deird1: Maximus the horse, holding a sword in his mouth threateningly (Maximus sword)
[personal profile] deird1
I've recently realised what story I really want from fiction - and that I'm never going to find it unless I write it myself.

My problem is:
- I really like murder mysteries. (ala Agatha Christie, or Castle)
- I really like modern settings which include magic.
- I really don't like stories in which magic is a big deal. (like the Dresden Files)

And the stories I can get are:
a) murder mysteries that do not include magic at all (like Castle)
b) mysteries which are ALL ABOUT THE MAGIC, and the entire story is about "What kind of magic did they use, and how can we defeat it?"
c) mysteries which are ALL ABOUT THE MAGIC, and the entire story is about "Given that we know this definitely was magic, how can we defeat the evil wizard without the muggles finding out about it?"

I really don't like the "must keep magic secret from the muggles" thing. It's silly and annoying. And I don't like stories in which magic plays a major part.

What I want is a story in which the options for theft include picking locks, bribing guards, walking-through-walls spells, and smashing windows. And the detectives have to figure out how the theft was done - and it could have been any of the above, but probably not an Intangibility Ring, because those cost several thousand dollars each, and why would you use one for petty theft when you could be busy stealing the Mona Lisa?

Or a story in which they know the murderer used the confusion potion they found hidden in the kitchen, and have to use patient detective work to figure out which member of the family owned the potion in the first place.

Or the rookie detective suggests using a "detect guilt" spell on all the suspects, and the team's mage rolls her eyes and says sarcastically "Why don't I just cast a 'solve the case' spell, and then we can all go home early!"

That's the story I've been after for about a decade. And... I'm really going to have to write it myself, aren't I?

Date: 2012-06-29 01:15 am (UTC)
fenchurch: (BtVS - Sunnydale)
From: [personal profile] fenchurch
I'd read it!

Date: 2012-06-29 01:23 am (UTC)
snickfic: (Default)
From: [personal profile] snickfic
I wonder if you might like Elizabeth Bear's New Amsterdam? It's a collection of related short stories and novellas about a woman detective in a magical alternate NYC. There is magic, but there's also exploration of logistics and motivations. I haven't read the whole thing, but I've listened to one of the stories, which is available here.

Date: 2012-06-29 01:24 am (UTC)
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
From: [personal profile] fenchurch
And I haven't read them, but have you tried the "Garrett, PI" books by Glen Cook? I'm guessing they may still have too much fantasy and not enough crime solving, just judging by summaries, but they might be worth a try...

Date: 2012-06-29 01:33 am (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
I'd recommend the October Daye books, if you've not read them. They're very urban fantasy, so there may be too much magic in 'em for what you want, though. (And fae. Soooo many.)

Also, I'd read that in a heartbeat.

Date: 2012-06-29 01:44 am (UTC)
smurasaki: smiling blond person (Default)
From: [personal profile] smurasaki
Ooh, I'd read it, too!

Date: 2012-06-29 02:18 am (UTC)
velvetwhip: (Default)
From: [personal profile] velvetwhip
I am thinking you may have to write this one.


Date: 2012-06-29 03:24 am (UTC)
unjapanologist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unjapanologist
Joining the "I'd read that!" chorus. Legend of Korra has given me a taste for practical+magic stuff.

Date: 2012-06-29 03:38 am (UTC)
shipperx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shipperx
If you look at Book I of Game of Thrones as a mystery of who killed Jon Arryn, it might meet those criteria (though... I don't think they actually solve the mystery in that book, so probably not).

Date: 2012-06-29 03:55 am (UTC)
bobthemole: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bobthemole
One rare gem among the scores of boilerplate RPG-based novels is The Wyvern's Spur. It reminds me of a certain kind of 1930s mystery novel involving nutty aristocrats, moldy heirlooms, and a Wooster-esque protagonist.

With added zombies and flying lizards.

Date: 2012-06-29 07:55 am (UTC)
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
From: [personal profile] vass
You might indeed have to write it yourself.

But since I am a compulsive book recommender:

Emma Bull and Steven Brust, Freedom and Necessity
It's technically fantasy, but I don't remember the magic making an impact at all. Mainly it's about Hegel. It's epistolary, and there is a mystery, but it's not a detective novel. 19th-century setting.

Patricia C Wrede and Caroline Stevermer, Sorcery and Cecelia
It's a light, fun romp. Also epistolary, but no Hegel at all. In some ways related to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, but it's much, much lighter in tone, and way shorter and easier to read. Not a detective novel, but again, lots of running and finding out. 19th-century setting.

Lois McMaster Bujold, Vorkosigan series
Science fiction, not fantasy. Future setting. I'm recommending these even though you're looking for fantasy, because some of them are SF with a very strong detective component. I'd advise reading them in order, starting with Shards of Honor (collected in Cordelia's Honor.)

Liz Williams, Inspector Chen series
I haven't actually read these yet, but from what I hear, you might well like them. "Detective Inspector Chen is the Singapore Three police department's snake agent - that is - the detective in charge of supernatural and mystical investigations. Chen has several problems: In addition to colleagues who don't trust him and his mystical ways, a patron goddess whom he has offended, and a demonic wife who's tired of staying home alone, he's been paired with one of Hell's own vice officeers, Seneschal Zhu Irzh, to investigate the illegal trade in souls."

Date: 2012-06-29 08:01 am (UTC)
verity: buffy embraces the mid 90s shades (Default)
From: [personal profile] verity
I'd love to read that! I vaguely remember the Mairelon the Magician books being like that, but maybe more (b) than is your taste.

Date: 2012-06-29 05:30 pm (UTC)
curiouswombat: (writerconicon)
From: [personal profile] curiouswombat
I haven't re-read for a couple of years - but I think you might like Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy stories.

Date: 2012-07-01 04:23 am (UTC)
laazikaat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laazikaat
I've just come across an author who mixes werewolves, the fae, and crime solving like you said (her character says in one book - "magic is a tool, and a good one, but it's just a tool, and sometimes not the right one. A hammer can be perfectly fine, but useless at undoing screws.")

Author is Patricia Briggs, The Alpha-Omega series, and The Mercedes series set in the same world. Really really good, crimes to solve, but magic not the only answer.

Date: 2012-07-01 06:33 pm (UTC)
ext_1026: made by lanning (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I would totally read that.


deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Default)

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