• Sirgrus Blackmane Demihuman Gumshoe & the Dark-Elf

  • By: William Schlichter
  • Narrated by: Tom Fria
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Bacardi and Coke. Neat. Not the usual drink of choice for a mountain dwarf. Then again, Detective Sirgrus Blackmane is no ordinary dwarf - at least not since the Great War. Being a gumshoe during Prohibition might appear glamorous, with secret speakeasies, all-night cocktail parties, and scantily clad women displaying their knees, but crime and conspiracy lurk beneath the city’s shining illusion.

When the human half of the Mason and Blackmane Detective Agency is found dead at the scene of a rum-running bust, Sirgrus vows to find the killer. But this quest for justice leads him straight into a tangled web of underhanded deals with demi-human mobsters who are fighting for control of the rum supply. And when two more corpses turn up, Sirgrus must work double-time if he wants to find the killer - and avoid turning up dead at the next crime scene.

©2021 William Schlichter & BHC Press (P)2021 William Schlichter & BHC Press

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Sirgrus Review

Sirgrus is a fun 1920s noir novel with a fantasy twist. This novel really shines in its world building of an alternate prohibition era filled with humans alongside fantasy creatures such as dwarves, fairies, and dragons. It would be so fun to have a D&D campaign set inside this world.

I loved the fantasy elements within the story, but didn't feel super drawn in to the mystery side. This is mostly due to personal preference because detective novels and mysteries aren't genres I typically gravitate towards, but I really just didn't care all that much about Mason and why he was murdered. I was more interested in the questions surrounding the rings/magic artifact, so I hope to see more of that in the sequel. Even though I wasn't necessarily invested in the main mystery, I did like following Sirgrus around town and getting to explore the various places and creatures in his community. I also just enjoyed learning about Sirgrus and his past. A lot of fantasy stories tend to paint dwarves as silly or unserious, but it was nice to see a lot of nuance and depth to him as the main character.

I wasn't necessarily expecting to care about the prohibition element/conversations around alcohol in this book, so I was surprised to find myself enjoying the role of liquor in the story. It really added to the ambiance of the era and was just a great, unexpected tool that continually established character and setting in an interesting way.

I read this book on audio and the narrator had a great Sirgrus voice, but there were some characters where there wasn't a strong enough distinction in their voices so dialogue was a little hard to follow sometimes. It was a minor issue though and I don't think this would have been a problem if I had read a physical copy, it was just something I noticed while listening.

Overall, I liked the concept and tone of Sirgrus. I'm sure there's going to be a lot more to explore in book 2 and I'm looking forward to checking it out.

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Unique, exciting and utterly entertaining!

The concept of mixing D&D with an alt history of the 1920’s prohibition era becomes a wildly entertaining story. Sclichter weaves a fascinating mystery full of twists and incredible characters, namely the main protagonist, Sirgrus. I can't wait for more!