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Strange Brew Paperback – Jul 7 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 Original edition (July 7 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312383363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312383367
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #449,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“These tales will easily keep paranormal mystery fans entertained.” ―Publishers Weekly

“This uniformly excellent anthology starts off strong and proceeds to weave in plenty of action and dark magic.... There's something here for every supernatural taste.” ―Romantic Times

“Readers will pick this one up for the popular authors and be pleasantly surprised by the tyros. Highly recommended.” ―Library Journal

About the Author

P.N. Elrod is the editor of Dark and Stormy Knights, Strange Brew, My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon and My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding, which won the 2006 Pearl Award for best anthology. She is the author of many novels, including the Vampire Files Series, as well as numerous short stories. In 2010, she was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy, and she is the winner of the Pioneer Achievement Award. Elrod loves meeting readers at science-fiction conventions all over the country. She has two dogs―Sasha and Megan―and an incurable addiction to chocolate. She lives somewhere on another planet, but maintains a convenient citizenship in the state of Texas for tax purposes.

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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 16 2010
Format: Paperback
Short story anthologies are a hit-and-miss affair -- and most of the time, you get a lot more misses than you get hits. Fortunately "Strange Brew" is more of a hit anthology than a miss one, bringing together a solid collection of urban fantasy short stories -- they're all about spells, creepy goings-on and witches and wizards who either cook up the magic or try to defuse it.

It starts off strong with a pair of stories by urban fantasy heavyweights Patricia Briggs and Jim Butcher, who typically set their stories in their popular imaginary worlds. "Seeing Eye" introduces us to embittered witch Moira Kelly, who is asked by a werewolf to help rescue his brother from the brutal pseudo-coven Samhain. Unfortunately, she has some nasty history with the evil leader Kouros, and a budding connection to her new werewolf client.

And "Last Call" has Harry Dresden discovering that a mass berserker brawl broke out at Mac's... and Mac's home-brewed beer may be at fault. The spell is a pretty intricate and delicate one, which could only be done by a major player in magic -- leading Harry and Murphy on an elaborate hunt for the person who bespelled the beer. Did someone want Mac's out of business, or is something even weirder -- and more ancient and inhuman -- going on?

Some other good stories: Rachel Caine's resurrecting witch Holly takes on a tragic personal case for the police, only to discover a horrendous scheme using zombies. Karen Chance's "war witch" trainer Lia suddenly finds herself being attacked by a sorcerous assassin with a very long-term grudge. Faith Hunter's magical mommy Molly helps out her husband with a horrendous vampire crime, and must team up with were buddy Faith Yellowrock to stop them.
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I'm a huge fan of the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, and that's why I ordered this collection as soon as it showed up on Amazon. So, I got it, opened it at a random page, read the words "Molly's death". There goes my day... You REALLY don't want to read those words in a Dresden book.

Anyway, it turns out they were in a short story by Patricia Briggs, and Harry Dresden's apprentice is safe, whew...

This collection features stories by Jim Butcher and Charlaine Harris, two of my favorites. Karen Chance, Jenna MacLaine and Rachel Caine are also worth reading IMO. I haven't tried the others yet, but the book was well worth the price already as far as I'm concerned.
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Super great anthology!!! Enough said. Just get it. You will not be disappointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars 115 reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Make mine a double --- 4.5 stars out of 5 July 13 2009
By Dana - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You never quite know what you are going to get with an anthology. Strange Brew has nine stories involving witchcraft, potions, and the like that definitely doesn't disappoint. I was excited by the fact that I had heard of 7 out of the 9 authors and have read works by 5 of them. I had high hopes that, for once, weren't dashed. I liked EVERY single story in this anthology --- high marks for all the authors involved (mostly A's and perhaps one or two B/B+'s).

Briggs gives us a story of a witch, a werewolf, and the ties that bind: family & love. It may be set in the Mercy Thompson/Alpha & Omega universe, but this is the first time we've seen these characters up close. (I hope to see more of them.)

Harris also sets her story in her well-established Universe (Southern Vampire Chronicles) but using less established characters. Her story of revenge, Bacon, is made all the more delicious and satisfying if you're already familiar with the unlikely interspecies love story, Tacky, found in My Big Supernatural Wedding that precedes this one.

As far as I know, Caine's tale of love resurrected and Chance's action-packed account of espionage among the War Mage Corps are wholly original pieces. I could, of course, be wrong. Regardless, both stories were unique and hard to put down.

