Jan 21, 2009

Mean Streets - Review

Mean Streets, edited by Jim Butcher and Simon R. Green. (Roc, January 2009).

Like other anthologies of this ilk it's a good introduction to authors you may have heard about but have not yet had a chance to read. All four paranormal detective stories are new and written specifically for this anthology, and each is linked to a particular series.

The Warrior by Jim Butcher

Chicago wizard Harry Dresden has been charged with guarding two holy swords of the Lord God Almighty. Unfortunately one mortal is determined to take these sacred weapons for himself and kill anyone, namely Harry, who gets in his way. Warrior is the first book in this collection of 4 novellas. It has the length of a short story. For the most part I found the characters and plot absorbing yet there seemed to be information missing to make the story complete. Angels, the Church, and at least one holy warrior are involved. For me this is a dynamite combination. I haven't kept up with all the Dresden adventures, but I don't think such a scenario has occurred previously. Perhaps it will in the future. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who knows for certain. Let me also say that Harry is a favorite character of mine, and I still have not forgiven the SciFi channel for canceling the Dresden Files.

Dresden Files

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)

Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2)

Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3)

Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, Book 4)

Death Masks (The Dresden Files, Book 5)

Blood Rites (The Dresden Files, Book 6)

Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, Book 7)

Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, Book 8)

White Night (The Dresden Files, Book 9)

Small Favor (The Dresden Files, Book 10)

Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, Book 11) Roc (April 7, 2009)

The Difference a Day Makes by Simon R. Green

A distraught Liza Barclay stumbles into the Nightside - a nightmarish place located somewhere in London; a place few mortal come upon by accident. Still that's what happened to her. P I John Taylor, who calls Nightside home, promises to help. Unfortunately it leads Rotten Row, a part of town that even gives residents of this crazy place the willies. Although I have all of Green's books this is the first story of the series that I have read. Now I know what I have been missing. Green has created a captivating bizarre world and a wonderful character in John Taylor. So many books. So little time. But I will have to make time for more tales of the Nightside.

Nightside series

Something from the Nightside (Nightside, Book 1)

Agents of Light and Darkness (Nightside, Book 2)

Nightingale's Lament (Nightside, Book 3)

Hex and the City (Nightside, Book 4)

Paths Not Taken (Nightside, Book 5)

Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth (Nightside, Book 6)

Hell to Pay (Nightside, Book 7)

The Unnatural Inquirer (Nightside, Book 8)

Just Another Judgement Day (Nightside, Book 9) Ace (January 6, 2009)

The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog
by Kat Richardson

Harper Blain walks in the Grey, a place that exists between our world and the next. There she sees energy fields, ghosts, monsters, and other unsavory creatures. This has been her life for the last year since she died and returned to life. In Third Death an assignment take her to Oaxaca, Mexico to place a clay statue of a dog on a grave during the Day of the Dead. She well knows that nothing concerning the dead is easy. Harper finds herself immersed in a tragic family mystery that can only be solved with the help of a few ghosts (including a really cute dog) who must be coaxed into giving up their secrets. Greywalker, another series I have collecting dust on my shelves, and I hang my head in shame because Kat Richardson is one heck of a writer and Harper Blain is one heck of a heroine.

Greywalker series

Greywalker (Greywalker, Book 1)

Poltergeist (Greywalker, Book 2)

Underground (Greywalker, Book 3)

Vanished (Greywalker, Book 4) Roc (August 4, 2009)

Noah's Orphans by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Fallen angel Remiel left Heaven after the Great War against the Morningstar in order to live among humans. In his human form he witnessed Noah build his wondrous Ark and same those the Lord deemed worthy of survival. Now in modern times Remiel goes by the name Remy Chandler and works as a private investigator. As it turns out Noah has lived an extremely long life until someone murders him. Remy is tasked with finding the culprit. Orphans is the weakest of the four novellas. It has an interesting premise and I like the idea of Biblical connections, but the plot at times strains credulity. I would like to read more of Sniegoski's work before I make any further judgment on his writing.

Remy Chandler series

A Kiss Before the Apocalypse

Dancing on the Head of a Pin: A Remy Chandler Novel Roc (April 7, 2009)


darbyscloset said...

Instead of "hanging your head in shame", why don't you create a challenge with "Kat's" books? I'm sure others would enjoy it as well!!!
Just Thinking....
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Vickie said...

I was so glad that this particular anthology was so flippin' good! I don't always have the best of luck with that grouping, but decided to give it a try since it contained least two superb authors I knew. How happy was I when I was able to add two more fab authors to my look for list?!

PatriciaAltner said...

Hi Darby

How does that work?

PatriciaAltner said...


I agree it is a good collection. I must find more hours in the day for reading.

SciFiGuy said...

I've been meaning to get this collection, I follow all of the series here accept the Sniegoski which I haven't had the chance to read. This should be a good opportunity. Kat Richardson's stuff is awesome, you really should dust it off.

Vickie said...

Patricia: When I become independently wealthy, then I will have all the hours to read...after I get through my workout sessions with my personal trainer, Lars.

PatriciaAltner said...


Does Lars have a brother?

PatriciaAltner said...

Hi Doug

I bought a new feather duster just for this occasion.

Vickie said...

Patricia: Lars has a twin brother, Sven.....

PatriciaAltner said...


Sven! I like that name.

What a wonderful fantasy!