The best dicks in urban fantasy (detectives, that is)

Sarah J. Sover Author Of Fairy Godmurder
By Sarah J. Sover

The Books I Picked & Why

Storm Front

By Jim Butcher

Book cover of Storm Front

Why this book?

Let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way because we can’t talk magical detectives without the poster child of hardboiled detective noir colliding with fantasy. Harry is a wizard PI who also serves as a police consultant when cases dip into the supernatural. The world is filled with fantastical creatures, each sect with its own governing rules and goals, which makes for an expansive series filled with magic, mayhem, and paranormal political intrigue. For setting the bar, Harry Dresden gets top billing.

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By Faith Hunter

Book cover of Skinwalker

Why this book?

While she’s technically not a detective or a PI, Jane is a beast of an investigator. Literally. A skinwalker who hunts the things that go bump in the night, Jane’s animalistic abilities give her an edge over the competition. My background in Biology makes Jane’s shifting into various, highly dangerous animals fascinating to me. Plus, when she’s in human form, she’s a weapon-clad, 6’ woman on a Harley.

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By Dan Stout

Book cover of Titanshade

Why this book?

Carter is your typical noir detective—cynical and staring down a rocks glass. But Titanshade is far from a standard city. It’s gritty and brimming with all kinds of characters from those you think you know to new species whose spilled guts smell like cinnamon. I’m particularly fond of the blood magic readings. And when Carter is backed into a corner, this hardboiled dick may surprise you.

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The Imaginary Corpse

By Tyler Hayes

Book cover of The Imaginary Corpse

Why this book?

There is nothing else in the world like The Imaginary Corpse. Tippy is a stuffed triceratops detective trapped in the Stillreal after he is no longer needed. But there’s a serial killer targeting imaginary friends, and Tippy must work through his trauma to save the Stillreal. This book is somehow both dark and warm—like a needed hug after a traumatic experience. Anyone who suffers from PTSD should give it a shot. Or anyone who just likes a completely unique story.

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By Kat Richardson

Book cover of Greywalker

Why this book?

After a near-death experience, PI Harper Blaine gains the ability to navigate the occult world of magic. But the realm between our world and the next is filled with monsters. Some are malicious, but some are looking to hire. The concept of the Grey is fascinating and slightly terrifying to me. Harper deserves to be on this list because only a true badass could survive her client list.

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