I came across Lord Darcy on amazon and was instantly intrigued. The character, created by author Randall Garrett is a dashing detective solving crimes in an alternate reality where magic and sorcery has replaced science and medicine. Too Many Magicians is one of the first Lord Darcy books.
I admit, I was expecting, from the description, something a bit more out there, but was thoroughly satisfied with what I got – a Sherlock Holmes-ish mystery with magic. Lord Darcy himself does not possess “the talent”, the natural ability to perform spells and incantations or see the future, or any other ability that magicians possess. He does however have a brilliant mind for problem solving and deduction and is regarded as the greatest detective of his time (actually the 1970's, but in this alternate reality it resembles Victorian times).
He is assisted by the portly Sean O'Lochlainn, who does possess the talent and like a wand wielding Watson determines time of death and other forensic tasks through magical means. These inventive procedures are enthralling, just like the “magic” of real forensic science that has been amazing people today on CSI and Forensic Files.
In this adventure, two men have been murdered, one in an apparently impossible fashion and it all adds up to espionage and international intrigue. The fact that the baffling murder took during a magician's convention makes finding the culprit even more difficult. There are twists and turns and a few alluring women thrown in for good measure.
If you are a fan of classic mystery tales, get ready to begin your adventures with Lord Darcy.
But what do you think?