Agents of Light and Darkness is an eclectic book and thus rather intriguing to my mind. It's part of a fantasy series full of vampires, ghosts, ghouls, gremlins and a few other creatures who don't belong to this world, but written like a crime novel in the style of Sam Spade/Phillip Marlowe. The main character, John Taylor, is part human, with a past he doesn't even know about, and has a special talent of "finding things" and thus works as a rather successful private eye with whom few are willing to tangle. The opening of the book finds him in Nightside, or the area of London where it's always 3am and the ghost, ghouls and goblins are always abroad. It's describes as a sort of "wrong side of the tracks" area that's gone bad, really bad. So bad that normal bad characters avoid it. John is commissioned to find the "Un-Holy Grail", or the cup from which Judas drank at the last supper, by a man claiming to be from the Vatican. He wants to find the cup and lock it away safely before anyone, good or evil, can get a hold of it and use its devastating powers. John agrees to take on the case even though he already suspects this may make him a target for just about every savoury and unsavory character within Nightside.
The combination of crime, fantasy and cheesy detective story makes for a good combination. John Taylor is a Phillip Marlowe who doesn't take himself, or the world he lives in, all too seriously which adds an element of tongue in cheek humour that keeps the book readable. I'm not a huge fan of The Maltese Falcon style, but this is just enough of other things to have kept me interested. I may even read other books out of the series at some point. I'll leave that open for now. I'd say one thumb up for this one.