Read Down These Strange Streets by George R.R. Martin Gardner Dozois Charlaine Harris Joe R. Lansdale Simon R. Green Steven Saylor S.M. Stirling Carrie Vaughn Online


Urban fantasy where mystery waits at the end of every alley and things that go bump in the night have something to fear... 1 The Bastard Stepchild - George R.R. Martin 2 Death by Dahlia - Charlaine Harris 3 The Bleeding Shadow - Joe R. Lansdale 4 Hungry Heart - Simon R. Green 5 Styx and Stones - Steven Saylor 6 Pain and Suffering - S.M. Stirling 7 It's Still the Same Old SUrban fantasy where mystery waits at the end of every alley and things that go bump in the night have something to fear... 1 The Bastard Stepchild - George R.R. Martin 2 Death by Dahlia - Charlaine Harris 3 The Bleeding Shadow - Joe R. Lansdale 4 Hungry Heart - Simon R. Green 5 Styx and Stones - Steven Saylor 6 Pain and Suffering - S.M. Stirling 7 It's Still the Same Old Story - Carrie Vaughn8 The Lady is a Screamer - Conn Iggulden 9 Hellbender - Laurie R. King 10 Shadow Thieves - Glen Cook 11 No Mystery, No Miracle - Melinda M. Snodgrass 12 The Difference Between a Puzzle and a Mystery - M.L.N. Hanover13 The Curious Affair of the Deodand - Lisa Tuttle 14 Lord John and the Plague of Zombies - Diana Gabaldon15 Beware the Snake - John Maddox Roberts 16 In Red, with Pearls - Patricia Briggs 17 The Adakian Eagle - Bradley Denton...

Title : Down These Strange Streets
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780441020744
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 479 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Down These Strange Streets Reviews

  • Rebecca
    2019-04-20 19:54

    You can also read this review at Reflections on Reading Romance Rating: 4.5 out of 5Despite its hardcover price, this is one of the better anthologies that I’ve read and well worth the money. The stories are outstanding and varied, and there’s a clear connection between them, as described in the prologue “The Bastard Stepchild,” written by George R. R. Martin. The bastard stepchild to which he refers is Urban Fantasy, an amalgam of the horror and mystery genres, and each of the stories features a mystery and detective of some sort. The anthology includes a total of sixteen stories, plus the prologue by George R. R. Martin. Originally I had planned on only mentioned a few of my favorite stories, but the excellent writing made it difficult to limit this review to only some of the entries. Here a few comments about each of the stories. 1. “Death by Dahlia” by Charlaine Harris We first met vampire Dahlia Lynly Chivers in the story “Tacky” in My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding, and she’s long been a favorite of mine. In “Death by Dahlia” the vampires have a new sheriff in control of their nest and they’re celebrating his installation with a huge party. When one of the human blood donors is murdered, Dahlia steps in to investigate. I’m not a fan of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books, but I always enjoy her Dahlia stories set in that world, and this one is no exception. It’s one of the more light-hearted offerings in the collection and is lots of fun. 3.5 out of 52. “The Bleeding Shadow” by Joe R. Lansdale This story has a film noir feel to it, and I loved it. The gritty private detective is asked by a hot dame to look into her brother’s disappearance when a record with some demonic sounding blues arrives at her house with frightening consequences. 3.5 out of 53. “Hungry Heart” by Simon R. Green Another lighthearted addition to the anthology, Green’s contribution features detective John Taylor from Green’s Nightside series. A young witch hires Taylor to recover her heart from her former mentor, but it turns out that the box holding her heart is of interest to many parties. The clever ending and Taylor’s humor throughout made this story a blast. 4 out of 54. “Styx and Stones” by Steven Saylor This story is part of Saylor’s Roma Sub Rosa series that stars Gordianus the Finder, and while it’s the first of his work I’ve read, it certainly won’t be the last. In this prequel to the series, we witness Gordianus as a teenager visiting the Seven Wonders of the World. When he and his companion Antipater arrive in Babylon, Gordianus is intrigued by the haunting of a nearby temple. While my four years of high school Latin aren’t enough to attest to the historical accuracy of the story, it’s a lot of fun and one of my favorites of the collection. 4 out of 55. “Pain and Suffering” by S. M. Stirling This story had a more paranormal feel to it than many of the others. Cop Eric Salvador finds his nightmares of his time in Afghanistan taking a strange turn when he and his partner investigate a bizarre arson and missing persons case. I enjoyed the story, but the ending felt abrupt and a bit open-ended, making me wonder if this is part of a series I’m not familiar with, although the short intro to the story didn’t indicate that it was. 3.5 out of 56. “It’s Still the Same Old Story” by Carrie Vaughn Set in the world of Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series, this story features vampire Rick, who responds to a phone call from an old friend, only to find her murdered. There isn’t much of a mystery, as Rick knows from the beginning who’s responsible for his friend’s death, but the flashbacks to when they met and how the mystery unfolds make this an enjoyable read. 3 out of 57. “The Lady is a Screamer” by Conn Iggulden Narrator Jack Garner is a charmer of a conman, working as a ghostbuster after years of taking advantage of grieving families by pretending to be a psychic. While he doesn’t seem all that likeable at the beginning, by the end you’ll be rooting for this ne’er do well. This was one of my favorites, no doubt because of the hero’s ability to win the reader over. 4 out of 58. “Hellbender” by Laurie R. King I enjoyed this entry by King that features a private detective who’s more than human. He’s approached by a woman to investigate the disappearance of her brother and seven other missing people. His digging into the mystery attracts some frightening attention, uncovering some disturbing interest into “scientific” developments. I liked how the story and truth about the hero unfolded, plus the twist about the government at the end made me laugh. 4.5 out of 59. “Shadow Thieves” by Glen Cook This is part of Cook’s Garret, P.I. series and almost lost me only a few pages in. Garret is approached by several different parties to recover a powerful artifact, but it’s very unclear who is trustworthy and who’s the rightful owner. The world building was intriguing, but the rough beginning and my lack of connection to the characters made this the weakest of the collection for me. I suspect that if I’d read other books in the series, however, I might feel differently. 3 out of 510. “No Mystery, No Miracle” by Melinda M. Snodgrass Set during the days of the Great Depression, Snodgrass plays with several mythologies and religions while creating a fascinating story. The hero, Cross, is posing as a hobo to look into some suspicious hobo markings that resemble signs from old gods. His investigation has him acting to ensure FDR’s presidential nomination in mysterious ways. This story has some of the tightest writing in the collection. 4.5 out of 511. “The Difference Between a Puzzle and a Mystery” by M. L. N. Hanover Cops call in an exorcist when they discover the body of a young woman apparently sacrificed in some sort of occult ritual. The man arrested for the crime claims to be possessed by a demon, but the real mystery stems from his reaction when confronted by the exorcist. Very intriguing story and I liked the resolution that still left some mysteries unexplained. 4 out of 512. “The Curious Affair of the Deodand” by Lisa Tuttle Set in the nineteenth century, Miss Lane is a gentlewoman seeking employment who finds herself acting as an assistant to a young detective. A man approaches them on his fiancée’s behalf, asking that they investigate her former fiancé’s death. The story began well, and I was intrigued by the female heroine’s role as Watson, but the ending left me a bit cold. Not badly written, but a little lacking in action or suspense. 3 out of 5 13. “Lord John and the Plague of Zombies” by Diana Gabaldon I haven’t read any of Gabaldon’s books, which no doubt affected my enjoyment of this story since Lord John is a recurring character in her Outlander series and has his own series. I actually stopped reading and had to pick the story up again later, because it didn’t capture my interest. However, if you’re a fan of her series, you’ll no doubt enjoy reading about Lord John’s adventures in the West Indies, and the various creepy crawlies on the island were almost more frightening the actual zombies. 3 out of 514. “Beware the Snake” by John Maddox Roberts Part of the author’s SPQR series of mysteries set in Ancient Rome, this story was a hoot. Decius Caecilius is asked by Caesar to investigate a missing swamp adder, a sacred being to some powerful allies of Rome. Decius’ dry humor makes light of the mystery, but the ending is a lot of fun, even though the story went by too quickly. As with “Styx and Stones”, I can’t attest to the historical accuracy of the story, but it was so enjoyable I’ll definitely be reading more of this author. 4 out of 515. “In Red, with Pearls” by Patricia Briggs This story is set in the world of Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series and features werewolf Warren, who is a favorite of mine. When his lover Kyle is attacked by a zombie, Warren steps in to investigate. I loved seeing Warren and Kyle together, and this was a tightly written story that draws you in at once. While I figured out the villain fairly quickly, there were several surprises. This is another winner from Briggs and a must for Mercy Thompson fans. 4 out of 516. “The Adakian Eagle” by Bradley Denton The choice to end the collection with Denton’s story was a wise one, as it is outstanding. Set on the Aleutian Islands during World War II and featuring a young private and an older detective (whom you will recognize once you’re well into the story), this mystery will keep you turning the pages. The discovery of a tortured eagle on the island leads to an investigation that exposes all the pitfalls of following orders without question. I loved the setting and the gritty tone of this story. 5 out of 5

