The first book in Mike Resnick's "A Fable of Tonight" series, Stalking the Unicorn was published over twenty years ago. It's now going to be reissued by Pyr in August, to coincide with the publication of the second volume, Stalking the Vampire. After reading this one, I can't wait to read the second book in the story of John Justin Mallory.
It's New Year's Eve in Manhattan, and Mallory, a failed detective, is contemplating his fate after his business partner ran off with his wife. He's a little surprised when an elf shows up in his office, but he's desperate for money, so he agrees to help him find a stolen unicorn. After a trip to an alternate Manhattan, Mallory finds himself in a world populated by leprechauns, elephant taxi cabs, and, worst of all, a villain called the Grundy. It's up to Mallory to find the unicorn before dawn on New Year's Day, or Mürgenstürm, the elf, with be killed by his guild for losing the unicorn. Or, he'll be killed if the Grundy doesn't get them first.
Mike Resnick's urban fantasy is not as dark as Jim Butcher's or Simon Green's. However, for all of us who enjoy those detective stories set in alternate realities, Stalking the Unicorn is the start of another promising series. It has a likable character in John Justin Mallory, as well as humor and suspense. I'm looking forward to Stalking the Vampire.
Mike Resnick's website is www.fortunecity.com/tattooine/farmer/2/
Stalking the Unicorn: A Fable of Tonight by Mike Resnick. Pyr, ©1987. ISBN 978-1591026488 (paperback), 310p.