Miro Hetzel is an effectuator: a private investigator and gentleman of the Gaean Reach. This book contains two stories of his adventures.
"The Dogtown Tourist Agency" - The Istagam Corporation has found an inexpensive means of manufacturing technical goods which greatly undercuts its competition. Hetzel, hired by that competition, must trace down the mysterious Istagam and discover their secret. His investigation leads him to the dangerous and exotic planet Maz, whose inhuman inhabitants' life cycle is dependent upon conflict and warfare. There he becomes embroiled in murder.
"Freitzke's Turn" - Hetzel must locate one Faurence Dacre, a brilliant surgeon and sociopath who has stolen the body parts of Hetzel's client. In order to locate Dacre, Hetzel must retrace the man's history to find his likely hiding place.
* "Only Lord Dunsany could create worlds, names, atmospheres as magical as Jack Vance s; and Vance is a better storyteller." Poul Anderson
* "You can't possibly pass up any book by Jack Vance. He has perfected the trick of creating new worlds so deceptively real that after a while your own home seems imaginary." Jerry Pournelle
* Be warned: reading Vance is addictive. George R.R. Martin
* A modern classic by one of the great fantasy and science fiction writers of the 20th Century. A rare tale of an Earth so far in the future as to be nearly unrecognisable to the contemporary reader. Raymond E. Feist