Strange Brew – Week 3

Strange Brew – Week 3Strange Brew by P.N. Elrod, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Karen Chance, Charlaine Harris, Faith Hunter, Caitlin Kittredge, Jenna Maclaine
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on July 7th 2009
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 372
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

Today's hottest urban fantasy authors come together in this delicious brew that crackles and boils over with tales of powerful witches and dark magic!
In Charlaine Harris' "Bacon," a beautiful vampire joins forces with a witch from an ancient line to find out who killed her beloved husband. In "Seeing Eye" by Patricia Briggs, a blind witch helps sexy werewolf Tom Franklin find his missing brother--and helps him in more ways than either of them ever suspected. And in Jim Butcher's "Last Call," wizard Harry Dresden takes on the darkest of dark powers--the ones who dare to mess with this favorite beer.
For anyone who's ever wondered what lies beyond the limits of reality, who's imagined the secret spaces where witches wield fearsome magic, come and drink deep. Let yourself fall under the spell of this bewitching collection of short stories!

Sorry it’s a day late as things were very busy last night.

Carrying on with the Strange Brew anthology reviews, this week it will be P.N. Elrod, and Charlaine Harris.

Helcate’s Golden Eye by P.N. Elrod

Set in Chicago, June 1937, P.I Investigators Jack Fleming and Charles Escott are hired to find and retrieve the Helcate’s Jewel, a beautiful pendent which is rumoured to kill any man that touches it. Luckily for Jack Fleming, being a vampire already makes him the undead.

This is a pure mystery story and to be honest, I found it somewhat boring. I derived no personality from the characters and the story itself was quite mild in nature. I wasn’t sure at first if the characters were newly created, but looking the author up (google), Jack Fleming is the main character of the Vampire Files. I admit, I’m not knowledgeable in vampire mysteries, so forgive me. I did like the background setting of Chicago in the late 1930’s, but for me there was just no oomph in this story.

The jewel itself I’m guessing had magic, but we saw none of that. Just sly winks from the jewel itself. The people who stole the jewel were not very villainous, and I found Jack to be pleasant for a vampire. He didn’t have the ruthless quality that I thought a vampire should have. Over all, it was just a very nice, albeit boring, read.

I give Hecate’s Golden Eye 3 out of 5.

Bacon by Charlaine Harris

Dahlia Chivers is out for revenge. Her werewolf husband was killed by another member of a werewolf pack, and she’s determined to find out what happened that fateful night, and what-else or who-else contributed to his murder.

So far, this is the only story that I have disliked in this anthology. The heroine was completely unlikeable, and I didn’t feel any sympathy for her. I felt no pain or emotion from Dahlia regarding the death of her husband. She was ice-cold and I think she was the same when he was alive. Dahlia admitted she wasn’t very popular with her husband’s pack.

This story was just full of hateful revenge, which is understandable when your husband was murdered, but perhaps I could have enjoyed the story if there was any heartfelt emotion shown by the heroine.

The secondary characters weren’t particularly interesting and I found myself reading this story very fast so it would finish. There was nothing wrong with the writing itself, but Dahlia was simply a horrible character. The title of the story is very apt for the ending, which I found to be very icky.

I give Bacon 2 out of 5.


  1. A Buckeye Girl Reads says

    The main problem I have with anthologies is that you never get a good feel for the characters-everything just seems rushed. I hope the other ones you read are better!

  2. Lou says

    I agree, I'm not a big lover of anthologies as I'm always left wanting more or not getting enough.

    Strange Brew, overall, is one of the better ones out there. :)

  3. Rene says

    I totally agree with these reviews. I thought "Bacon" was dreadful and just for those reasons. I've actually stopped reading the anthology, I've lost interest. Thought maybe it was genre burnout. I might pick it up again later.


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