The Watch Arc: Great whodunit/conspiracy stories that feature the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, the city's police force, Lord Vetinari, the cities patrician, and a variety of cameos from the other arcs. This story arc is arguably one of the most popular, largely due to the strong character development.
‘Vimes ran a practised eye over the assortment before him. It was the usual Ankh-Morpork mob in times of crisis; half of them were here to complain, a quarter of them were here to watch the other half, and the remainder were here to rob, importune or sell hotdogs to the rest.’
Insurrection is in the air in Ankh-Morpork. The Haves and Have-Nots are about to fall out all over again. Captain Sam Vimes of the city’s ramshackle Night Watch is used to this. It’s enough to drive a man to drink. Well, to drink more. But this time, something is different – the Have-Nots have found the key to a dormant, lethal weapon that even they don’t fully understand, and they’re about to unleash a campaign of terror on the city. Time for Captain Vimes to sober up.
'What's so hard about pulling a sword out of a stone? The real work's already been done. You ought to make yourself useful and find the man who put the sword in the stone in the first place.'
The City Watch needs MEN! But what it's got includes Corporal Carrot (technically a dwarf), Lance-constable Cuddy (really a dwarf), Lance-constable Detritus (a troll), Lance-constable Angua (a woman... most of the time) and Corporal Nobbs (disqualified from the human race for shoving).
And they need all the help they can get, because someone in Ankh-Morpork has been getting dangerous ideas - about crowns and legendary swords, and destiny. And the problem with destiny is, of course, that she is not always careful where she points her finger. One minute you might be minding your own business on a normal if not spectacular career path, the next you might be in the frame for the big job, like saving the world...
'Sorry?' said Carrot. If it's just a thing, how can it commit murder? A sword is a thing' - he drew his own sword; it made an almost silken sound - 'and of course you can't blame a sword if someone thrust it at you, sir.'
For Commander Vimes, Head of Ankh-Morpork City Watch, life consists of troubling times, linked together by…well, more troubling times. Right now, it’s the latter. There’s a werewolf with pre-lunar tension in the city, and a dwarf with attitude and a golem who’s begun to think for itself, but that’s just ordinary trouble. The real problem is more puzzling - people are being murdered, but there's no trace of anything alive having been at the crime scene. So Vimes not only has to find out whodunit, but howdunit too. He's not even sure what they dun. But soon as he knows what the questions are, he's going to want some answers.
'Neighbours... hah. People'd live for ages side by side, nodding at one another amicably on their way to work, and then some trivial thing would happen and someone would be having a garden fork removed from their ear.'
And when the neighbours in question are the proud empires of Klatch and Ankh-Morpork, those are going to be some pretty large garden tools indeed. Of course, no-one would dream of starting a war without a perfectly good reason…such as a 'strategic' piece of old rock in the middle of nowhere. It is after all every citizen's right to bear arms to defend what they consider to be their own. Even if it isn't. And even if they don’t have much in the way of actual weaponry. As two armies march, Commander Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch faces unpleasant foes who are out to get him... and that's just the people on his side. The enemy might be even worse.
Discworld goes to war, with armies of sardines, warriors, fishermen, squid and at least one very camp follower.
They say that diplomacy is a gentle art. That mastering it is a lifetime's work. But you do need a certain inclination in that direction. It's not something you can just pick up on the job.
A few days ago Sam Vimes was a copper – an important copper, true – chief of police – but still, at his core, a policeman. But today he is an ambassador - to the mysterious, fat-rich country of Uberwald. Today, Sam Vimes is also a man on the run.
He has nothing but his native wit and the gloomy trousers of Uncle Vanya (don't ask). It's snowing. It's freezing. And if he can't make it through the forest to civilization there's going to be a terrible war.
There are monsters on his trail. They're bright. They're fast. They're werewolves - and they're catching up.
'Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come round again. That's why they're called revolutions. People die, and nothing changes.'
For a policeman, there can be few things worse than a serial killer loose in your city. Except, perhaps, a serial killer who targets coppers, and a city on the brink of bloody revolution.
For Commander Sam Vimes, it all feels horribly familiar. He’s back in his own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck. Living in the past is hard. But he must survive, because he has a job to do. He must track down the murderer and change the outcome of the rebellion.
The problem is: if he wins, he's got no wife, no child, no future...
A Discworld Tale of One City, with a full chorus of street urchins, ladies of negotiable affection, rebels, secret policemen and other children of the revolution.
Truth! Justice! Freedom! And a Hard-boiled Egg!
'Some people would be asking: whose side are you on? If you're not for us, you're against us. Huh. If you're not an apple, you're a banana'
Koom Valley, the ancient battle where the trolls ambushed the dwarfs, or the dwarfs ambushed the trolls, was a long time ago.
But if he doesn't solve the murder of just one dwarf, Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch is going to see it fought again, right outside his office.
With his beloved Watch crumbling around him and war-drums sounding, he must unravel every clue, outwit every assassin and brave any darkness to find the solution. And darkness is following him.
Oh . . . and at six o'clock every day, without fail, with no excuses, he must go home to read 'Where's My Cow?', with all the right farmyard noises, to his little boy.
There are some things you have to do.
This is the countryside, after all. Everyone sees where you go and you never know who is behind a hedge.
And if you're very unlucky, the person behind the hedge could have very unfriendly intentions. It may look idyllic, but the countryside isn't all flowers and thatched cottages and bracing walks in your best tweed. Beneath the greenery lies a dark underbelly, and there's something about rambling country houses that attracts dastardly plots and grisly murder. A challenge for any detective, but especially for one bred in the city who doesn't understand the Way Things Are Done. In the countryside, people know their place, and everyone else's place too, especially if it's beneath their own. And they have some rather old fashioned ideas about people who are different from them.