Storm Front – The Dresden Files 1 – Jim Butcher

I’ve been aware of the Dresden Files before, but had never felt particularly pulled to them, until I read a Butcher short story a few weeks ago. I ordered it in the library reservation system, although have been disappointed to be unable to order Fool Moon (book 2) so Abe books has come to the rescue.

The Dresden Files is a take on the sterotypical consulting detective theme, with the additional twist of said detective being a practicing wizard in modern-day Chicago. Gritty and real, unlucky in love and hopeless at actually paying his rent, Harry Dresden is a hero it is easy to feel drawn to. He has the wit, the insight and the abilities to get through a fiendishly unlucky set of circumstances when all he really wants to do is pay (last month’s) rent.

The writing is compelling, drawing me into this world where so much criminality is down to other-worldly forces. The dark side of human nature is battled against as day becomes night, but we know all along that Dresden is somehow going to solve the case. For starters there are another 15 books for him to appear in!

As I mentioned at the start, I loved this enough to buy book 2, and am glad I have the whole series ahead of me.

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The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third Sherlock Holmes story, in which Holmes and Watson are presented with a baffling mystery which is half murder and half horror story.

The book opens with a simple puzzle over who has left a stick in the apartment which Holmes and Watson share and Watson practising his own deductive skills. As the background of the case unfolds the challenge for Holmes becomes apparent, and Watson is given his first responsibility to travel to Dartmoor with Henry Baskerville and guard him from harm.

This does not disappoint as a detective story. The red herrings and unclear motives allow the true culprit to be revealed only in the last few pages, and I found the book difficult to put down until all the loose ends had been tied.

This book came from Project Gutenburg as a legal free ebook.