  • Heather C
    2019-04-03 19:50

    In Red, With Pearls by Patricia Briggs ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆I really enjoyed this! I loved getting Warren's voice and thoughts and would love to know more about him and Kyle; Mercy's POV is just not enough. But I will take any insight into their relationship that I can get. Anyway, it was a sweet short story all about Warren and Kyle with a paranormal mystery. Unfortunately, I was still a little confused about how Warren figured it all out in the end. 

  • Nikyta *Miss Forgetful*
    2019-04-21 15:07

    I don't care what anyone says but Kyle and Warren really are mates! I love these two so much and always yearned for a story of their own. So, I'm glad they finally have one! Even if it's short.I loved both Kyle and Warren and it was fun getting the story from Warren's POV so we got to see his thoughts and his adventures. I really wish there had been more to the story, though, because I don't think I could ever get enough of these two. They are just perfect for each other!I very much enjoyed the story and I loved the mystery (I didn't have an idea of who actually sent the zombie out but was suspicious of the person behind it). However, I wish there had been more of Warren and Kyle's relationship. We get little snippets of them together but I would have liked to get deeper into their feelings and seeing more of them together. The ending was so sweet!Otherwise, I loved the story and really hope there's more to come!Merged review:*This rating and review is only for In Red, With Pearls by Patricia Briggs. I may continue to read the anthology in the future but I have not decided.I don't care what anyone says but Kyle and Warren really are mates! I love these two so much and always yearned for a story of their own. So, I'm glad they finally have one! Even if it's short.I loved both Kyle and Warren and it was fun getting the story from Warren's POV so we got to see his thoughts and his adventures. I really wish there had been more to the story, though, because I don't think I could ever get enough of these two. They are just perfect for each other!I very much enjoyed the story and I loved the mystery (I didn't have an idea of who actually sent the zombie out but was suspicious of the person behind it). However, I wish there had been more of Warren and Kyle's relationship. We get little snippets of them together but I would have liked to get deeper into their feelings and seeing more of them together. The ending was so sweet!Otherwise, I loved the story and really hope there's more to come!

  • Ami
    2019-04-12 21:01

    This Review is ONLY FOR Patricia Brigg's "In Red, With Pearls"I have to borrow this one, if only to read Patricia Brigg's short. Why? BECAUSE IT IS ABOUT WARREN AND KYLE from the Mercedes Thompson's series!!! As a lover of M/M romance genre, I welcome Warren (the third of Adam Carpenter's werewolf pack) and his mate, Kyle, taking over the spotlight for once. Written from Warren's first person narration, it gives a glimpse of their relationship, including how Kyle accepts Warren's predatory nature. In this story, Warren -- who also works on his mate's office as an investigator -- is investigating why the person responsible for sending a zombie to kill Kyle. Helped by a witch by the name of Nadia, the answer takes a twist that I don't really see coming. It's an enjoyable story. I wish Ms. Briggs will consider making a full length spin-off of Warren and Kyle. It's great to see a gay couple in mainstream books :)

  • Kat
    2019-04-25 14:07

    Basic premise: Urban fantasy stories that center around mysteries/detectives.I hate George RR Martin on a personal level at this point. His SOIAF series has pissed me off to the point that I have been unable to continue reading it. So here I have a volume of stories set in my favorite genre, edited by GRRM. There's a fantastic introduction to the book, defining UF and the connections it has to the mystery genre. Then he proceeds to give me an overly-large volume of mostly "meh"-level stories, some of which are only VERY loosely tied to the UF genre. And on top of it all, there's no Harry Dresden story in an anthology seemingly tailored to the concept of Dresden. Grrrrr....Generally speaking, UF stories take place in the modern (or very near modern) day. WWII? Ok, I can deal with that. Ancient Rome?? Ancient Babylon??? WTF???? Some of these stories didn't even have an actual fantasy element to them, just a "possible" fantasy element that got disproven, making the stories NOT UF at all, but regular mysteries, if set in odd time periods.I'm hacked off. I renewed this book from the library twice in order to finish the bloody thing and still paid a late fine. It's only real saving grace in my mind is the Patricia Briggs offering, which features Warren instead of Mercy. The Charlaine Harris story was ok, but I don't find Dahlia to be a particularly interesting/sympathetic character, so I can't get into the few stories I've seen about her.Stupid GRRM. I'm going to go read something by an author who's dead already so I won't feel the urge to go out and murder someone anymore.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-03 20:52

    I have to confess I've only read one of the stories in this anthology so my rating is purely for In Red, With Pearls by Patricia Briggs.I can't tell you how excited I was to see a story told from Warren's POV. Warren and Kyle have always been two of my favourite side characters in the Mercy Thompson series, I love their relationship and the fact that Warren holds his own against the very prejudiced members of Adam's pack (I'm not counting Adam in that group - I also happen to love that he is so supportive of Warren and Kyle's relationship!) always makes me smile.So take two fabulous characters, throw in a supernatural mystery for them to solve and of course you have a winning story. My only complaint was that I wanted it to be longer! I would LOVE a full length book about these two, in fact while I'm wishing I'd also like one about Ben, and a whole spin off series starring Bran LOL.

