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Long ago far away, Randall Garrett wrote this series, about an England where the great detective Lord Darcy and the sorcerer Sean O Lochlainn combine occult skills and brilliant deductions to bring criminals to the King s Justice and thwart those who plot against the Realm Entertaining stuff, in my mostly decades old memories This omnibus collects them all in one convenient volume or file From a National Review essay on the series, by S.T Karnick, excerpted here Long ago far away, Randall Garrett wrote this series, about an England where the great detective Lord Darcy and the sorcerer Sean O Lochlainn combine occult skills and brilliant deductions to bring criminals to the King s Justice and thwart those who plot against the Realm Entertaining stuff, in my mostly decades old memories This omnibus collects them all in one convenient volume or file From a National Review essay on the series, by S.T Karnick, excerpted here The Darcy mysteries were written in the 1960s and 70s and are set in an alternative twentieth century in which the Reformation never happened, the rules of magic were discovered during the Middle Ages, and technology has not advanced beyond the mid nineteenth century The stories and one novel combine dashing adventure, real fair play puzzle mysteries, a world where magic is real but bound by definite rules, and some lightly presented insights into the human condition.To read the stories on the Baen website, click Once you read them, you will want to read them all Here s someinfo on Lord Darcy, from my National Review Online essay on the series First published in science fiction magazines in the 1960s and 70s, the stories tell the exploits of Lord Darcy, a detective who bears a striking resemblance to Sherlock Holmes But if Darcy seems familiar, the world in which he lives is anything but In this alternative universe, King Richard the Lion Hearted did not die young, having narrowly escaped death at the Siege of Chaluz the source of his demise in our world , and that particular event changed everything The brash, irresponsible king s brush with mortality sobered him up greatly, and he ruled wisely and well for another two decades and ensured the continuation of a long line of great Plantagenet rulers that has lasted to the present day Despite the presence of magic, the puzzles are fairly clued once Garrett establishes the rules of magic, he sticks to them, and we can trust that all the evidence will be laid before the reader before Darcy presents his ingenious solution The puzzles are quite good, in fact, which is particularly remarkable in that Garrett was mainly a science fiction writer and a widely admired one Darcy uses deduction to solve the crimes, while Sean serves the function of a forensic scientist The saga consists of three novellas written in the 1960s, six from the 1970s, and the 1966 novel Too Many Magicians After Garrett s untimely death, sci fi and mystery writer Michael Kurland wrote twoDarcy novels in the late 1980s Garrett s writing style is as elegant and charming as his setting, and his mastery of atmosphere is admirable Garrett himself was something of a cad Per his Wikibio, Garrett was a complicated man Although cherished by his friends, who often repeated anecdotes of his rakish and endearing behavior, he horrified many women, to whom he routinely introduced himself with obscene propositions RatingReview This review originally appeared on Out of this World Reviews I picked up a copy of Lord Darcy by Randall Garrett a while back as part of my research into a potential future project that would blend the genres of fantasy and mystery Lord Darcy is just that alternate historical fiction blended with mystery It s a world where Richard the Lion Hearted did not die on the battlefield, but instead went on to build the foundation of the greatest empire the world has ever seen.Lord RatingReview This review originally appeared on Out of this World Reviews I picked up a copy of Lord Darcy by Randall Garrett a while back as part of my research into a potential future project that would blend the genres of fantasy and mystery Lord Darcy is just that alternate historical fiction blended with mystery It s a world where Richard the Lion Hearted did not die on the battlefield, but instead went on to build the foundation of the greatest empire the world has ever seen.Lord Darcy is Chief Special Investigator for the Duke of Normandy and, as such, he s called in to solve particular crimes perpetrated against members of the aristocracy Much like Holmes had his Watson, Darcy has his O Lochlainn Master Sorcerer Sean O Lochlainn, to be precise Magic works in a sort of alchemy meets science manner There are Laws of Magic and symposiums, all regulated by the government to the point where sorcerers must be licensed to practice else face severe penalties There is also Black Magic, outlawed and dangerous as one might expect Rest assured Darcy and O Lochlainn have a tangle or two with practitioners of the dark form of sorcery.Lord Darcy is a collection of short stories While some are clever, others are so brief it s hard to immerse oneself in them There is the novella Too Many Magicians which I found kind of droll much of it is told through dialog and it quickly wore me down and I really found it confusing at times.Lord Darcy the character this time and others come across as flat, and I think this is the biggest flaw with the entire collection The