Strange Brew is a collection of urban fantasy short stories written by New York Times bestselling authors such as Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs and more.
My reason for picking up this book is that I'm a big fan of the author Jim Butcher, especially of his Dresden Files series (the books & the short-lived TV series). Strange Brew contains one of his short stories, "Last Call", featuring Chicago's first (and only) Wizard P.I. Harry Dresden. I thought that buying this book would not only enable me to read this short story, but also discover authors whose stories I'd never read before.
There are 9 stories in this book and these are:
"Seeing Eye" by Patricia Briggs is about a witch called Moira who is visited by a werewolf called Tom who needs her help finding his brother who he believes has been kidnapped. With Moira being a witch and blind, it's not going to be your average investigation!
"Last Call" by Jim Butcher finds investigating wizard Harry Dresden walking into his favourite bar in Chicago only to find Chaos... He only wanted a beer but ends up with a lot more than that!
"Death Warmed Over" by Rachel Caine is about a resurrectionist called Holly who is asked to take on a case that will stretch her to her limits and one she'd rather not take, but when she finds out who she has to resurrect, she has no choice but to take it... She fell in love with him the last time, can she take it this time?
"Vegas Odds" by Karen Chance finds Lia opening the door to a delivery guy, only to find he's actually an assassin and not the only one trying to kill her! All hell breaks loose in her home and Lia has to use her skills to keep herself alive.
"Hegate's Golden Eye" by P.N. Elrod is about Charles Escott and his undead associate Jack Fleming. They are asked to help Mabel get back a pendant that rightfully belonged to her - not just any pendant but one that's been in the family for generations and it is cursed... any man who touches the Eye dies!
"Bacon" by Charlaine Harris finds vampire Dahlia Lynley-Chivers hiring a witch to seek revenge for the death of her werewolf husband.
"Signatures of the Dead" by Faith Hunter sees Molly (an Earth witch) and her shapeshifter friend help a detective track down the vampires who have killed a whole family.
"Ginger" by Caitlin Kitterridge - Luna is confident & brave but her cousin Sunny (a witch) is quite the opposite, however Sunny is drawn into an investigation that isn't all as it seems.
"Dark Sins" by Jenna Maclaine - Cin Craven, her partner Michael and their friends find themselves ambushed and kidnapped. Can Cin save them without succumbing to evil dark magic?
Having only previously read work by Jim Butcher, I immediately flicked through to "Last Call" and read that first. It was typical 'Dresden" and I loved it - You always get a bit of humour with the Dresden Files stories, whether they're long or short.
I then went back to the beginning of the book, reading each story in turn. Having never read stories by the other authors before, I found the stories refreshing and interesting. Some would be all action while othersreelled you in. With most of the stories I found myself thinking that I should look up the author's books as I would enjoy them too. I've definitely found some new authors to follow!
My favourites of the stories (apart from the obvious "Last Call") are probably "Seeing Eye", "Death Warmed Over" and "Hegate's Golden Eye", but they're all good.
Some of the authors are more famous than the others... I'm sure most readers will have heard of the HBO series "True Blood", you have Charlaine Harris to thank for that!
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and it was nice to be able to pick it up and delve into one short story at a time.
If you're a fan of any of the authors mentioned or simply like books about witches, wizards, werewolves and the like, then I would highly recommend this book to you.
Other books featuring a similar range of authors include "My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding" and "My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon", both also edited by P.N. Elrod.
Note: Review also posted on my blog.