So far, I haven't read a book by Tanya Huff that I haven't enjoyed, and this collection is no exception. It contains 15 of her short stories, and there's not a bad one in the bunch. Best of all, it contains four short stories involving her Blood series characters Vicki Nelson, Michael Celluci and Henry Fitzroy - always a pleasure to read.
"The Chase Is On" is a space opera, whose characters deserve a book of their own. "Underground" tells the story of what may exist in the Toronto subway system. "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is about a mother, her young daughter, and the inheritance that is much more than it appears to be. "Shin Li-Ung" is a story about Chinese tradition, gangs, and unexpected protection. "First Love, Last Love" is the ultimate tale of boys and their toys. "Word of Honor" tells of a woman who discovers her own honor while carrying out a quest for someone else. "The Harder They Fall" is about what happens when fairy tales turn real. "A Debt Unpaid" is a mining story involving personal choices and personal ghosts. "February Thaw" takes the story of Demeter, Persephone, and Hades and turns them into a modern-day dysfunctional family. "Symbols Are A Percussion Instrument" involves an cynic and a pack of tarot cards. "A Midsummer Night's Dream Team" takes High Elves and crosses them with the Olympics. And then "This Town Ain't Big Enough", What Manner of Man", "The Cards Also Say" and "The Vengeful Spirit of Lake Nepeakea" all continue the story of Vicki Nelson (ex-cop, now a vampire PI), her lover Detective-Sargeant Michael Celluci, and Henry Fitzroy (romantic novelist, vampire, and bastard son of King Henry VIII of England).
If you've never read Ms. Huff, this is a great introduction to her writing. And if you're a fan, then this is icing on the cake.