characters have histories Darcy himself is in his 40 s I m guessing but we re never given much of a glimpse into his past or anything about his personal life It s all about the crimes and the ease at which he sees what no one else can This unfortunately is the fatal flaw in this book for me I never cared a whole lot whether the crime was solved or not, the murderer discovered, or the conspirators brought to justice Sorry, but that s just not good 3.5 stars for the collection as a whole The writing is simple and the characterizations are shallow, but the stories are fun A little hokey, but fun I was entertained by the setting and amused by the scientific applications of magic.This 700 page omnibus contains the entire Lord Darcy series 10 short stories and the Hugo nominated novel Too Many Magicians They are straightforward detective stories mostly locked room mysteries set in an alternate fantasy world where a large and prosper 3.5 stars for the collection as a whole The writing is simple and the characterizations are shallow, but the stories are fun A little hokey, but fun I was entertained by the setting and amused by the scientific applications of magic.This 700 page omnibus contains the entire Lord Darcy series 10 short stories and the Hugo nominated novel Too Many Magicians They are straightforward detective stories mostly locked room mysteries set in an alternate fantasy world where a large and prosperous Anglo French Empire is still ruled in the 20th century by the descendants of Henry Plantagenet.It seems that Richard the Lionheart did not die from his arrow wound in 1199, but survived to fight off his wicked brother John and leave the throne to their nephew Arthur who in real life was probably murdered by King John This second King Arthur proved worthy of his namesake, and so the Plantagenets and their empire persevered and flourished.Lord Darcy is the Chief Criminal Investigator for His Royal Highness, Richard, Duke of Normandy He s a dashing man of action with a Sherlock Holmes intellect This world uses magic, strictly regulated by the church, as a substitute for science, and Lord Darcy solves crimes with the aid of forensic sorcery performed by his sorcerer sidekick.Garrett wrote the early stories in the 1960 s and they take place in the same time frame in this alternate world The technology is mostly at a Victorian level gas lighting, horse drawn carriages, steam engines but in some areas magic exceeds the capabilities of modern science.The society of the empire is a cheerful, modern version of feudalism The hereditary nobility wield actual power in a benevolent, regulated sort of way It reminds me a little bit of the society in the Honor Harrington novels The reader might get tired of all the my lording, since most of the characters are lords, duchesses, marquises or Masters of this or that, and nearly always address each other formally This is detective fiction from 1964 through 1979, very much in the locked room genre, but in a world where magic exists Lord Darcy s Dr Watson is an Irish Doctor of Thaumaturgy.The principles of magic in this alternate history were discovered before the principles of technology Perhaps even before the scientific method spread An accident of history also maintains feudalism, in an empire that combines Britain and France, with no Magna Carta The United States remains under control of the em This is detective fiction from 1964 through 1979, very much in the locked room genre, but in a world where magic exists Lord Darcy s Dr Watson is an Irish Doctor of Thaumaturgy.The principles of magic in this alternate history were discovered before the principles of technology Perhaps even before the scientific method spread An accident of history also maintains feudalism, in an empire that combines Britain and France, with no Magna Carta The United States remains under control of the empire as New England and New France.Garrett draws this alternate history very well feudal society holds scientific advancement back just as it did in real life, so that even with magic, life in 1964 is at best up to the level of the late 1800s for the average person The common man lives in fear of the king s guards and running afoul of the king s law, which controls every aspect of his life He must even be forced to keep his gas lights turned on, through fear of summons and fines The average person neither bathes regularly nor keeps his hair and nails trimmed.Something as simple as a flashlight is a prized possession available only to a select few Nor can they even run cables along the channel floor, let alone the ocean, a feat that was solved in the real world in the 1800s, as ably described in James Dugan s The Great Iron Ship.The description of the flashlight, a combination of magic and technology that solves some engineering issues with magic, makes it clear that in a free society technology in this alternate history should have advanced faster, not slower, than in the real world, and people should have better lives, not worse.The stories were originally written as standalones this is actually a collection of three novels, two of which were themselves collections of short stories So some of the workings of the alternate history are repeated several times to bring the original readers up to speed Magic works according to laws spells from this world are readily translatable into games like Dungeons and Dragons and those laws can be used to help solve crimes and to speculate about the kinds of magic