I love Harry Dresden and have for many years. I was so excited when I saw it was available for review request. Sadly there was a mix up at the publishers and I was sent the wrong book but they gave me an E-galley right away. Plus I already had the Audio pre ordered so I have actually read and listened to Brief Cases and I have to say if you are in to audiobooks at all, this is a fantastic series to pick up. James Marsters (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) really is the perfect voice for Harry. He has so embodied Harry for me that I snuck his face on to the cover here.
But James isn’t the only narrator, each character has their own voice this time and I think they all did a fantastic job.
Brief Cases contains 12 short stories from multiple Characters and time periods. Even though this is a fairly short book and all but one of the stories in it have been published before, I think most of the stories will be new for the majority of readers. Even with all the anthologies I read I had still only come across 3 of these stories before. Below I will give a brief synopses and a quote from my favorite ones.
“A Fistful of Warlocks” This was kind of a unusual story for this series. It not only doesn’t have Harry in it, it also takes place back in the old west. The story centers on Luccio the Warden as she hunts down a necromancer in the Old West.. She doesn’t do it alone though, she gets a little help from Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday.
(“Holliday,” Earp confirmed. “Good fella to have with you when it’s rough. Plus he’s got two of them Venator pendants around his neck. Took one from some fool in a faro game.”)
“B Is for Bigfoot” This was a pretty short one but a good story. It is the first time a Bigfoot has appeared in the Dresdenverse. It turns out his half human son is having some trouble in school with bullies and since dad can’t really go in to the school he hires Harry to help.
(“And you … you called me?” I felt a little stunned. “Um … Did you use a pay phone?” I instantly imagined him trying to punch little phone buttons with those huge fingers. No, of course he hadn’t done that. “Nah,” he said, and waved a huge, hairy arm to the north. “Fellas at the reservation help us make calls sometimes. They’re a good bunch.”)
“AAAA Wizardry” This was probably one of my favorites. Harry is training a class of future wardens and it was a pretty powerful story.
(“What kinds of threats?” she asked. “In the practical sense. What foes have you faced?” I held up my hands and flipped up a finger for each foe. “Demons, werewolves, ghosts , faeries, fallen angels, Black Court vampires, Red Court vampires, White Court vampires, cultists, necromancers”— I paused to waggle one foot, standing with three limbs in the air—“ zombies, specters, phobophages, half-blood scions, jann …” I waved my hands and foot around a bit more. “I’d need to borrow a few people to do the whole list. Get the picture?”)
“Even Hand” Here we get a behind the scenes look at everyone’s favorite gangster, Johnnie Marcone.
(A successful murder is like a successful restaurant: Ninety percent of it is about location, location, location.)
“Bombshells” This story is from Molly’s POV as her, Justine, and Andi go for a night out on the town.
(“Oh, my God,” Andi said when we got in. The redhead stuck her feet out and wiggled them. “I love these shoes! If I have to wolf out and eat somebody’s face, I am going to cry to leave these behind.”)
“Day One” This story focuses on God’s newest “Jedi” Knight Waldo Butters. We see him getting his first quest from God here.
(“ I took a breath and said, “There’s a big yellow exclamation point floating over his head.” After a brief pause, I added, “I’m not crazy. My mother had me tested.”)
If you have never read any of the Harry Dresden books before you could pick this up and enjoy it. That being said I would not recommend doing that. You would miss out on a lot of the inside jokes and Dresdenisims. But for those of us that have been waiting for the next book this is a great appetizer to hold us over until Peace Talks is out. I give Brief Cases 4.5 stars out of 5
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