Mean Streets by Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, Kat Richardson, and Thomas E. Sniegoski

 

FantasyMean Streets Mean StreetsJim Butcher; Roc 2010WorldCatThe genre of fantasy reading comes in all forms – dragons, wizards, quests, fantastical lands, magic schools, fairies, trolls, elves, Fates, urban, romantic, mysterious, etc, etc, etc. Mean Streets is an anthology of slightly twisted urban fantasy stories from four writers’ series of novels. Each series features a private investigator or detective who deals with the fantastic every day. I’ve read one series. The other three authors are new to me.

I love the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, which is why I bought this book. Harry Dresden is a wizard in Chicago. He works with vampires, werewolves, Guardian Angels, fairies, hoodlums, mob bosses, and other sundry bad guys both with and without magic powers. In “The Warrior”, Harry wants to help a friend from being killed by a stalker. Michael is permanently injured due to an action of Harry’s, so Harry feels all the guilt that goes with that.

Simon R. Green tells stories about the Nightside, a shady civilization hidden deeply under London, almost impossible to find without the right gifts or guide. John Taylor is an investigator who lives in the Nightside. He has a gift for finding lost things – practically any lost thing. In “The Difference a Day Makes”, John helps a woman from above London who wakes up in the Nightside and can’t remember the past 24 hours. She wants John to help her find her lost memories.

From Seattle, Kat Richardson has a story featuring Harper Blaine, a Greywalker who sees ghosts and visions of the past all the time. In “The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog”, the ghost-seeing investigator is sent to Mexico to complete the dying wish of a woman. She is to go to a graveyard during the early hours of the Day of the Dead and leave a small clay dog on a gravestone. As Harper prepares for the task, she learns about the beliefs of the Day of the Dead and the celebrations surrounding it.

Remy Chandler is a fallen angel turned private investigator in Boston that Thomas E. Sniegoski has created. In “Noah’s Orphans” Remy reluctantly takes on the search for the murderer of one of the world’s oldest men. From there, he starts looking for creatures that supposedly disappeared in the Flood a few thousand years ago.

Before I finished Mean Streets, I ordered Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green from my local independent bookstore. (I checked, but my local library doesn’t carry the first book in the series.) I am intrigued by Nightside. The other two series caught my attention as well, but I know how much reading I want to do and know I can’t keep up with everything.

Mean Streets has interesting short stories that are nicely self contained yet also weave into the whole of their series. A benefit from this type of anthology is that each story keeps the spirit and personality of the detective yet is separate from whatever horrendous things are happening in the regular series.

If you’re interested in any of these authors, Mean Streets is a good way to get introduced. You won’t be disappointed.

Notice:  Non-graphic violence, Strong indecent language, Suggestive dialogue or situations

More books by Jim Butcher
More books by Simon R. Green

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