I was looking for some brain candy to read and my husband summed up Storm Front as “he’s a private detective in Chicago who also happens to be a wizard.” I said “SOLD.”
The writing style is very noir; it wants to be Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler. The mystery is fairly typical – there are two different threads that get pulled together at the end of the book, someone wants our hero dead, the crime gets pinned on him at some point during the story. And, naturally, there’s some past thing our hero has done and he can’t use magic to fight his way out without getting in trouble with the larger wizard community.
But a mystery is about taking a crazy world and ordering it. It gets rid of some of the chaos and at the end the world makes a little more sense. And that, it turns out, was what I needed.