of the Dead Man and other various friends Garret solves cases in TunFaire, a fantasy city with countless different fantasy races. In SSB a friend of Garret dies, and he has to find the girl his friend loved to give her her heritage or get a waiver from her. Which is problematic, since she seems to be in the Cantard, the place where a war is fought between Karenta (kingdom where TunFaire lies) and Venageta.
Interesting about the Garret series is the dissonance between how the story is told and what happens. There’s an almost slapstick approach to how Garret tells the readers his story, but if you look beyond that there’s a world where nice people die fast and the good guys often come to late to save the fair maiden.