  • Cathy
    2019-04-07 20:11

    The introduction by Martin was good, he really captured something about what I like so much about urban fantasy. He said it's the combination of mystery and horror that makes UF unpredictable and therefore keeps the readers turning the page to find out what happens next, where in traditional mystery, you know that it's probably the psycho who did it, or in horror it's probably the vampire. UF opens the door for a whole new mix of elements and outcomes and the creativity that it allows is a big part of what keeps me tuning in. Format-wise, I really liked having the author bios before the stories. Most anthologies, if they have them at all, have them after the stories or at the end of the book, and I end up flipping around a lot because I like reading the information first. I like knowing who the authors are, if the story is a part of a series, etc. Plus, let's face it, anthologies exist to sell books, so why be coy with the information, put it out there so I can find it easily, don't make me hunt it down. I liked not having to go to my computer to look everyone up.As for editorial variety, part way through the book I was pretty impressed with the choices, but by the end I was really frustrated. There was way too much historical fiction. I'm just not a fan and when almost half of the book is historical it's just too much. Just because it's different time periods doesn't make it variety, not if you aren't a fan of the concept. I didn't even read Roberts' and Denton's stories because by then I was just tired of the style, I'd reached my fill of trying new authors who's topics aren't what interests me anyway. With the expressed topic being anything PI and fantastic, I'd have liked to see more science fiction (2 stories) or even traditional fantasy (only 1), even though that isn't my favorite genre. Just more variety. It would have been a four-star book if I hadn't gotten too bored to read the last few historical stories.Harris - It was typical Harris, she's written about this character in a few anthologies now and it isn't getting any more interesting. She just shoehorned her into the theme by having her investigate a crime. Harris sells books so she gets included in anthologies. It wasn't the worst story ever, but it wasn't special in any way.Lansdale - This one had a lot of atmosphere, a good story. The first historical story in the book, it took place in the 1954.Green - A typical John Taylor/Nightside story, it certainly fit the theme. The end was a bit abrupt.Saylor - Normally I love history and facts worked into in my stories, but this was a series of lectures disguised as a story, disappointing considering how popular his books are. I don't know if it's because he's trying to squeeze so much into a short story or if his style changed for this prequel series, but it was really bad, more encyclopedia articles than story. It took place somewhere between 92-90 B.C.Stirling - A very good story, solid writing, plot, all around very good. It made me want to read his books even though alternate history isn't normally my thing. (It wasn't history, it was actually one of only two sci-fi stories in the book.)Vaughn - A decent story. I like Rick, but it wasn't really a mystery or PI story, it was just revealing things that he already knew. As you can see, this is a problem with authors who try to shoehorn existing characters and series into a themed book. Iggulden - I didn't really see how this one fit the theme either, but it was a good story.King - A terrific story, and the most successful in the anthology in making me want to order her books ASAP. Even though this was a sort of sci-fi story and her most famous books are a modern Sherlock Holmes homage, no connection, but storytelling is storytelling. Cook - Another anthology success because I had the totally wrong impression about the kind of writer Cook is, I thought he wrote thrillers and was avoiding his books. This story was a bit frantic, perhaps because he was trying to introduce so much of what he's written about for 13 books into one short story. Often the more successful series authors do better focusing in on a supporting character for short stories in anthologies (see Briggs' story), but I liked the humor and variety of characters and will definitely be trying the series out. This was also the only traditional fantasy story in the book.Snodgrass - A very fun story, she's a terrific writer, again anthology-in-action worked and I added some of her books to my high priority to-read list (the books that seem to be following this story with the paladin story line). I really liked his fear and vulnerability, it was such a different take on this very familiar character. The story takes place in 1932.Hanover - This was a different anthology-in-action case, because I had a kind of bad impression of this author from the reviews I'd read of his new UF series. (Hanover is really a pen name for Daniel Abraham.) I've thought about trying the series a few times but I keep passing it up. But I liked this story. The end was a bit odd and I'm not sure I agree with how it was handled, but I did like the story and it's making me reconsider the series.Tuttle - A good story, creepy and smart. Probably takes place in the early 1900s.Gabaldon - It was very long. She's a good writer, but by this point I was getting tired of historical fiction and I only skimmed it. It's a good find for fans though, it's a substantial story. Takes place in Jamaica during the slave rebellions.Roberts - Again, I was tired of historical fiction by now so I didn't even try it. This is in ancient Rome.Briggs - An excellent story. This is the way to use characters from on ongoing series, focus in on a few supporting characters and let the narrow focus keep the scope from becoming too overwhelming for the short length of the story. This story should work equally well for fans of the series or new readers. Denton - One last historical story, I just couldn't face it. This one was soldiers during WWII.

  • An Odd1
    2019-04-26 19:56

    17 supposedly detective tales are mostly gruesome, spooky, scary, rather than intriguing lively puzzle-solvers, from elsewhere 5* authors. In degenerating order: If, like me, TV "True Blood" sometimes pulls late night hours, Charlaine Harris, "Death by Dahlia" has a petite powerhouse vampire fond of naked romping and solving murder. "Beware the Snake" by John Maddox Roberts has Roman Decius Caecilius, brother-in-law of Emporer Cesar, solve a missing temple venomous reptile and poisoned priest. Lisa Tuttle starts with clever Victorians, Miss Lane and Mr Jesperson, like Watson and Sherlock, then degenerates to possessed artifacts "The Curious Affair of the Deodand". Gabaldon's Lord John in Jamaica, and Denton's Papa Hemingway in a remote WW2 Inuit outpost are islands, not "urban" as the cover claims. Laurie King's salamander-humans and Igguldon's anti-Holocaust spirit promote tolerance better than same-sex lecture-layer from Patricia Briggs. Such nagging by selection has worn out my interest in Dozois (co-)edited books, shame when authors have much potential. Check my Fan shelf where I list one each from a favorite author or series. Short stories are how I find shiver-licious new writers. I'm considering separating off a Collections shelf. Any suggestions for a shorter name? Sets? Shorts?

  • Lisa Wolf
    2019-03-28 14:07

    I bought this collection of urban fantasy short stories specifically to get my hands on the new novella by Diana Gabaldon, "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies". For anyone devoted to the works of Diana Gabaldon, this is yet another fun addition to the Lord John series -- not exactly essential, but another chance to see Lord John apply his upper-crust British military efficiency to the solving of a seemingly supernatural mystery. Gabaldon knows how to please her fans. LJ&tPoZ includes just enough of all the elements that make her readers salivate, including a reference to our favorite red-headed Scot, Lord John's attraction to every well-formed male in his vicinity, and this time around, a cameo appearance of an important (though, at least for me, much despised) character from the Outlander series.I'm sure the rest of the stories in this collection are quite good as well, and I'll get around to them eventually. For readers like me, the Lord John piece is reason enough to pick this one up.

