Gilded Latten Bones (Garrett, P. I. Series #13)

Gilded Latten Bones (Garrett, P. I. Series #13)

by Glen Cook

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For Garrett, P.I., loyalty and love come a close second to survival...

Garrett's attempt at domestic bliss with the fiery Tinnie Tate is sidetracked when he waylays a pair of home intruders and learns they've been paid by an unknown source to kidnap Tinnie. But as Garrett rushes to find out who is trying to push his buttons, his best friend is attacked. Now, Garrett has to track down both malefactors.

Unless they're really one and the same-in which case Garrett might be next...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101444948
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/02/2010
Series: Garrett, P. I. Series , #13
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 188,101
File size: 461 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Glen Cook used to work the assembly line at a General Motors plant, writing in between helping to build cars as they came down the conveyor belt. He has written extensively in the science fiction and fantasy fields, and is the author of the Garrett, P.I., novels and the Black Company alternate history series.

Date of Birth:

July 9, 1944

Place of Birth:

New York City, New York

Read an Excerpt


For a long time it always started with a beautiful woman at the door, sometimes in the middle of the night. That had ended. Good things do. I wasn't in that racket anymore. There was only one beautiful woman for me. She was on my side of the door already.

Tinnie Tate. Tinnie had wreaked all sorts of changes in my life.

Tinnie had the word out. Garrett, that most marvelous specimen of former Marine, was no longer one of TunFaire's serious players, however you cared to define that term. Mama Garrett's boy was now devoutly monogamous. He reserved his vast professional acumen for the benefit of the Weider brewing empire and, more importantly, for that of the Amalgamated Manufacturing Combine. The man hadn't hit the mean streets in a rat's age. Which was pleasing to many and unpopular with a much smaller crowd.

Bottom feeders and parasites really liked the new Garrett. He was out of their lives. The reverse was true for workmen at the breweries and Amalgamated. Garrett had this habit of turning up just when some underpaid and underappreciated genius was about to enhance his income by reassigning ownership of company property.

My wondrous new life.


It did begin with a beautiful woman, in the middle of the night, a stunning redhead bereft of any perspective other than her own. She gouged me in the ribs with a specially sharpened fingernail. "Wake up, Malsquando."

"Again? What are you, trying to set a new record?"

"We'll work on that tomorrow night. We have another problem, now. There's somebody downstairs."

We lived in two story quarters we had carved out of a little-used part of the Amalgamated manufactory Annex. Something rattled down below, followed by a vague, exasperated curse.

I was awake, now, my head filling with subjects I might offer for discussion once we got out of whatever this was. Like maybe the fact that this situation could not have come up had we made our nest at my house.

I was like liquid getting out of bed. Silently flowing. Not even a gurgle. I armed myself with an oaken head knocker that no amount of fussing or whining had compelled me to divorce.

Just in time.

The bedroom door opened with a faint creak. I was behind it, wound up. The villain entering carried a damped-down lantern. That cast just enough light for someone whose night vision had fully adapted. It revealed Tinnie lying there mostly uncovered and wearing nothing, apparently asleep. An impressive sight, I got to admit.

Lucky me, I'd seen it enough not to be distracted. Much.

"There's something wrong here, Butch." The whisperer leaned in just far enough to offer the back of his mostly bald head.

I seized the day, whacked that mole. Down he went. I spun around the edge of the door…; To stare down the length of twelve pounds of razor-edged steel. I couldn't imagine anybody having forged a sword that big. The eyes behind that monster did not belong to somebody in a merciful mood, nor even somebody truly sane.

Tinnie uncovered the goods, arrogantly showing off how lucky Garrett was. The eyes that knew no mercy did recognize those marvels when they saw them.

Clang! That blade brushed aside. Thump! A solid whack to the temple. Half a minute to make sure the villains didn't come back on us. Then, "Trollop."

"How's your health, big boy?" She had some clothes on, now. She had become the promise, not the literal truth.

"I had him."

"Sure, you did. Just a little insurance."

"Something to tell the grandkids about."

"Garrett. What the hell is going on? Are you into something? You promised. What are you into?"

"Nothing. When would I have the chance?" That was one of the costs of our monogamy. I had no life that didn't include Tinnie, nor should I want one as she interpreted monogamy.

Tinnie is a natural-born redhead, long on emotion and not so long on reason. Yet she did recall that our arrangement had not left me time to get involved in the sort of adventures I used to enjoy. "I'm not sure I believe you but I'll go out on a limb and take your word."

"Bless you. I just had a marvelous idea. How about, instead of you sparking arguments by letting your imagination run wild, we ask our guests what brings them here?"

Tinnie grunted.

She can be reasonable. It just doesn't happen all that often.


Neither nocturnal adventurer wanted to share. Neither said a word. Tinnie set limits to how vigorously I could ask questions. She wouldn't let me get loud or messy.

She could be stubborn about stuff like that. This time she insisted on drafting a night shift nephew to run to down the Al-Khar to collect a squad of TunFaire's self-proclaimed finest.

