Four out of Five Stars

What I love about books with a lot of authors contributing to a theme is that sometimes you get a new spin on characters you love, a continuation of a story or character you’ve been missing or discovery of an author you may not know.  It’s a winner all around!  This collection is about taking hardboiled (soft boiled, scrambled or over easy) detective stories and adding an element of urban fantasy.  Some of the contributors are: Simon R. Green, Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman, P.N. Elrod, Patricia Briggs and Charlaine Harris.
It’s hard to really do a review on something with so many different stories and authors, but I will say that on the whole it’s a good collection.  There were one or two that I didn’t like as much, but that’s not really a bad thing.  It’s like buying a sampler of chocolates; some you love, some are ok and some you just can’t stand the taste of.  If this had been a sampler of chocolate I would’ve eaten it all and not left any.  So there you go.
I really liked was how each story is set up.  Generally you just get a title and author, but these add in sections: The Case – where your given a brief description of what the mystery is.  The Investigation – which briefly tells you who the main investigator is and a little about how they operate.  Author Info – at the end of every one so that you can find the series the character is from or just more by that author in general. And at the end of the collection you’ll find a list where each story was originally published.
Some of my faves:
Love Hurts by Jim Butcher – Harry Dresden goes to a carnival to figure out why couples are committing suicide and nearly becomes a victim as well.
The Case of Death and Honey by Neil Gaiman – leave it to Gaiman to put a unique twist on Sherlock Holmes without taking it too far from the essence of the originals.  Plus I always love it when anyone doing a “continuation” of Holmes goes about it with his bees.
Star of David by Patricia Briggs – A nice tale of redemption and forgiveness in the midst of saving a young boy from a paranormal predator.
Imposters by Sarah Monette – this will make you think twice about how you react to those less fortunate than you.  My issue was that while sympathetic to the plight it also makes the downtrodden the bad guy.
I think this is a great read if you are trying to look into reading Urban Fantasy/Paranormal detective stories, or if you’re just looking for a great way to read a good story every night before bed.  Although given the nature of these stories, I’d read before bed with caution 😉

*eGalley provided by Diamond Book Distributors via NetGalley