  • Kathy Davie
    2019-04-02 19:11

    There are 16 short stories with a common theme of mystery and private detectives, whether the individual story is of fantasy or reality, well, that's up to the individual author.I suspect Martin and Dozois are including Martin's introduction, "The Bastard Stepchild" as part of the story count. I do suggest reading it as it sheds light on the theme of the stories to come.Series:"Death by Dahlia" (Sookieverse)"Hungry Heart" (Nightside, 1.5)"Styx and Stones" (Roma Sub Rosa, 0.5a)"Pain and Suffering" (Shadowspawn, 2.5)"It's Still the Same Old Story" (Kitty Norville, xx.5)"Shadow Thieves" (Garret, P.I., xx.5)"No Mystery, No Miracle" (Edge, 2.5??)"Lord John and the Plague of Zombies (Lord John Grey, 3.5)"Beware the Snake" (SPQR, XII.V)"In Red, with Pearls" (Mercy Thompson, 6.5)The StoriesCharlaine Harris' "Death by Dahlia" loosely follows the hierarchical concept for vampires introduced in the Sookie Stackhouse series with a brief cameo from Diantha, but that's as close as it comes to a Sookie Stackhouse short.You'll enjoy the story more if you aren't wondering where Eric, Pam, or Sookie are… An unexpected death while celebrating the new sheriff in town forces Dahlia to quickly investigate. Joe R. Lansdale's "The Bleeding Shadow" is an amazing story combining horror with mystery when Alma May gets worried about her jazz-playing brother and asks an old friend to investigate. It's set in a 1930-ish Texas. Excellent and CREEPY!!Simon R. Green's "Hungry Heart" finds John Taylor hired to find a witch's heart that she claims has been stolen. Hey, it's the Nightside, everybody lies. Another pip from Green.Steven Saylor's "Styx and Stones" just goes to show that tourism and vandalism are universal when Antipater and Gordianus visit Babylon to see what's left of the famous Hanging Gardens only to encounter a lemur, a ghost, who kills...bwah-ha-ha… I must pick the first in this series, Roman Blood, unless I can find the prequel, Seven Wonders.S.M. Stirling's "Pain and Suffering" finds Eric Salvador, a Santa Fe police detective, investigating an arson case with his partner, Cesar Martinez. An interesting blend of detection and horror with characters I found intriguing.I thought Stirling had created an excellent first step in what could be a terrifying war, and I want to read more of the Shadowspan series. Then I discovered this is actually 2.5 in the chronology. I definitely have to get serious about reading Stirling!NOTE: Now that I've read Shadowspawn 1 & 2, I've discovered that this simply takes bits and pieces from 1 & 2, focusing on the detectives investigating the fire trap Adrienne set in Ellen's apartment. Carrie Vaughn's "It's Still the Same Old Story" is a tale about Rick and a woman he met sixty-some years ago. A woman he could have loved and chose to protect. It's a snapshot into Rick's long life with insight into how he thinks, how he loves. And I just wanna cry...Conn Iggulden's "The Lady is a Screamer" is actually pretty funny about this con artist who suddenly discovers he's not. I enjoyed reading about the "partners" he picked up along the way and how very useful they were...Laurie R. King's "Hellbender" is a story of bigotry and one in which the government actually lives up to its promise, much to the missings' dismay. A small group of people are targeted and only one person is still free to point out the connection. A good one, if a bit vague on some points.Glen Cook's "Shadow Thieves" is my very least favorite, mostly due to being so incomprehensible. Cook dropped us in and didn't worry whether we swam or sank. Nothing about how the world, all we learn about the characters is as a play in progress---and his characters make no sense either. If this is typical of his writing, I ain't reading any more.Melinda M. Snodgrass' "No Mystery, No Miracle" is fascinating. It's another of those drop-us-in sort of stories, but Snodgrass provides a background---I suspect it's the start of the Dust Bowl years---and motives we can immediately understand, even if the characters are not human. She certainly does a unique twist on religious figures! I couldn't help but laugh at? with? Cross as he fervently stated that he did believe. I want to read more about these characters if only to confirm my guess!M.L.N. Hanover's "The Difference Between a Puzzle and a Mystery" is in one word---eeek! It starts out seeming enlightened with the police chief okaying an exorcist. A nice, somewhat innocuous guy. But it descends quickly at the end, leaving me with questions. Not very nice questions. Hanover seems like such a mild writer...don't you believe it!Lisa Tuttle's "The Curious Affair of the Deodand" was quite clever and a more modern version of a Sherlock Holmes-type detective with his female Watson. I must look Tuttle up and pick up some of her books. Diana Gabaldon's "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies" touches down in Jamaica about the time that Jamie and Claire are there, and I kept turning the pages, expecting to encounter them. Mrs. Abernathy is still alive at Rose Hall and has just killed her husband, so maybe I'm still a bit early?? Then again, maybe she's not the woman I'm thinking of as Claire described this iteration of Gellis as incredibly fat which Gabaldon does not say in this short story. Anyway, it was good with a breath of fresh air in terms of Lord John being a decent sort and not the typical English jerk of the times. He's Lieutenant Colonel Grey now, and I enjoyed "getting to know" Major Fettes and Captain Cherry while Lord John is very careful in determining the truth and playing fair.John Maddox Roberts' "Beware the Snake" and I ain't sure which "snake" he's referring to in this title---the one that slithers on the ground or the one who walks upright. I very much liked Decius Caecilius and his sense of humor. It was fun to read an ancient Roman mystery with DC's contemporary-sounding snark! Cynicism and stupidity are certainly timeless and universal. Julius Caeser needs DC to investigate the theft of a revered snake, and you will crack up at DC's questions and musings about the whole affair. I loved how well he pulled us into the scene. I've already put my order in for The King's Gambit.Patricia Briggs' "In Red, with Pearls" is a side story off the Mercy Thompson series and focuses on Warren and Kyle Brooks. Warren has recently come to work at Kyle's law firm as a private detective. And a good thing too when someone sends an assassin with nothing more to lose.Bradley Denton's "The Adakian Eagle" was excellent, although he drove me a bit nuts with wondering who Pop was until he put me out of my misery. An intriguing little story in which we pop into the middle of events and done very well with a distinct beginning, middle, and end---although not in the order one would expect!The CoverThe cover is definitely urban with the alley and garage door tucked into the corner of high-rise buildings, vents, and puddles. The fantasy is evoked with the pillar of smoke rising up behind the miniskirted woman in her high-heeled pumps and leather jacket standing in partnership with the on-alert male in jeans, boots, and his own motorcycle jacket, gun dangling at his side.The title is a reference to Martin's statement referring to urban fantasy as "the offspring of two older genres": horror and mystery, the noir type of mystery and Chandler's statement regarding "down these mean streets", and that is where we go, exploring Down These Strange Streets.

