John Justin Mallory

Mike Resnick
The John Justin Mallory Mysteries

#1 Stalking the Unicorn (1987)
It’s 8:35 pm on New Year’s Eve, and Private Detective John Justin Mallory is hiding out in his Manhattan office to avoid his landlord’s persistent inquiries about the unpaid rent. As he cheerlessly reflects on the passing of a lousy year, which saw his business partner run off with his wife, he assumes the bourbon is responsible for the appearance of a belligerent elf. This elf informs him that he needs the detective’s help in searching for a unicorn that was stolen from his charge. When Mallory realizes the little green fellow is not going to disappear with the passing of his inebriation, he listens to the elf’s impassioned plea that the stolen magical beast must be returned to his care by daylight or his little green life will be forfeited by the elves’ guild.

#2 Stalking the Vampire (2008)
It’s Halloween, and John Justin Mallory’s partner, Winnifred Carruthers, has been so busy preparing for the biggest holiday of the year (in this Manhattan, anyway) that she seems short of energy and pale. Mallory is worried that she’s been working too hard. Then he notices the two puncture marks on her neck.

#3 Stalking the Dragon (2009)
It’s Valentine’s Day and private detective John Justin Mallory is planning on closing up the office early and taking his partner, Col. Winnifred Carruthers, out to dinner, since he’s sure no one else will do so. But before he can turn off the lights and lock the door,
a panic-stricken Buffalo Bill Brody visits them. It seems that the Eastminster pet show is being held the next day, and his dragon, Fluffy, the heavy favorite, has been kidnapped.

These three Mike Resnick books are not too long (about 70-80,000 words). Call it urban fantasy with heaps of 1930’s style detective fiction. Everyone has an attitude problem and the dialog zings about like a parody of the style. It’s witty and fun, most of the plot is just a device to hang some fun writing on. At times it gets a bit too much into the Piers Anthony territory. But otherwise here are three lightweight and fun humorous fantasy books to enjoy.