Dusted Off: Summer Reading: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

So the Offspring are out of stuff to read, and since I have to drop by my doctor’s office anyway, we head off to the library. There’s virtually nothing left on my “to read” list that isn’t also on my “to buy as soon as I have the $” list–and the exceptions aren’t owned by the library [sigh]. So I just start meandering (not a fun thing to do with 4 kidlets in tow).

I vaguely remembered reading something about The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, and lo and behold, the library has the 7th in the series–Dead Beat. I try not to jump in so mid-stream, but figured it was worth a shot. Here’s the set-up, Harry Dresden’s a PI. Loner-type. Has a pal in the police department that feeds him some work. But he free-lances as well. Loose collection of friends who can help him out–Bob, who seems to have background on everything; his half-brother who’s good for added muscle and to bounce ideas off of; Butters in the morgue; and so on. Typical hard-boiled PI novel stuff.

Oh…but there’s a twist: Harry’s a wizard, Bob’s a talking skull, his brother’s a vampire, and Butters is a one-man Polka band.

This was a great read, basically Harry Potter meets Elvis Cole. That’s pretty much all I need to say. I loved it. Knocked it off in less than a day. Would’ve been better if I’d been able to start with the first book, but now I have a reason to make an effort to get it.

Characters were good, plot moved along alright, good mix of humor and action from the hero, and a satisfactory conclusion. Denouement could’ve been a bit longer for me. But that’s what the next book is for, I guess.

Figured since I’d recently talked about how amazon could’ve done better than recommend Harris to me, I should point out that this had also been recommended to me by everyone’s favorite internet store. So for this summer, they’re batting .500

Grade: A. Solid effort, great twist on the genre.


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