Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy by Dana Stabenow
rating: 3 of 5 stars
Another uneven anthology. I still have it in my hands, so I’ll try to hit each story briefly.
“Lucky” by Charlaine Harris — Sookie is much easier to take in short form. I can’t help it, the woman grates on me (in the TV show even worse than in the books). The other characters keep me reading.
“Bogieman” by Carole Nelson Douglas — Delilah Street does more than grate on my nerves in long form. She’s more palatable in short form, too, but there are reminders of why I don’t intend to read more in that series.
“Looks are Deceiving” by Michael A. Stackpole — If I’ve read any of Stackpole’s work before, it’s been in anthologies, and I don’t remember it. I did wonder if this short story is set in a universe he uses in longer works, though. It wasn’t bad at all.
“The House of Seven Spirits” by Sharon Shinn — I loved this story! And how often do you say that about a haunted house tale? I must track down and read some of Shinn’s novels. Any suggestions?
“Glamour” by Mike Doogan — The Peasantry Anti-Defamation League might be after Doogan if he isn’t careful at least, representatives of the male peasantry). The story was cute, and it did make me laugh.
“Spellbound” by Donna Andrews — This is another author whose books are going on my (groaning) to-read shelf. The story hit a few clich&eaute;s, but was fun enough to get away with them.
“The Duh Vice” by Michael Armstrong — Ugh. A little too preachy, and way too much anti-fat prejudice.
“Weight of the World” by John Straley — Where does Santa Claus go in the off-season? That’s the biggest question answered in this piece. The “mystery” was “solved” nearly as soon as it was discovered.
“Illumination” by Laura Anne Gilman — Bonnie’s back story! I think a bit of this story is used in the first chapter of Gilman’s first PUPI novel, but I’ll know more when I get my hands on it. It’s a must-read for fans of the Cosa Nostradamus universe, though.
“The House” by Laurie R. King — could we maybe call a hiatus on the abused-kid stories? Maybe I’m hypersensitive, but I’m tired of them.
“Appetite for Murder” by Simon R. Green — another dark Nightside story. I don’t think I’ll ever need to read more in that universe.
“A Woman’s Work” by Dana Stabenow — I’m an unabashed Stabenow fangirl. Despite that, I wasn’t sure how she’d do in a fantasy setting. She proved herself, certainly. I can only hope that we’ll see longer fantasy works from her in print at some juncture.
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