The Road to Lisdoonvarna

By Charles de Lint

Place: Publisher & Year: Burton, MI: Subterranean Press, 2001

Genre: Mystery, hard boiled crime fiction

ISBN: 9781892284914

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: 190

Setting: Ottawa, Canada

Time period: mid 1980s

Plot summary: Private investigator, Jake Swann, has a big heart, especially when it comes to his friends.  When Jake discovers that one of his friends has been terrorized by a gang of thugs, he vows to get revenge.  It doesn’t matter that the thugs happen to be police officers. Continue reading

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Nickel Plated

By Aric Davis

Place: Publisher & Year: Las Vegas, NV: AmazonEncore, c2010

Genre: Mystery, hard boiled crime fiction, suspense

ISBN: 9781935597322

Audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 197

Setting: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Nickel is a twelve year old child abuse survivor and foster child escapee.  At the age of ten, he ran away from his foster home and has been living outside the system since then.  He makes his money in a variety of ways, including growing marijuana and blackmailing pedophiles he finds online.  While he worries about his income, he also works for free for kids.  When a beautiful high school student, Arrow, comes to Nickel for help finding her younger sister, Shelby, Nickel can’t say no.  Hopefully, he’ll be able to find Shelby soon.  The longer it takes, the less chance she has of being found alive. Continue reading

Death Masks

By Jim Butcher

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Roc, 2003

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, mystery, paranormal mystery, paranormal, vampire

Series: The Dresden Files; 5

ISBN: 9780451459404

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: 374 (378 including an excerpt from Blood Rites).

Setting: Chicago, IL

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When Harry wanted to get some information about his ex-girlfriend, Susan, he was forced to meet his informer on a television show.  Between his lack of friends on the White Council and his status as a wanted man among the Red Court vampires, most of the people affiliated with the paranormal community, prefer to keep their distances form Harry.  This is all about to change.  Before the night is through, Harry will be sought out by a client, professional hit men, Special Investigations with the Chicago Police Department, his ex-girlfriend, members of the Knights of the Cross, and a very nasty demon. Continue reading

Summer Knight

By Jim Butcher

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Roc, 2002

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, mystery, paranormal mystery, paranormal

Series: The Dresden Files; 4

ISBN: 9780451458926

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 371

Setting: Chicago, IL & where it meets Faerie

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Harry Dresden has been feeling guilt ridden and depressed ever since his girlfriend Susan left town.  Instead of working on paying cases, he’s been devoting his time to wallowing in misery while seeking to rectify Susan’s situation and falling behind in rent payments.  He’s also had to dodge a few assignation attempts.  The Red Court still wants Harry dead.  Unfortunately, many of the wizards of the White Council would be willing to give Harry to the Red Court to stop the war between the Red Court and the White Council.  These aren’t the worst of Harry’s problems, though.  Those come with the Winter Faerie Queen, Mab, who wants Harry to do a job for her – find out who killed the Summer Knight.  Harry knows better than to deal with Faeries, especially Sidhe queens, but it turns out that he really has no choice in the matter. Continue reading

Greywalker

By Kat Richardson

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Roc, c2006, 2009

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, paranormal, vampire, mystery, suspense, thriller

Series: Greywalker series; 1

ISBN: 9780451461322

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 352

Setting: Seattle, WA

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Harper Blaine is a small time private investigator who had an extremely nasty encounter with a man she was investigating.  He attacked her and she died – for two minutes.  Following her return to the living, things just haven’t been the same for Harper.  Even after most of the bruises have faded, she just doesn’t feel right.  Things get really foggy at times, she gets vertigo, and she keeps seeing strange things and encountering scary situations.  She has become a Greywalker – someone who can move into the Grey, a place where this world overlaps with another.  Luckily for Harper, she is put in contact with a couple who can help her deal with her situation, if she lets them.  Unfortunately, she still has to work and her jobs have taken a much darker turn. Continue reading

Fool Moon

By Jim Butcher

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Roc, 2001

Genre: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, mystery, paranormal

Series: The Dresden Files; 2

ISBN: 9780451458124

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 342

Setting: Chicago, IL and outskirts (Chicagoland)

Time period: Fall 2000

Plot summary: Work has been slow for Harry Dresden, the country’s only practicing wizard – so slow that he’s been living off of ramen noodles and spaghettiOs for months.  When a friend offers him a steak dinner in exchange for some information, he can’t say no, at least not until he realizes the level of danger his friend will be in with the information she is seeking.  Following an awful exchange, Harry’s evening gets worse.  After months of the cold shoulder, Karrin Murphey from the Special Investigations unit of the Chicago PD finally reconnects with Harry about a case.  But it’s a gristly case and Dresden needs to address Murphey’s lack of trust in him. Continue reading

Storm Front

By Jim Butcher

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Roc, 2000

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, mystery, paranormal

Series: The Dresden Files; 1

ISBN: 9780451457813

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 322

Setting: Chicago, IL and outskirts (Chicagoland)

Time period: 2000

Plot summary: Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is “the only openly practicing wizard in the country” (p. 2).  One can find his ad in the Chicago yellow pages.  Business has been slow for him; that changes quickly when he gets a call about a missing person and a call from the Chicago Police Department Special Investigations Unit on the same afternoon.  Soon, Harry will be much busier than he wants to be trying to find a killer.  But there’s no turning back, especially when others start to think that Harry is the one responsible for the magical murders. Continue reading