Discworld novels that focus on the Watch (police "force" of Ankh-Morpork) have been solid for me. I love Sam Vimes and the ragged band of characters that make up the force, like Nobby Nobbs, who's technically human, Carrot, the tallest dwarf ever, and Cheery Littlebottom, a dwarf with the best name ever.
Thud! involves a thousands-year old feud between trolls and dwarves. The original battle was at Koom Valley, and there's a famous, wall-sized painting of it that is supposed to contain clues about... something. (It was painted by an insane guy paranoid about the Chicken getting him.) Coming up is the anniversary of Koom Valley, and the painting has been stolen, a dwarf has been found dead next to a troll club, a Black Ribboner (reformed vampire) wants to join the Watch, angry trolls are lumbering around hopped up on drugs, and it's up to Vimes to figure out who really killed the dwarf, what this goddam vampire wants from him, how to prevent a full-blown inter-species war, and how to avoid eating the lettuce in his healthy BLT sandwiches.
Everything gets worked out in typical Pratchett fashion, and a good time is had by all.
A new word! Coprolite: fossilized animal dung.
An out-of-context dirty phrase! "C'mon if you think you're hard enough!" he screamed wildly.
Various other brief excerpts and amusing phrases!
- "hell went for a stroll with its sleeves rolled up."
- About a VIMP (Very Important Museum Person): "not so much speech as modulated yawning."
- "point the finger of scoff"
- Thoughts on how the only thing religion does is "put a gloss on slaughter."
- "War, Nobby. Huh! What is it good for?" he said.
"Dunno, sarge. Freeing slaves, maybe?"
"Absol- Well, okay."
"Defending yourself from a totalitarian aggressor?"
"All right, I’ll grant you that, but-"
"Saving civilisation against a horde of-"
"It doesn’t do any good in the long run is what I’m saying, Nobby, if you’d listen for five seconds together," Fred Colon sharply.
"Yeah, but in the long run what does, sarge?"