  • Meredith
    2019-04-17 14:53

    The bastard stepchild, by George R.R. Martin -- This is an essay that opens the book. Other than what seemed to be a delight in light profanity for its own sake, I found the essay interesting and thoughtful. It really sets the stage for the stories that follow and why they are part of this collection. It was the first time I'd ever read anything my George R.R. Martin, and I know understand why he's so popular. He's got a great turn of phrase that helps you understand what he's driving at. I did find it interesting for as often as he references Harry Dresden, there wasn't a Dresden story in the mix. Death by Dahlia, by Charlaine Harris -- I've only read Sookie stories via short stories in anthologies. I may need to dig into the series one of these days. Dahlia, whom I remember from another short is fun to follow. The mystery is just the right size with what feels like a nice peek into the inner workings of vampire culture. The Bleeding Shadow, by Joe R. Lansdale -- Classic noir, set in a post-WWII black community. Rick, an unofficial P.I. since law and culture forbid him from being a legit P.I., is asked a favor of an old flame. It involves the blues and a twist on the classic crossroads demon.Hungry heart, by Simon R. Green -- Very much in keeping with his Nightside series. Felt like a pared down version of on of his stories. Alright, but perhaps more enjoyable to someone first being introduced to the Nightside. (Though if I have to hear about his "inner eye, his secret eye, his private eye" one more time, I may hurt someone.)Styx and stones, by Steven Saylor -- Interesting concept of characters from the Roman empire. Apparently this was a story about a 'chlidhood' adventure of a character who is an adult in the regular series.Pain and suffering / by S.M. Stirling -- Took me a while to figure out that the nightmares were more so prescience that flashback. Good dark, ominous feel. It's still the same old story by Carrie Vaughn -- A story that explores the decades long friendship (with benefits?) between a vampire named Rick and the fully human Helen. The Lady is a Screamer by Conn Iggulden -- Well crafted unlikeable narrator. He's honest about who he is and what he's done with very little apology. Toward the end we get something grittier and deeper that's satisfying. Hellbender / Laurie R. King -- Interesting exploration of prejudice, group rejection and acceptance of identity, de-humanization, and triumph of the human spirit, all based on the what if human DNA and salamander DNA were successfully mixed.Shadow thieves / by Glen Cook -- Seriously could not make heads or tales of what was going on. Way too many characters to have a clear sense of any of them. Way too much explanation stuffed into a short space. Plus, the voices the narrator was doing were wicked annoying. Finally fast-forwarded through to the next story.No Mystery, No Miracle / by Melinda M. Snodgrass -- Set in the Depression era, a Mr. Cross The Difference Between a Puzzle and a Mystery / by M.L.N. Hanover -- Well crafted, with a slow build. Quality X-Files-like ending. Particularly liked insider's comment by the protagonists to his captain toward the end, "Doing the work of angels." :: shiver:: The Curious Affair of the Deodand by Lisa Tuttle -- Very much a nod to the Sherlockian tradition, even set in the Victorian England with a reference to the "Sherlock stories". I liked the strength of the female lead and the skill of the female narrator with providing her a slight Scottish accent. It also made me realize how few of the stories had female leads or primary characters in this collection. Lord John and the Plague of Zombies by Diana Gabaldon -- Again, a story with a whole lot more canon, yet incredibly accessible. Appreciated how Grey's sexuality mattered, in small ways came into play, yet just as Lawrence in the Temerier series, his professionalism as an English officer came before everything else.Beware the Snake / by John Maddox Roberts -- Part of the PQRS(?) series, apparently. Set in the time of the Roman empire, with a character who is a nod to Sherlock Holmes in deductive reasoning, but with a lighter hand and humor mixed in. Curious to seek out more.In red, with pearls / by Patricia Briggs -- I enjoyed this story. Curious about the greater canon. I liked the blend of plot and relationship. The Adakian Eagle by Bradley Denton -- The protagonist was pitch perfect - young, naive yet painfully burdened with an ugly secret. Pops was great as well. Great twist at the end and the narrator did a great voice for them. Pops had that perfect military gruff voice.

  • Margaret
    2019-04-03 14:45

    This book is touted as "urban fantasy" which is something I will take issue with. Several of the stories are by prominent writers of historical fiction and the stories are to me, historical mysteries NOT urban fantasy.For it to be urban fantasy the stories all need to have the frisson of the unexplained - ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night. A number of stories fit that category, the vampires in Charlaine Harris' story for example. And S. M. Stirling's creepy story "Pain and Suffering". But my favourite stories were, in actuality, straight out historical mystery fiction. I have seen all the authors in mystery anthologies many times before. Not to mention having read their full length novels.Steven Saylor's Gordianus the Finder as a young man solving a murder in the ancient city of Babylon in the story "Styx and Stones".Diana Gabaldon's wonderful Lord John Grey is out and about in Jamaica in "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies". Never mind Outlander, Diana needs to give us more Lord John.But the story that delighted me the most was John Maddox Roberts' story "Beware the Snake" using his delightful creation Decius Caecilius from the SPQR mystery series. This story, whilst having a wonderful mystery (no ghosts, no vampires, no werewolves and no bloody zombies)had some of the funniest laugh out loud moments of any story I have read in ages:"The Claudians," I observed, "are a family of insane hereditary criminals.""Look out!" Julia cried. "He has a snake! And he'll use it!"Pretty much sums up the book, really.

  • Liviu Szoke
    2019-03-29 13:13

    Din recenzia de pe blog: „Bun, ce să spun, din șaisprezece povestiri mi-au plăcut foarte mult vreo cinci, încă vreo cinci destul de mult, iar restul, așa-și-așa. Nu știu dacă aceste povestiri și nuvele au fost scrise la comandă, adică editorii să le fi cerut autorilor să scrie câte o povestire special pentru această antologie sau dacă editorii au ales ei din noianul de povestiri urban fantasy răsfirate prin reviste, antologii sau culegeri de autor, cert e că multe dintre povestiri de abat de la subiect. Însă din fiecare povestire în parte poți extrage ceva folositor, ceva plăcut, un crâmpei de informație colo, o descriere minunată dincolo, un personaj pestriț în altă parte, o idee mirobolantă cu care autorul se joacă și o pune cu măiestrie în scenă, iar faptul că majoritatea autorilor au fost o premieră pentru mine și că pe mulți îi așteptam de mult să fie traduși, nu face decât să recomande această antologie cu povestiri care mai de care mai diverse. În opinia mea, merită citită, pentru că e imposibil ca până și cel mai pretențios cititor să nu găsească ceva pe gustul lui”. Mai multe, pe Blogul FanSF:

  • Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
    2019-04-04 15:00

    Only read: In Red, with Pearls by Patricia Briggs A zombie shows up at Kyle's law office intending to kill him but luckily Warren steps in and takes care of it with some help from the witch, Elizaveta. Now all Warren has to do is find out who sent the zombie.I was so happy to find out that there is finally a story about Warren and Kyle! (Thank you Heather C.) Obviously, the main problem is that it is way too short and now enough alone time for Warren and Kyle. I did love seeing Warren's protective side come out. It was also interesting to learn more about why Warren doesn't just jump into things and how smart he really is. I do have to say that I didn't figure out who the "bad guy" was till almost the end. There were a lot of layers to the story and it wouldn't been nice to have them played out a bit more. I also wouldn't have minded a cameo of Mercy (with Adam of course!). Favorite line:♥ "Forbidden fruit is the sweetest, Warren, my darling."

