Fredric Brown meets Terry Pratchett.Or, 1940s detective pulp noir fiction meets a wacky science fiction universe.Either way, The Automatic Detective is a light, funny, well-written novel. It never goes awry. Considering the sorry state of modern genre publishing, that's an achievement in itself.The adventures of Mack Megaton, an erstwhile killing machine burdened with free will and a conscience, make for a good read. A. Lee Martinez hits the right notes and nods to the classic elements of the pulp noir detective story. I did note a few passages that seemed oddly repetitious - enough to make me wonder if the book had first been serialized in a magazine, and then imperfectly fixed up - but these are only the mildest of flaws. I hope to see a sequel, or several, and I'll keep an eye out for more by Mr. Martinez.