or lack thereof that might have been used to commit the various crimes in these stories.Lord Darcy lives in Rouen, which puts him close enough to solve crimes on both sides of the English Channel He works directly for His Highness the Duke of Normandy, and also regularly interacts with the Plantagenet King of the Angevin Empire.It s Sherlock Holmes with magic, and it is a lot of fun Many of the stories mirror other famous detective stories, such as the Murder on the Orient Express Garrett also fills his stories with a lot of subtle, and not so subtle, jokes, especially in the names of characters One of the sorcerors at the sorceror s convention is Sir Gandolphus Grey, and a master spy is named James Le Lien There was not anything really wrong with this story collection, the problem I have with it is that there just did not seem to be enough to it The world created is essentially the Plantagenets winning the Hundred Years War and creating a Western European empire, but it honestly feels just like another of the great powers we had prior to the first world war The crimes have magical elements but pretty standard cases Lord Darcy himself feels like a bit of a blank slate.If there is an issue it i There was not anything really wrong with this story collection, the problem I have with it is that there just did not seem to be enough to it The world created is essentially the Plantagenets winning the Hundred Years War and creating a Western European empire, but it honestly feels just like another of the great powers we had prior to the first world war The crimes have magical elements but pretty standard cases Lord Darcy himself feels like a bit of a blank slate.If there is an issue it is that I just didn t have any fun reading them, it was easy to get through but I was soon doingout of deteremination than actual sense of enjoyment IF you haven t seen this, don t feel bad They it is a set are hard to find unless someone has reprinted them Imagine a world where Richard the Lion Hearted does not go goosing off to fight the infidels and stays home and tends to business He ushers in an era of peace and prosperity.and magic Yes the laws of magic are discovered Centuries pass and enter Lord Darcy chief investigator for his majesty Magic aids his investigations and he runs into some characters that are amazingly simil IF you haven t seen this, don t feel bad They it is a set are hard to find unless someone has reprinted them Imagine a world where Richard the Lion Hearted does not go goosing off to fight the infidels and stays home and tends to business He ushers in an era of peace and prosperity.and magic Yes the laws of magic are discovered Centuries pass and enter Lord Darcy chief investigator for his majesty Magic aids his investigations and he runs into some characters that are amazingly similar to classic detectives of fiction These are fun books if you can find them and Randal Garrett is not to be missed Read 1 of the 4 books contained Saving rest for later Too good to read all at once Must savor Love Lord Darcy. A wonderful occult version of Shelock Holmes The only weak story is the last one. (FREE EPUB) ì Lord Darcy · Welcome to an alternate world where Richard the Lion Heart did not die in the yearwhere magic is a science and science is an art where the great detective Lord Darcy and the sorcerer Sean O Lochlainn combine occult skills and brilliant deductions to bring criminals to the King s Justice and thwart those who plot against the Realm Welcome to a world where murder may be committed by magic most foul, but crime still does not pay as long as Lord Darcy is on the case This is a tough one I ve been wanting to read these stories for a long time, after having read The Ipswich Phial in at least a couple anthologies many, many years ago And in terms of the premise and setting, the stories lived up to what I hoped they would be Garrett has constructed an enjoyable world in these stories, and he s put some thought into how they evolved The laws of magic he uses will be familiar to any reader of Isaac Bonewits among others , so they mesh perfectly with the Eur This is a tough one I ve been wanting to read these stories for a long time, after having read The Ipswich Phial in at least a couple anthologies many, many years ago And in terms of the premise and setting, the stories lived up to what I hoped they would be Garrett has constructed an enjoyable world in these stories, and he s put some thought into how they evolved The laws of magic he uses will be familiar to any reader of Isaac Bonewits among others , so they mesh perfectly with the European setting But in the end the stories left me felt wanting The stories do get better as they go along, but I kept wishing Garrett was a better stylist than he was The first three stories, in particular, are painfully earnest at times And as mysteries, well, they don t quite deliver The body in a locked room scenarios are a little too cliched, and the guilty parties make one too many, You ll never take me, copper style attempts to escape Having said that, these are definitely entertaining diversions Baen would ve done everyone a favor by going with a smaller font, so this 650 page book would have been at least slightly easier to take along on a vacation or a plane ride, which would be the perfect venue for them A slightly less horrendous cover would ve been nice too, but, you know, Baen If you re a fan of mysteries and of fantasy settings, I would still say they re worth a try