Offbeat Detective Novels Like Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Offbeat Detective Novels Like Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Detective novels tend to be hardboiled and gritty, but there is also a sub-genre featuring gumshoes who take things a little less seriously. A good example of this is the “holistic” detective, Dirk Gently, by Douglas Adams who believes in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. His methods usually involve running up very large expense accounts and getting caught up in paranormal events during his investigations. For more quirky and offbeat detective novels check out the following books like Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

by Douglas Adams

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul is the second novel in the Dirk Gently series by Douglas Adams. This time Dirk is hired by a songwriter to protect him from a giant armed with a scythe but fails before he even has a chance to meet with his new client. Dirk then becomes involved in the mysterious case of a passenger check-in desk at Heathrow Airport shooting through the roof in a ball of orange flames. The incident is deemed to be an act of God, but Dirk is determined to find out which one and why.

Titanshade

by Dan Stout

Titanshade by Dan Stout

Titanshade by Dan Stout proves that detective novels can still be gritty even if they feature lots of offbeat elements. The story is set in the corrupt oil-driven city of Titanshade where humanoid amphibians called Squibs co-exist with humans. It is a place where 8-tracks are still considered state of the art and disco can be heard on the radio. Carter is a homicide detective who has his hands full when a Squib diplomat is murdered. The timing couldn’t be any worse as the city’s oil reserves are running dry and a possible investment from the Squibs is all that could save it.

Storm Front

by Jim Butcher

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Storm Front is the first novel in the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. Harry Dresden is a professional wizard who is brought in by the Chicago P.D. to consult on a double homicide. The murder was committed with black magic, which makes Dresden a chief suspect. Harry sees it as an opportunity to make some money but has to deal with vampires, an unknown warlock, and more along the way.

Falling Angel

by William Hjortsberg

Falling Angel by William Hiortsberg

Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg sees a private investigator, Harry Angel, hired to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite. However, Harry quickly discovers that this is no ordinary missing-persons case. Johnny was seriously injured when a Luftwaffe fighter squadron attacked the bandstand during a concert for the troops. The crowd was killed and the comatose singer was transferred to a private hospital to live out his days. To Harry’s dismay, he finds that not only has Johnny vanished from the hospital, but everyone he questions about it dies soon afterward. Meanwhile his client, the sinister Louis Cyphre is getting impatient with Harry and his investigation ensnares him in a bizarre tangle of black magic and grisly voodoo.

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse

by Robert Rankin

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse is the first book in the Eddie Bear series by Robert Rankin. The setting is Toy City, formerly known as Toy Town, which is a place that has long since stopped being jolly. Thirteen-year-old Jack arrives in this city to find his fortune but instead finds only a place where a serial killer is loose on the streets and all the old, rich nursery rhyme characters are being slaughtered. With the police getting nowhere in their investigations and Private Eye Bill Winkie missing, it is Winkie’s battered teddy bear sidekick, Eddie Bear, who is trying to take care of things. Jack teams up with Eddie to try and stop the killer who leaves behind chocolate bunnies as his calling card.

Greywalker

by Kat Richardson

Greywalker by Kat Richardson

Greywalker by Kat Richardson is the story of Harper Blaine, a woman who was just an average small-time private investigator until a savage assault left her dead for two minutes. When Harper wakes up in the hospital she discovers that she can see things that nobody else can. It would seem that her death has changed her into a Greywalker, which means she can move between the human world and the mysterious cross-over zone. It is a place where things that go bump in the night exist and as much as Harper tries to maintain a normal life she finds herself attracting otherworldly business.

Something From the Nightside

by Simon R. Green

Something From the Nightside by Simon R. Green

Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green is the first book in the long-running Nightside series starring detective John Taylor. Taylor is a child of the Nightside, a square mile of Hell in the middle of the city, where it’s always three A.M. Although he left there a long time ago with his skin and sanity barely intact he has retained the gift of being able to find lost things. It is a gift that has served Taylor well until a rich woman shows up on his doorstep asking him to find her runaway teenage daughter. Taylor agrees to the job as business has been slow, but then finds that the runaway girl had gone to Nightside, which means he has no choice except to go home.

Gun, with Occasional Music

by Jonathan Lethem

Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem

Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem, is set in a near-future where evolved animals are members of society. Conrad Metcalf is a private investigator whose job is made much more difficult due to the fact that asking questions has become taboo. Citizens are also required to carry magnetic cards that keep track of their karma points and could end up in cryogenic prison if their balance reaches zero. The murder of a former client makes Metcalf a prime suspect and he finds himself caught between the boys from the Inquisitor’s Ofice and some gangers operating out of the back room of a bar.

Cassie Alexander - Wolf Meets Vampire in Steamy Paranormal Romance
FEATURED AUTHOR - Cassie Alexander is a registered nurse and author of exceedingly hot paranormal romances. She also sometimes writes with her friend Kara Lockharte as Cassie Lockharte. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Blood of the Pack.