NO Quarter from Dark Star Books
The third, and possibly the last, book in the Griffen McCandles series (due to the unfortunate and early demise of creator Robert Asprin) is NO Quarter. Which Quarter? The French Quarter, bien sûr. Which must mean that the NO can only stand for New Orleans. The first two books in the series, Dragons Wild and Dragons Luck, introduced us to the wild covert activities that took place in the Quarter, primarily during the cover of the darkness. Some of the characters revealed special powers genetically inherited that gave them abilities we associate with dragons. As part of the culture in the humid and historical locale, plenty of drinking, gambling, pool playing and voodoo along with crime and murderous play filled the pages.
Robert Asprin (1946 - 2008) (photo from Darkstar Books website)
Some of the characters from the first two books are absent from NO Quarter but we see the return of many, primarily the film aficionado, Bone and the former fencing instructor, Maestro. The book begins with Sunshine, Bone’s former junkie girlfriend. She is murdered and the only clue seems to be a tarot card. A couple of days prior to her death she had been trying to reach Maestro for help and advice for an upcoming meeting, the meeting which resulted in her death. Now he feels that he must help find her killer since he has doubts that the local police will have much success not to mention that Bone is seeking to avenge her death. If he doesn’t help Bone in his quest for the truth he has a sneaking suspicion that there will be more than one friend dead before the killer is found.
A lot of characters from the earlier books come into play as the game unfolds. Someone has put word out on the street that he is searching for Maestro but no one knows the identity of the person, just a description that could fit almost anyone in this city of tourists. Someone else has demanded a meeting with Mother Mystic, the local voodoo guru, for a meeting and ritual that can only bring evil. Then there is Dunk, Sunshine’s live-in boyfriend during the time of her death, a musician that is more of a loser than anything, but definitely a person who has something he’s hiding. These are only a few of the intricacies weaved throughout the wonderful plot that alternates chapters between Maestro’s words and activities and Bone’s take on things.
Teresa Patterson (photo from Dark Star Books)
Due to Asprin’s death, the book was finished with the collaboration of authors Eric Del Carlo, who wrote the Wartorn series with Aspirin, and Teresa Patterson, known for her collaboration on books with the late Robert Jordan (The World of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time) and Terry Brooks (The World of Shannara). Together with Dark Star Books they have given life to a fantastic whodunit that surely would have made Asprin proud. It would've been interesting to see what Asprin would've done with his next story as New Orleans was hit by Katrina and recently being subjected to the humongous BP oil spill.