Miro Hetzel is an effectuator – in effect, a private investigator. This book contains two of his cases.
Despite the unusual-for-Vance title “Dogtown Tourist Agency”, the story is straightforward Vance, with effectuatory Miro Hetzel traveling to the planet Maz to track down a mysterious shipping company. Maz contains the usual mix of weird races and aloof characters, though the fun language and footnotes are toned down a bit from the Vance usual. It’s a fun if not outstanding story.
“Freitzke’s Turn” is a more limited but still enjoyable story in which Hetzel searches for a brilliant but twisted old schoolmate. The setup is fairly thin, and we mostly just follow along as Hetzel solves the case. The end, however, is satisfying, and more upbeat (in some ways) than usual.
All in all, very enjoyable exemplars of the standard Vance, though with slightly less unusual vocabulary. A must for Vance fans, fun for occasional Vance readers, and a good entry point for new readers.