Inter-dimensional travel? Check!
Snarky, ironic humor? Check!
Demons and cults? Check and check!
I usually avoid science fiction and crime novels. Not because I think there’s anything wrong or bad with these genres but rather because the science is generally over my head, and I am anti-social enough already. I don’t need to learn any new tricks from literary criminals. That said, I happily admit to faulty research before purchasing the self-published Duckett & Dyer series by G.M. Nair.
Little did in know I was in for a hilarious, universe hopping, interstitial bad-guy hunting, against-all-odds story of lifelong friendship and loyalty. Now, the last bit comes off as a tad schmaltzy but in all honesty, that’s the big takeaway from all three books. Michael Duckett and Stephanie Dyer, no matter how irritated they get with each other, simply do not know how to NOT be friends. And there’s the charm.
Michael Duckett is a neurotic, anxious, keep-your-head-down, worker drone. He has a pointless job with the city’s largest company, The Future Group, and is pretty sure what he does doesn’t matter to anyone in the organization. His paycheck barely covers the bills in the crappy tenement apartment he shares with Stephanie. Michael just keeps on keeping on.
Stephanie Dyer is a larger than life dreamer, into everything while doing nothing. She is positively unpredictable and keeps Michael on his toes. Stephanie Dyer impulsively forges ahead and damns the consequences.
Both have a talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and the results are spectacular.
“Please Don’t Drink the Poison Even Though You’re Thirsty”
In Dicks For Hire, advertisements for the detective agency “Duckett & Dyer, PI’s For Hire” have been popping up all over the city. Neither Michael nor Steph have any idea why. Nevertheless, Michael’s phone rings constantly with potential business. One particularly insistent ‘client,’ searching for her missing fiancé, drags the bickering duo into an investigation which literally opens up the spaces between universes and drags them into the crosshairs of a local police detective, Rex Calhoun.
“Thanks, In Advance”
The One-Hundred Percent Solution sees Michael fired from The Future Group for not being a team player. Worried about keeping the roof of their less-than-desirable step-down apartment/offices over their heads, Michael and Steph are involuntarily recruited to investigate some shady dealings by his former employer. Recruitment along the lines of, “Do this or we’ll kill you. Don’t worry about the assassin running around killing people associated with the company. No pressure. Oh and by the way, you dodged a multi-verse, demon worshipping, cult-bullet by being fired. Good job.” No big deal.
“A Talking, Gender-Fluid, Reverse Werewolf”
In case you were wondering if Duckett & Dyer work on cases which are less universally threatening, well, they do. Kinda. The Mystery of the Murdered Guy jumps from case to case while Michael and Stephanie grow into their roles as entrepreneurial private investigators. The aforementioned reverse werewolf, a very angry otherverse Santa Clause, performative train-jacking, and a lady who keeps losing her cats all make appearances. If you read the first two books, you’ll see some old friends (acquaintances?) along the way.
G.M. Nair delivers a weird and supremely entertaining triple-hit with this series. The science isn’t overwhelming and rendered believable to non-science readers like me. The crimes are so far beyond human reality that the bad guys don’t have a chance. The humor is slick and smart. Traipse around the multi-verse with Duckett & Dyer for a few days. Maybe you’ll meet yourself along the way.
Check Out G.M. Nair’s Books
Duckett – Dyer: Dicks for Hire – The Mystery of the Murdered Guy Playlist