Authors: Keith Hartman,Eric Dunn
"Set in 2025 Atlanta, this sequel to Hartman's first novel, The Gumshoe, the Witch, and the Virtual Corpse (2001), features gay detective Drew Parker, his Wiccan partner Jennifer Grey and a large supporting cast of strange people. Like its predecessor, it employs the same irresistible zaniness and wit, multiple viewpoints, high sexual content (both gay and straight) and cheerfully chaotic narrative technique. Jennifer is hired by a young deaf-mute named Skye, who wants to find out whether her boyfriend, Charles Rockland (an actor, and one of five cloned hunks), is cheating on her. Meanwhile, Drew's sidekick and sometime lover, Daniel, is in trouble with the law. In both cases, it turns out that there's extremely nasty blackmail behind the troublemaking --what might be called a family feud in real life. Add to this a band of Cherokees trying to get back Georgia, while lurking in the background are dueling televangelists, each with his crop of the ambitious or the thuggish (you expected the devout?), and it's obvious that the author has produced another engagingly weird novel of the near future, satirizing everything he can get his word processor on and doing most of it extremely well. "
"Like his hero, loved his plot, and envied his style."
"A fine debut novel by Keith Hartman. What kind of novel I'm at a little of a loss to say. Equal arguments can be made that it's a police procedural, a contemporary Wiccan fantasy, a gay PI novel, a near future SF thriller, a novel of social commentary, and even, in the sections from the point of view of one character, a YA coming of age story.
In the end, it's a bit of them all, I suppose, which is part of what made me enjoy it so much. I love a book that breaks down the walls between genres, that just tells a story, the author trusting himself and the story enough to let it go wherever it leads him. The Gumshoe, the Witch, and the Virtual Corpse is, like its title, a somewhat busy book, but there's enough payoff in characterization, story, and ideas to make the trip through its pages a real pleasure."
--Charles de Lint in
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
"Hartman's characters are smart; his world-building is broad, convincing, and exciting; his choice of detail is exquisite. Compelling and engrossing, this book grabbed me and didn't let go until long after the end."
--Nina Kiriki Hoffman
"Hartman's multiple viewpoint characters and plot lines create the feel of a movie script full of jump cuts, but each "voice" is highly distinctive, even when he presents the Rashomon-like climactic scenes. Don't miss this one-- we can guarantee there's nothing else quite like it on your reading list."
The Denver Post
"This is an amazing book."
The afternoon was heating up. I rolled down the windows of my Vesta and whispered an invitation for a breeze to come visit. No luck. The air in the parking lot behind the Kudzu Cafe was as hot and stagnant as a sauna. I guess even the wind has better taste than to be caught dead in Buckhead on a Wednesday afternoon.
OK. Back to work. I got out my phone.
"Hello, my name is Brian Davis, and I am way too important to talk to you," I said into the the receiver.
I played the sentence back and listened to it. The mask program I was running dropped my voice down half an octave and added Davis' bogus prep school accent. It was a pretty good impersonation. I just had to watch my word choice. Davis is the sort of pretentious yuppie scum who likes to use old fashioned language. He probably thinks that it makes him sound smarter. Davis would never say "way", for example. He would have used "far".
"I am far too important to talk to you," I said, trying it out.
I played it back. Not bad. But it still needed something. A shade more arrogance.
Ah, I know.
"I am far too important to talk to
the likes of you
Yeah, that was Davis to a T.
OK. Enough futzing around with the details. Time to put this plan in motion.
I switched my phone over to a new account that I'd just opened. Unfortunately, I don't have the technical skills to actually clone Davis's cell phone, so the impersonation wouldn't be perfect. If anyone looked at the caller ID screen, my number wouldn't match up with his. On the other hand, it had been pretty easy for me to open an account with same first and last name as Davis, and with a phone number that was only one digit off from his. I was betting that it would be good enough to get me past an overworked concierge just getting back from her lunch break.