I've flirted with variations on the mystery form in other books. Mulengro, Angel of Darkness and From a Whisper to a Scream (the latter two first published under the pen name of Samuel M. Key) were all, at their heart, police procedurals, sparked mostly, I'd guess, from years of reading Ed McBain. I'd also touched on spy thrillers (the RCMP sections of Moonheart), tropes such as organized crime (the Mafia in Greenmantle), and various hardboiled characters who've shown up in the pages of various novels and stories.
But this was the first time that I sat down to deliberately write a mystery novel, with a PI as a lead character, and no fantasy elements whatsoever, hedging my bets only slightly by giving Jevon "Jake" Swann a love for Celtic music. (It doesn't matter where you put Celtic music; it always holds a touch of magic to it.) And then I set the story in Ottawa, because that's where I was living at the time and I liked having my characters walk around in the same neighbourhoods that I did, or could.
--Charles de Lint
Originally written in 1985, The Road to Lisdoonvarna is Charles de Lint's only attempt at a straight mystery. (Fans of his may well have read his horror novels published under the name "Samuel M. Key.") The Subterranean Press edition of The Road to Lisdoonvarna -- the only edition under contract - is limited to 2000 autographed numbered copies fully bound in cloth. Fine in fine dj.