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-30 20:47

    I'll admit that I bought this only for Gabaldon's short, "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies." Setting: 18th century Jamaica. Lord John is called to help subdue an uprising of slaves in the hills of the island. While staying at the governor's mansion, he gets quite the surprise and he's left with the task of solving a murder as well. This is classic Gabaldon: witty dialog, a fun mystery, a smattering of the occult :) And all the while, John still pines away for Jamie :)

  • CatBookMom
    2019-04-09 17:49

    I borrowed this to read the story about Warren and Kyle from Patricia Briggs ("In Red, with Pearls"), but I found quite a few well worth the reading. I'm not a big Diana Gabaldon fan, so I think this was the first story I've read about Lord John ("...and the Plague of Zombies"); it's a good story, as story, but I don't have any interest in reading more about him. Laurie R. King's "Hellbender" is a very good story, very different from her Mary Russell books. The last story in the collection, "The Adakian Eagle" by Bradley Denton, has some really shocking elements, but is a good story, worth reading. As I've written this review, I've raised this to 4 stars.

  • Marya Kowal
    2019-03-26 14:04

    Although I'd give a story or two in this collection 5 stars, I've got to give the overall collection just 2. This is NOT a collection for light and humorous paranormal romance/thriller lovers. It's a weird collection of that type of headliner, coupled with other straight mystery writers all being asked to write old fashioned hard-boiled detective/noire type stories.It's billed as an urban fantasy collection, but it's not that either. I picked it up for Patricia Briggs, Diana Gabaldon, and despite Charaine Harris...but was alternately pleased and disappointed with what I got. The three previously named writers penned stories I enjoyed...but some of the other picks were so difficult to read that I just abandoned the effort. Heavy plots, poorly introduced characters, and uninteresting conflicts abounded. There were shining gems, though, in the midst of the muck, so it wasn't a total loss.Briggs fans should give at least her story a it gives a little insight into Warren and Kyle, two of my favorites of her Mercy series characters.I'd get this one from a friend or the library. I find it hard to believe that any one reader would like enough of the whole book to make it worth a purchase.Someone needs to reign in George Martin and winnow his choices to a single category next time.

  • Anna
    2019-04-14 16:46

    I had to borrow this book because I was only interest in the story by Patricia Briggs, featuring Warren and Kyle from the Mercy Thompson series. So this review is only about that story.I loved it, but at the same time I was left wanting more. Much More. The mystery part was really interesting and I liked, but I wish he would've gotten more of Warren and Kyle. We don't really learn anything more about their relationship, it was like I was reading the book from an outside character and not from Warren. But I'm still giving this four stars because I liked the mystery and the stolen moments between Warren and Kyle were so sweet. I hope some day Briggs decide to write a book about these two, like many m/f authors are doing.

  • BubblesHunty Honest & Direct Opinions
    2019-04-17 21:13

    This was warren and Kyle! And I love them and adored this short but it was too short.I don't feel like I got to know them or their relationship any better than I do when it is seen through Mercy's perspective. The little mystery and investigation was nice but I'd like to get to know the characters more and see them together.

  • Jon
    2019-03-28 17:48

    Fun little short story featuring your favorite fantasy gumshoe, Garrett PI. It actually falls a bit flat at the end but is a decent side-excursion into the Garrett storyline.

  • rick.
    2019-04-08 15:06

    Set in the Aleutian Islands during World War II, Bradley Denton brings an unique setting and mysticism to his paranormal detective short story The Adakian Eagle. Our protagonist is a private in the army, stationed on Adak island which is home to both army and navy outposts. He is ordered by his lieutenant colonel to investigate an unsettling scene, high on the mountain, which appears to indicate animal sacrifice and potentially more disturbing crimes. The resulting investigation involves political intrigue, native mysticism, and tests the private’s commitment to truth and duty. The writing does not flow naturally and perhaps is trying to imitate the terse cadence of noir detective stories, but initially reduced my enjoyment. I think the choice of location and timing was an inspired decision which setup a lot of thoughtful tension and intersecting motives. The twists and turns of the investigation seemed logical and earned, and ultimately delivered a nice complex back story, character development and resolution.

  • Florin Purluca
    2019-04-12 19:50

    Ca în cazul oricărei colecții, n-ai cum să îndrăgești toate povestirile pe care le cuprinde. Mărturisesc, unele nu mi-au plăcut. Atât de mult, încât am abandonat lectura. Altele nu mi-au plăcut, dar m-au dus până la final. Și au mai fost două povestiri - Diferența dintre o enigmă și un mister, Vulturul adakian. Ei bine, astea mi-au plăcut. Foarte mult. Execuție foarte bună, mesaj, atmosferă - cam tot ce se cuvine unei lucrări executate cu simț de răspundere.Și dacă tot veni vorba despre simțul răspunderii, unele povestiri cred că au fost scrise la comandă și - poate - puțin cam pe fugă.Una peste alta, aceeași veche problemă: în opinia mea, dă iar cu virgulă - 3,5 stele. Evident că nu există opțiunea asta, dar nu e nici de 3. Prin urmare, 4 stele, cu minus. Cam cum era chestia aia la școală, pe vremea mea (noastră :)). Imediat după nota 10 nu era 9, ci -10.Concluzia ar fi că volumul ăsta face toți banii. La promoție. :)

