Elanore, the eight-foot tall troll, and Gurt, the six-inch tall (don't you dare call me a fairy) Eleinu, both guardsmen in the city of Delvenport, tackle their most baffling case yet. When they find a dead waitress, naked except for an intricate tattoo in a spiral across her body, they're launched into an adventure in the seedier side of Delvenport, filled with rogue mages, prostitution, and narcotics.
But can they solve the case before madness and riots take over the city?
The Spiral Tattoo by Michael J. Parry was a unique fantasy detective story following Elanore, an 8 foot tall troll and Gurt, the 6 inch tall Eleinu (a pixie/fairy character). Instead of completely redefining trolls, Elanore is a bit of a standout for her race. She is still very tough and you don't want to make her mad, but she is mostly calm and cerebral when investigating. Gurt is a bit of an enigma as well. Born into nobility he chose to leave it all behind when he got tired of all the politics that accompanied his birthright.
The two characters form a strong bond and a very effective team utilizing each others strengths. Elanore is large and very powerful, while Gurt is unobtrusive and fairly skilled with magic. The combination enables them to deal with most threats that they run into, as well as giving them a very wide point of view when dealing with the leads they are chasing down.
I felt that this book was very well done. I enjoyed the interactions between the two main characters and the extra helper that Gurt gets along the way was amusing at times. The pacing was also well done, there weren't any spots that I felt were overloaded with needless descriptions. The villain wasn't that hard to figure out, but I'm not sure how well hidden it was supposed to be. The system of magic seemed to be fairly well done, though if more books with these characters are coming out I would enjoy a little bit more explanation. Overall this book is definitely a good addition to the library if you are a fan of fantasy or crime books. The mix of action, character development, comedy, and mystery worked very well. If more books come out involving these characters I will be following them for sure.
Review copy provided by author.