They responded to the Tate name.

If the boy had used mine the tin whistles might have taken weeks. The Tates have friends in that community of people who think law and order is good for commerce. They have the kind of money that rears up on its hind legs and howls for immediate attention. The red tops nearly beat themselves to the AMC Annex, where Tinnie had us keeping house.

That was her idea of a compromise. She did not want to live in my house. I was dead set against being pulled in and converted into another drone in the Tate family hive.

"This would not have happened on Macunado Street," I observed. "They wouldn't have gotten through the door. Unless Old Bones wanted to play with them. And we'd know what it was all about already."

They say women change once they get their talons in and locked. I wouldn't presume to enter an opinion. But I am willing to admit that spending time at my place, even with the Dead Man wide awake, had been no problem for Tinnie back when we were just real good friends.

She ignored me. She was working herself up to make a deal with the minions of the law. She ignored our captives, too.

Those two would have a tale to tell their grandkids. If they got lucky, a miracle happened, lightning struck, and they evaded the labor gang that was their certain fate at the moment.

A tin whistle named Scithe led the red tops. Scithe was a little too appreciative of a certain redhead. Not a friend, by any means. Most lawmen don't even trust each other. But he was decent and reasonable outside his weakness for ginger.

Scithe said, "I don't understand, Miss Tate. You're still associating with this known anti-social type."

"He's like a wart. Hard to get rid of. And he does have entertainment value. For now, though, I'd be ever so grateful if you could take these two men somewhere and ask them why they interrupted my rest."

Scithe made an unhappy noise. He considered the villains. They, only now, were getting a grasp on the bleakness of their prospects.

They hadn't struck me as drunk. Maybe they smoked something before they got what seemed like a good idea at the time.

They had to be brothers. The older one muttered, "We're screwed." The only thing either had said yet. They hadn't tried to talk their way out using ridiculous logic and excuses, which is what these morons usually do.

"Not necessarily true, my friend," Scithe said. "As a Civil Guard officer I'm permitted a certain amount of discretion. You could walk away from this with nothing but your bruises. If you're the stubborn sort, though, it's a safe bet you'll spend time in the Bledsoe healing up so you can put in a few years helping reclaim the Little Dismal Swamp."

"Shit," the younger one opined, without heat. "Just kill us now."

"There ain't no easy way out, boys. You done a bad thing. What you got to decide now is, how do you want to pay your debt to society?"

Scithe was having fun.

His question was not meant to be answered. Neither villain tried. Both were, now, lost souls wandering a desert of despair.

Tinnie said, "They could probably get some cooperation points if they came clean right now, couldn't they, Senior Lieutenant?"

I took a closer look at Scithe. Sure enough, he was sporting senior lieutenant's pips. He was bounding up the law and order ladder.

The man had a knack for something besides mooning after redheads. He could get villains to keep him happy by confiding in him, urged along by his implying that he could provide something they wanted badly: a way out.

"Gentlemen, you have to give me something. I know you aren't stupid." Which was a bald-face lie. "You know how the system works. You'll go to the Al-Khar because I can't not take you in. We have to see if you're on the wanted book for something ugly. If you have no majors there, you could walk out under your own power." In chains, headed for the swamp. "You know we do let folks go to encourage the rest of you to cooperate. So far, here, all we've got is a jimmied lock and some folks who aren't happy about getting waked up in the middle of the night. So why not tell me? What's the story?"

The elder brother thought he'd give cooperation a chance. Condemnation to the Little Dismal Swamp project amounted to a death sentence. Though some prisoners might complete their sentences, someday. None have yet but the project isn't all that old.

"We was supposed to catch the woman and take her someplace. The guy wasn't supposed to be here. If he was, we was supposed to bop him on the head and get out. With her."

That sparked interest all round. None of us would expect Tinnie to be a target.

Scithe can be blisteringly obvious. "Why?"

Shrug. "We didn't get paid to ask questions."

"You did get paid?"

Tin whistles looked at me like I knew what this was all about.

"Talk to him," I grumbled. "He's the one with the answers."

Here was one now. "Forty percent. The balance on delivery."

"Let me get this straight." Scithe was having trouble getting his mind around something. "You were hired to kidnap Miss Tate."

"Ain't that what I just confessed?"

"You did. Yes." Scithe took no offense, nor did he argue, however senseless the villain's statement. "Who might be so starved for Miss Tate's company that he, or she, would enlist your assistance in arranging a date?"

Both bad boys frowned and wrestled with that. The younger one worked it out. "Jimmy Two Steps hired us."

I gave Tinnie a dirty look. I was so out of touch I didn't know who Jimmy Two Steps was. Then me and the minions of the law exchanged eyebrow lifts. They didn't know Jimmy, either.

Nor did Tinnie, who said, "I don't know anybody named Jimmy."

Mysteries. We got mysteries. We got off the wall mysteries.