  • April
    2019-04-14 17:09

    It's hard for me to really know how to rate a book of short stories. First off, I don't read a whole lot of short story compilations, and second, this book was read over the course of... probably 2 years? although I hate to admit that. (I'm not much of a short story person, and although I enjoyed the majority of the stories in this collection, it's definitely easier to set aside a compilation of short stories without feeling like you're really interrupting anything, as compared to an actual full-length novel.)I guess I'll run through the list of short stories/authors and rate them as I go:1. Death by Dahlia - Charlaine Harris: 3/5 stars. Interesting enough - I liked Dahlia's character but honestly I'm a little bored now with the Sookie Stackhouse world. :(2. The Bleeding Shadow - Joe R. Lansdale: 4/5. Again, interesting, and I liked some elements of this story a lot. The inclusion of music, as well as having a black detective involved during a time period where that wouldn't have been very common, were definitely selling points.3. Hungry Heart - Simon R. Green: 5/5 stars. Any story that starts with a line like this wins:The city of London has a hidden heart; a dark and secret place where gods and monsters go fist-fighting through alleyways, where wonders and marvels are two a penny, where everything and everyone is up for sale, and all your dreams can come true.4. Styx and Stones - Steven Saylor: 4/5 stars. Loved the setting of this story - Babylon somewhere between 92 and 90 B.C. Plus, humor!5. Pain and Suffering - S.M. Stirling: I don't really remember this story, but I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it...? If I'd hated it, I would've remembered that I think. It was rather unremarkable, but I probably enjoyed it because I enjoy Stirling's writing.6. It's Still the Same Old Story - Carrie Vaughn: 3/5. Again, don't remember a lot but I do remember the ending, which was sweet.7. The Lady is a Screamer - Conn Iggulden: 3/5. I never really understood who "the Lady" was that helped our protagonist; it was clear that he received supernatural help, but the hows and whys were underexplained (IMO).8. Hellbender - Laurie R. King: 4/5 for creativity, 3/5 for actual enjoyment/clarity of the plot.9. Shadow Thieves - Glen Cook: 4/5 stars for creativity AND enjoyment! Although there was still a little clarity lacking (or my memory is poor, either way...).10. No Mystery, No Miracle - Melinda M. Snodgrass: 5/5. Humor, historical cross-overs, religious tie-ins that are interesting/funny/perturbing... win. :)11. The Difference between a Puzzle and a Mystery - M.L.N. Hanover: 4/5, similar to the previous story but not quite as enjoyable for me.12. The Curious Affair of the Deodand - Lisa Tuttle: 5/5. Yay for proper 19th c. gentlewomen working for a Sherlock Holmes-type detective!13. Lord John and the Plague of Zombies - Diana Gabaldon: 4/5. Interesting, but felt like I was lacking background because I haven't read anything else of Gabaldon's (unless you could 65% or so of the first Outlander book...).14. Beware the Snake - John Maddox Roberts: 3/5. I felt like I was missing something in the plot arc, but enjoyed the plot and the setting (ancient Rome).15. In Red, with Pearls - Patricia Briggs: 5/5. Patricia Briggs wins all the things. I haven't read anything by her that I've disliked yet. :)16. The Adakian Eagle - Bradley Denton: 5/5. Goosebumps at the ending!!~So overall, I do recommend this, if you enjoy short story collections. There wasn't a single total dud in this collection; I did enjoy every story in some way, even if there were some stories that made me feel like I missed the crux of the mystery/problem being solved. Definitely a cool collection of interesting worlds and characters, though!

  • Nicole
    2019-04-16 17:54

    I skipped stories I wasn’t interested in or weren’t to my taste (I'm not really into "hardboiled"/ noir-ish stuff) and ran out of time because I had to return the book to the library and didn’t want to renew it for longer to read more.However, I did find some stories that I enjoyed.The introduction—“The Bastard Stepchild”—by Martin, discussing the origins of urban fantasy, was wryly witty.“Styx and Stones” by Steven Saylor – a story of his Roma Sub Rosa series, actually historical mystery with a spook factor/suggestion of the supernatural that turned out to be a ruse. I liked the writing style and the voice of the narrator/main character, Gordianus. I also enjoyed the descriptions and sense of place. I may seek out one of the novels.“It’s Still the Same Old Story” by Carrie Vaughn – Despite not being into vampires, I liked Rick when he turned up in the Kitty Norville series. I liked this story and Rick’s behaviour in it very much. The mystery was rather understated, the motive interesting in terms of the timing. I enjoyed the stuff about Denver in both timelines. I liked how Rick keeps some humanity despite being a vampire. He can feed without killing or turning someone. He’s decent, he’s classy. He keeps his cool. He’s chivalrous and actually likes women. He’s protective of those he cares about. I found the encounter with Helen surprisingly sexy. This story reminded me that I’d heard of another story about Rick and prompted me to go out and buy the collection it’s in.“Lord John and the Plague of Zombies” by Diana Gabaldon – I wasn’t crazy about Outlander, but I know the author can write; so I decided to give this a try. I liked this. The historical mystery was good and had some twists; I was surprised about the details. The setting was very interesting; I don’t think I’ve read about Colonial Jamaica before. I liked Lord John Grey very much. He’s a good man, a good officer, principled, ethical. He isn’t very prejudiced for someone of his time and social status, although he’s not open-minded enough to think that all slaves need to be freed. He’s very sympathetic in terms of the predicament of his sexual orientation. I’m going to add a couple of the Lord John Grey books to my to-read list.“Beware the Snake” by John Maddox Roberts – one of his SPQR stories about a Roman aristocrat, Decius Caecilius, and another historical mystery with what seems like supernatural potential but turns out to be plain ol’ rotten human nature. It’s true to the era, and as such, the offhand references to slaves made me cringe a little; but the sense of atmosphere was good. There’s wry humour, especially in Decius’ interactions with his wife, Julia. The mystery is light but entertaining—and informative about snakes.“In Red, with Pearls” by Patricia Briggs – a Mercy Thompson series tie-in. I’ve avoided the MT books after maxing out on werecreature-centric stories, but I thought I’d try this. And I really liked it! Good writing style, dialogue, characterization. Often sarcastic humour (including the Russian witch’s hilarious pet names for Warren). I really like Warren Smith, cowboy private eye, who also happens to be a werewolf and gay. He has just the right amount of Southern charm, and he's smart. He has a nice relationship with his lawyer boyfriend, Kyle. The plot was twisty, and I did not see the significant developments coming. I’m adding Mercy Thompson to my to-read list, after all.

  • Krazykiwi
    2019-04-03 20:58

    George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, neither of which are names I instantly associate with urban fantasy, edit this collection of short stories. Martin makes the claim in the introduction that Urban Fantasy is the bastard child of two genres: Noir and Horror. I can see his point, to a degree, and with that in mind this is an anthology of urban fantasy mystery stories, ranging from a Holmes-esque victorian mystery, through some a lovecraftian horror that read like it was by Walter Mosley. Overall a successful mix (and just what I needed to reboot me out of my reading slump - the tip to try some shorts was a good idea, and I think I'll be hitting the library for a few more of these anthologies before I try any novels again for a bit.) Mathematically, it averages out to a solid 3, but I think the really good stories lift the entire collection more than the ones I didn't like dragged it down. So it gets an extra half star for just flat out making me happy (and more in the mood to read again).Full review @ Booklikes

