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Red Hot Steele by Alex P. Berg
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Red Hot Steele

by Alex P. Berg

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Not as funny as it thinks it is, but an interesting take on an old premise anyway. Tough no-nonsense cop is paired up with a new partner, and suddenly he finds he has new lessons to learn. This time the partner is a delicate (looking) female half-elf.

The worldbuilding isn't exactly clear, there's some forms of technological development, plus a little bit of magic here and there, but no guns or cars or engines. It's unclear why not as they'd have been present in the equivalent modern era. Probably a kind of steampunk ish pseudo-western town, big enough to need an established police force, with dedicated detectives, and numerous "blue clothes" to do the details.

Daggers is the tough cop, and Steele his new partner. He makes all the sexist jokes and she generally manages to turn them aside by being a lot cleverer than he is. It would have worked better if he wasn't so sexist to start with, as that isn't really funny at any stage. They're investigating a body found in hotel corridor - who turns out to have been the fiancée of the daughter of a wealthy ironworks founder, and to have previously worked in a successful weaponsmiths (blades, the only known weapons are heavily restricted). A quick investigation into both these pasts, soon reveals many possible motives for the murder. Daggers and Steele explore them all before deciding on the right one.

I wasn't convinced by the world, which made understanding the crime a little harder - there seemed to be no need for the half-humans at all, they've added nothing to the plot and have no particular abilities to make any difference. Daggers and Steele deal almost exclusively with humans the entire time. In an ideal book this would a careful theme around tolerance counterpointed by Dagger's attitudes, that mellow over time, however I feel this might be a little too much to ask.

sort of fun, but I'm unlikely to continue the series. ( )
  reading_fox | Aug 18, 2017 |
Red Hot Steele (Daggers & Steele #1) by Alex P. Berg is a fun, snarky, clever book that I gulped down in one read. What fun! Witty, good mystery, great fantasy, crazy characters, snappy dialogue, and it made me smile a lot! Just what I needed! I listened to the audio version and the narration was perfect. Great job. I originally gave it a 4 star but I just kept thinking of it so if it was effecting me that much I figured it was worth a 5 star, esp. when I wanted the next book right away. ( )
  MontzaleeW | Jun 25, 2017 |
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Detective Jake Daggers likes his murder investigations the way he likes his women--straightforward, easy, and with a killer body.

So when his older-than-dust partner throws his back out on a goblin raid, his captain assigns him a new running mate--a sexy young half-elf by the name of Shay Steele.

It seems like a match made in Daggers' imagination, but Steele's no pushover. She's a powerful forensic psychic, and she's got sass oozing out of her boots.

In a debut case teeming with fire mages, foundries, and a dead guy who's crispier than bacon, it's pretty clear Daggers isn't the only one getting a heaping helping of RED HOT STEELE.
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