It's the way things start. There's a smoldering hottie underfoot. But, Tinnie? It's more usually a personable wench from the grass is greener side.

I told myself, "This isn't something getting started. This is just random." But even clicking my heels didn't convince me.

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Gilded Latten Bones (Garrett, P. I. Series #13) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Mr-E More than 1 year ago
Even after so many Garrett, P.I. books the characters are fresh, entertaining and leave you wanting more. If you are looking for a good mystery with a fantasy flare then pick up the Garrett, P.I. series and hang on you are going to want to read them all. A special thanks to Mr. Cook for releasing his new book to the Nook family.
Gilbert_M_Stack More than 1 year ago
I’ve been a big fan of the Garrett Files since reading Sweet Silver Blues some twenty years ago. Glen Cook pretty much invented (perhaps with some inspiration from John Ostrander’s Grim Jack) what has become a staple of the market today—a detective navigating his way through a supernatural world. Cook has written this series with an endearing mix of engaging mystery, easy levity and solid action punctuated by moments of soul-touching emotion. The Garrett files are structured around the dynamic made famous by Rex Stout in his series about Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. Garrett plays the role of Goodwin—a capable detective who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He pokes his nose into everybody’s business and has a great cast of friends and acquaintances he calls upon to help keep him alive while he does it. The role of Wolfe is filled by the Deadman—a creature who has literally been dead for centuries but hasn’t quite moved on yet. He’s a genius, but he needs Garrett to gather the information that will allow him to solve the mystery. Over the course of the series we’ve watched Garrett and his magical city of TunFaire slowly evolve to the point where at the end of the last novel (Cruel Zinc Melodies) our bachelor detective was finally retiring and settling down with his on-again off-again love interest, Tinnie Tate.  Gilded Latten Bones picks up eighteen months later. Garrett has in essence withdrawn from the company of his friends and has dedicated his life to prove to Tinnie how important to him she is. They are living together but haven’t gotten married yet and no date actually seems to be on the horizon. Over the course of the book it becomes obvious that while they still love each other they are not happy together and the disillusionment of their love is a realistic but depressing note to the story. Tinnie is having a great deal of difficulty dealing with Garrett’s need to take care of his best friend, Morley Dotes, who has been knifed and is near death. Garrett’s detective skills are rusty and he makes a lot of mistakes in the book. Matters are not made easier for him by his need to physically guard Dotes. It quickly becomes apparent to Garrett that his city has changed a lot in the past eighteen months and that the attempt to murder Dotes is mixed up in aristocratic politics with some heavy wizardry thrown in. It’s a very exciting and satisfying mystery, but the dying relationship with Tinnie and Garrett’s easy ability to move on to the next woman before he has completely disentangled himself from Tinnie deflated (I think purposely) some of the excitement generated by the adventure. Over all, I liked the book and still love the series. Four stars. 
BadgerWI More than 1 year ago
I have been enjoying the entire series now. Its light reading, and fun to page through. Some more changes in characters and happenings. His new love interest should be interesting. I recommend the series for this looking to red something not too deep, but highly entertaining.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Good character growth and interesting new characters
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's like seeing an old friend again...not quite the same, maybe not as agile, but more thoughtful, and still fun!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is entertaining and a good read. Good for when traveling; while on vacation; or just relaxing with a bowl of chips.
BookMason on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love this series and this may be the best yet. Garrett is aging and his life is changing, how different is that for most fantasy series. I still hate the covers, but this is the best PI noire fantasy series ever written.
TadAD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unlike Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, who explicitly never change their age despite the years passing in the novel, Glen Cook's characters created in homage to that duo do get older. Garrett has semi-retired from the gumshoe business and getting out of bed in the morning reveals a few aches and pains; the Dead Man needs his room a little colder; Dean (the Fritz analog), has trouble walking up stairs; and even the dames who used to torment Garrett with those sultry poses and slow, seductive walks have given up the skintight leather because, as they say ruefully, "things are beginning to sag in a few places."Cook has given us another fast-paced episode in the series, full of the expected blend of laughter and noir, but this new aspect gave it an added dimension that put a little extra something of life into it. The characters are more thoughtful and just that small bit more aware of consequences. Though I've enjoyed this entire series, I enjoyed this one more than any since the very first books that introduced everything.I don't know if he did it as a start to a whole new set of chapters in the series or as a swan song to take the characters offstage gracefully and with dignity. Either way, it was good.
dswaddell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Garret has retired from the detective business and is trying to make a go of it with Tinny....until someone trys to kill the two of them and seriously injures Morely. As his personal life gets confusing and he tries to work with his friends to discover and stop the killer he becomes entangled in intrique at the highest levels of Tunnfaires politics. A good book in the series.
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I like the direction he has taken with this story. Love the way he has kept the main players in the story. This book puts Garrett back in the thick of things where he belongs.Here's hoping Mr. Cook continues with many more great Garrett story's. He hasn't wrote a bad one yet and this on is one of his best.
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