Hot Lead, Cold Iron (#1)

Next: Hallow Point (#2)

Chicago, 1932. Mick Oberon may look like just another private detective, but beneath the fedora and the overcoat, he’s got pointy ears and he’s packing a wand. 

Oberon’s used to solving supernatural crimes, but the latest one’s extra weird. A mobster’s daughter was kidnapped sixteen years ago, replaced with a changeling, and Mick’s been hired to find the real child. The trail’s gone cold, but what there is leads Sideways, to the world of the Fae, where the Seelie Court rules. And Mick’s not really welcome in the Seelie Court any more. He’ll have to wade through Fae politics and mob power struggles to find the kidnapper – and of course it’s the last person he expected.


“In this gripping fantastical investigation, Marmell creates an engaging world and an unlikely hero […] The potent mix of gangsters, magic, Fae politics, and a strega on the warpath makes for a ride that never touches the brakes. Marmell expertly maximizes the thrills, leaving the reader with a lingering desire for a magic wand and a glass of warm milk.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Intriguing and sufficiently original.”


“Fantasy meets period detective-gangster drama […] Marmell provides a rollicking take […] [The voice] quickly becomes likable, full of grumpy asides and funny turns of phrase.”

SFX Magazine

“Marmell does an excellent job of mixing urban fantasy and Noir […] This book is a fun ride and any reader of urban fantasy will love it. It’s also a great entry into the genre for readers of pulp fiction, mysteries and detective stories. The action is non-stop, and the glimpses of Otherworld Chicago are compelling.”

Seattle Pi

“There are enough subtle and surprising elements involved in the world to enchant readers, and Oberon is an absolutely delightful protagonist […] He has an uncanny way of paring opposing elements – a strong, fast, bold […] with stunningly subtle and incredibly well crafted world building elements […] It’s a lot of fun, and Marmell is an author I really want to hit it big. He deserves it, and this book shows a lot of his strengths.”

Bookworm Blues

“An urban fantasy well-suited to lovers of historical fantasy, especially of Gangster-era Chicago […] it’s an extremely entertaining historical / urban fantasy that I read quickly and eagerly.”

SF Signal

“The first “Mick Oberon Job” gives the hardboiled genre a truly magical revamp […] It is populated by vividly eccentric characters, both from the world of crime and from the world of magic […] Yet it also offers a glimpse of what family is all about, a picture that is heart-warming and beautiful while at the same time touched by disturbing weirdness.”


“HOT LEAD, COLD IRON is as hard boiled a detective drama as anything written by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler or Mickey Spillane, and Marmell captures the vernacular of the period wonderfully […] HOT LEAD, COLD IRON could easily have been published in any one of the popular pulp detective magazines of the ’30s and yet it’s pace and characterizations are undoubtedly contemporary […] Ari Marmell will soon be crowned the foremost purveyor of Macabre Noir.”

Starburst Magazine

“Marmell has crafted a great detective story that really harks back to the old black and white movies starring people like Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney that some of us older readers love so much. The character of Mike Oberon is written so well and with such an authentic tint to him that you could even imagine him in one of those movies […] Oberon’s voice sings out loud and proud through the story and really creates a memorable character in amongst some really well written characters that lurk in the background of the tale […] Marmell has written an absolutely brilliant mash up novel.”

Curiosity of a Social Misfit

“The book does a nice job of never tipping its hand, with a climax that delivers on all aspects.”


“The world that Marmell has created for his characters is rich and full of potential […] The story is riveting, a page-turner that keeps you engaged as well as setting up this new urban fantasy with the scope for so many stories. HOT LEAD, COLD IRON is a very good book and I can’t wait for the next story in the series.”

Clandestine Critic

“This is brilliant urban fantasy fiction, great fun for anyone who likes the genre and wants something a little different.”

Wondrous Reads

“It brings a fantasy twist to the nit and grit of the mystery novel genre […] For those looking to venture into a new cross-genre, HOT LEAD is one series that has my recommendation.”

Project Fandom

“HOT LEAD, COLD IRON is a wonderful book. It combines a detective story with a fantasy environment perfectly. The author captures the grit of the film noir private eye and the soul of 1930s Chicago well, without being too heavy handed with the slang of the era. The story moves at a fast pace and never gets dull. Mick Oberon is a memorable character and I look forward to the next installment in the series.“

Bartleby’s Book Review

“HOT LEAD, COLD IRON is the finest urban fantasy detective novel of the past few years. Both elements work equally and Marmell gives us an exciting read that is not without an incisive look at the present day and the heart of the genre itself.”

Ed Gorman, author of The Poker Club