Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations
Edited by Paula Guran
Publisher: Prime Books - Released on 4th April
Review Copy Courtesy of Netgalley and Prime Books
Paranormal investigators. Occult detectives. Ghost hunters. Monster fighters. Humans who unravel uncanny crimes and solve psychic puzzles; sleuths with supernatural powers of their own who provide services far beyond those normal gumshoes, shamuses, and Sherlocks can. When vampires, werewolves, and things that go "bump" in the night are part of your world, criminals can be as inhuman as the crimes they commit, and magic can seep into the mundane - those who solve the mysteries, bring justice, or even save the world itself, might utter spells, wield wands as well as firearms, or simply use their powers of deduction. Some of the best tales of the last decade from top authors of the 21st century's most popular genres take you down mean streets and into strange crime scenes in this fantastic compilation.
First things first: all these short stories have been published elsewhere previously so if you are after a particular author’s stories just check that you haven’t read it before. I admit I had already read a few of the stories before which dented my enjoyment of this anthology but doesn’t impact the quality and strengths of the stories themselves. Overall, this is a very strong anthology with easy story focusing on a detective encountering the strange, weird and supernatural so works perfect for fans of Urban Fantasy like me!
As with all anthologies there are a couple that stick in your head after you finish. For me one of the strongest stories was “Deal Breaker” by Justin Gustainis which looked in on his hero, Quincy Morris when the devil comes to collect on a deal. I’ve not read any of this series before but I liked Quincy’s quick thinking and the simplicity of the story – one series I will have to explore later, especially as I’m already a fan of his Occult Scene Investigations series. Patricia Brigg’s “Star of David” was also a stand out. Set in the in same world as Mercy Thompson but with complete new characters, I loved the emotional core of a father reconnecting with his daughter after years of estrangement. Plus werewolves in a hospital! J
There was another Fangborn story from Dana Cameron as well, called “Swing Shift”. I was really intrigued by the world she’s set up in another short story and now there is a full length novel set up in the same world, Seven Kinds of Hell – I really need to check it out! Carrie Vaughn also gives us a short story looking at Detective Jess Hardin who appears in some of the Kitty books. Personally I think there could be a great spin-off series starring the Detective with the first investigations into creature of the night. Finally, although I had read it before I have to highlight Jim Butcher’s “Love Hurts” as it’s a wonderful relationship piece for Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy. Set just before Changes, it deals with some questions fans might have been asking for years.
The list of authors contributing here is very strong with very few weak links in this chain. If you like Urban Fantasy and anthologies, you’ll like this. If you aren’t keen on either then this probably isn’t for you.
Recommended for fans of Patricia Briggs and Carrie Vaughn. 8 out of 10