Necromancy student Tara Abernathy has been thrown out of her school--literally--only to be recruited by the stern Ms. Kevarian to work for the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao. Brother Abelard is a naive, chain-smoking priest of Kos, god of the city of Alt Coulumb, who has discovered that his god is...dead. Tara and Ms. Kevarian arrive in Alt Coulumb to bring Kos back from the dead, and that's when things get really complicated.
Max Gladstone has created a rich, colorful world where gods are real and make deals with mortals through complicated contracts, necromancers work like lawyers, vampires sail the seas as dashing pirates, gargoyles skulk in alleyways and on rooftops, and the local police are an extension of the goddess of Justice. It's a world that's kind of steampunk, kind of like the modern world, yet utterly fantastic and eerie at the same time. The characters are fun and complicated, their dialogue rife with sarcasm. And all of this delicious world-building and characterization is wrapped around a thrilling mystery-adventure with loads of twists and red herrings.
Three Parts Dead is the first book in a series, taking fantasy tropes and mixing them with real world politics. It's a cool, heady mix. It's a mix well worth diving into if you're looking for something different from your standard fantasy.