  • Melowin
    2019-04-10 17:46

    I don't usually like short story collections because of how long it takes to read them (takes time to orient yourself to a new setting, characters, plot every 60 pages or so), and how often the lack of characterization leaves the story feeling...lacking. So usually I read the story by the authors I know, and call it done. But one genre that lends itself well to the short story medium is mysteries. In a mystery, depth of character is a cherry on top, extra beyond the meat of the plot. And the concept of this book - a collection of stories in the spirit of the noir detective mystery, with a splash of supernatural thrown in - was too intriguing to pass up.There is a wide range of time periods represented, two set in ancient Rome, 1800's London and 1800's Jamaica, Depression era, 1950's, and modern. Some are set in alternate worlds, some in our world with a twist. The paranormal and supernatural range from the expected vampires, witches and werewolves, to demons, angels, and gods, with lots of stops in between.My favorite stories ("It's Still the Same Old Story" by Carrie Vaughn, "Hellbender" by Laurie R. King, "No Mystery, No Miracle" by Melinda Snodgrass, and "In Red, With Pearls" by Patricia Briggs) delved deeper into the characters. One that really stood out was, "No Mystery, No Miracle" because the entity of Cross is such a mind-bending, fascinating concept. One of the down sides of getting famous authors to contribute a short story is that you get a side story set in an established series' world. This is fine if, for me in the case of Charlaine Harris' entry " Death by Dahlia" I'd read the entire Sookie Stackhouse series. My least favorite story, "Shadow Theives" by Glen Cook, is part of his Garrett, P.I. series. He introduced a ton of characters, alluded to back stories that were more confusing than enlightening, and int he end, more mysteries were left then solved, in my opinion. The world and characters ended up being too complex to support the story well, they distracted instead. Howver, in Diana Gabaldon's "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies" I haven't read any of the Outlander series, but she kept the number of characters manageable and gave the necessary background that the story felt complete.Overall, worth the read.

  • SheLove2Read
    2019-04-08 14:13

    This is an anthology containing stories related to multiple series of books by different authors. If you haven't read these series already, you will undoubtedly be lost/confused. However, that being said, this is a pretty good collection of short stories. I only read a few by the authors that I already collect although I did manage to read two stories by new-to-me authors that were easy enough to follow along because the stories were essentially prequels or standalones.My favorite of course was the one by Patricia Briggs and features Warren and Kyle and the witch Elizaveta. This was a good "whodunit" type story and I enjoyed seeing Warren take center stage. This needs to happen more often! I'm still not a fan of M/M romance but this only featured one or two quick kisses so reader be aware. 5 starsLisa Tuttle's contribution was a Victorian era mystery in the vein of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. She is a new to me author and I really liked her. The story itself was interesting and kept me guessing right up to the end. 4.5 starsI actually didn't enjoy Diana Gabaldon's offering from the Lord John Grey series. Although I do like Lord John, this story was dry and seemed to drag and I ended up not finishing it. DNFThe story by Steven Saylor, also a new-to-me author features characters from his Roma Sub Rosa series. This story appears to be some kind of prequel however and I was able to follow along easily. The characters are ancient Greeks traveling in ancient Babylon who stumble upon a mystery to solve. I thought the writing was engaging and I'm going to check out more of his work. 3.75 starsOverall I do recommend this anthology - a first! - to anyone who currently reads these authors.

  • Liv
    2019-04-22 15:59

    Overall 3 stars.This book was a compilation of short stories from many different UF/Paranormal authors. However, my review was strictly based on 3 of the stories:Death by Dahlia by Charlaine HarrisFor those of you who have read some of the other short story works of Charlaine Harris, vampire Dahlia should not be new to you. In this story, we got to see Dahlia investigating a human murder in the midst of a vampire celebration party. The detective work was short and sweet, and the resolution was entertaining as well. It’s Still the Same Old Story by Carrie VaughnFor a change, we got to see Rick, the vampire from the Kitty Norville series, take centre stage in this short story. It provided some background to Rick’s history and even a look into his friendship with a human woman named Helen. Who would have known this about him if not for this? A nice addition to the series.In Red, with Pearls by Patricia BriggsFinally, one of my favourite couples from the Mercy Thompson series got to be the lead. Kyle was a targeted by a zombie, an incident which caused Warren’s protective streak to kick in and he had to find out who was behind this murder attempt to save Kyle from further supernatural harm!! Through the detective work the Warren conducted, we got some insights into the sort of clientele that Kyle had to deal with in his day-to-day lawyer business. It also showed the depth of the relationship between the boys, which was sooooo touching!! This was a very good and quick read, which had the right doses of mystery, action, suspense and resolution to make this 30-page short story entertaining on its own.

  • Suspense Magazine
    2019-04-17 20:59

    An anthology of urban fantasy stories was something new for me, but I enjoyed them very much! There are lots of big names in this hardcover collection, including Charlaine Harris.Although I hate to leave any out, there are too many stories to include all of them here, so I’ll mention some that grabbed me especially hard.In, It’s Still the Same old Story by Carrie Vaughn (best known for her late night DJ werewolf) the vampires seemed so real to me. I hated this tale of revenge and tender love to end. These are tough times in, No Mystery, No Miracle by Melinda M. Snodgrass. Not only a depression and prohibition, but a tear in the universe.We’re talking a special kind of semantics in M. L. N. Hanover’s, The Difference Between a Puzzle and a Mystery.In, The Curious Affair of the Deodand (I had no idea what this was either) by Lisa Tuttle, her lovely, authentic period style brings us an unsolvable case, although the reader knows what happened.Back to Rome with John Maddox Roberts’, Beware the Snake. Pompaedius has lost his sacred swamp adder and Decius Caecilius, though he doesn’t take the loss seriously, is taxed with keeping the snake worshippers happy. The banter is something to behold—loved it!Patricia Briggs with, In red, With Pearls, brings us a sexy werewolf. I hated to see this one end, too.This is a huge volume, nearly five hundred pages, packed with wonderful, weird stories.Reviewed by Kaye George, author of “Choke” for Suspense Magazine

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2019-04-20 20:05

    I let my blog readers select a new-to-me genre to read, and this is one of the two books I'll be reading that fall under "urban fantasy." George R. R. Martin promises in his introduction that urban fantasy is no longer an elf on a motorcycle wandering the streets of Toronto solving crimes. Really, though, most of these stories connect to series the authors write. Without that background, they often lack enough context to figure out where you are without knowing the characters and world they inhabit. From reading other people's reviews, many people are buying this anthology because of one story they wanted to read. Most people seem to be buying it for "In Red, with Pearls" by Patricia Briggs, but see, I don't know who Kyle is. Most of these stories have detectives in a noir-fantasy universe, with a lot of stereotypes. There isn't a lot of great writing here. The one exception is Joe Lansdale's "The Bleeding Shadow," where a record possesses the power to unleash the evil in the air around us, but still make you want to play it. Wow, creepy stuff, and the reader on this one elevated the story.I'm not sure I'd recommend this to anyone who isn't already a fan of these authors and their series. It isn't a good introduction to the urban fantasy subgenre, which is what I intended to use it for. It is a very narrow slice of that subgenre, and not all of it is great.