The rest of the authors give us stories within there respective series:
Butcher gives us a story involving Harry Dresden, tainted beer, and the Chicago Bulls. Elrod gives us a classic tale of double cross from her Jack Fleming/Vampire Files series.
Hunter's story introduces us to her new butt-kicking, vampire-slaying, heroine - Jane Yellowrock - whose very own book Skinwalker is available this month (7/09).
Kittredge gives us a story of a "glamour-ous" power play from her Nocturne City series that delivers my favorite line in the whole anthology. (I'll let you guess what it is!) And Maclaine's story left me wanting to read more of her Cin Craven series.

Whether new and original or borrowing from established settings or series, all the stories are easy to follow --- even if you are completely unfamiliar with the authors' works. Overall, this may be the best money I ever spent on an anthology. It delivers a fine sampling for anyone who is interested in reading some anecdotes in the realm of urban fantasy. Who knows, you may find some authors from whom you'd like to read more. I know I did.

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Collection, but NOT Jane Yellowrock July 26 2016
By Kimball Kinnison - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good Stories, but most are not set in the Jane Yellowrock world. Interesting introduction to some writers I had not known about or read previously. Very misleading claim to be part of the Jane Yellowrock Series.
5.0 out of 5 stars ... it I am going off the back but I love the Charlene Harris and Patricia Briggs so I am ... June 28 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't yet read it I am going off the back but I love the Charlene Harris and Patricia Briggs so I am sure I will Love it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brew with a bite Sept. 16 2009
By Pabkins - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed all of the stories in this book with the exception of Dark Sins by Jenna Maclaine. For some reason it just didn't strike the chord with me that all the others did. If you enjoy short stories and want to get to know possibly new authors in the genre this is a good book for that. I've already found several new authors I anticipate reading soon.
126 of 131 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine sampling for anyone wishing to explore different authors of paranormal writings. July 10 2009
By myotherself - Published on
Format: Paperback
This anthology contains nine paranormal short stories. The following is a brief description of each story.

1. Seeing Eye by Patricia Briggs - A blind witch decides to help a man, a werewolf, find his brother who is an undercover cop and has disappeared while on a case.

2. Last Call by Jim Butcher - Harry Dresden walks into his favorite bar for a beer and a sandwich and finds chaos instead. What is wrong with the beer being brewed by the bar owner?

3. Death Warmed Over by Rachel Caine - Holly is a resurrectionist witch. The last time she brought Andrew Toland back from the dead she fell in love with him. Now the police need his special help to solve another case but how can Holly stand the pain when Andrew has to die this time?

4. Vegas Odds by Karen Chance - Accalia (Lia) trains recruits at the War Mage Corps. Imagine her surprise when she realizes it is her own students who are trying to kill her.

5. Hecate's Golden Eye by P. N. Elrod - Chicago 1937 - Charles Escott and his undead colleague Jack Fleming are hired to help the rightful owner steal back her pendant. The history of the jewel says that any man who touches the Golden Eye dies. Luckily for Jack, he's already dead.

6. Bacon by Charlaine Harris - Dahlia Lynley-Chivers is a vampire who is now a widow because her werewolf husband was defeated in a challenge fight for pack position. She hires a witch to help her find out what was done to her husband to make him vulnerable and weak during the fight.

7. Signatures of the Dead by Faith Hunter - Spruce Pine, North Carolina, is being targeted by a band of rogue vampires. Earth witch Molly Trueblood and her friend shapeshifter Jane Yellowrock must find the vampire lair or the killings will continue.

8. Ginger by Caitlin Kittredge - Sunny Swann and her cousin Luna grew up in Nocturne City. Sunny is a witch without much confidence in her powers totally unlike her werewolf cousin. Then why would someone want to kidnap Sunny?

9. Dark Sins by Jenna Maclaine - Venice 1818 - Cin, Michael, Devlin and Justine (The Righteous-judge, jury, and executioners in the world of vampires) are in the city for pleasure, not business. When they are all four kidnapped by a wizard and his coven Cin is forced to chose between the lives of her lover and friends or dark, evil magic.

I definitely enjoyed reading this marvelous anthology. It gave me exactly what I want from a collection of short stories such as these. There are many stories which feature characters already made well known by these authors. Particular favorites of mine are the stories by Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, P. N. Elrod and Faith Hunter. I have not read novels by many of these authors and this anthology has given me a chance to sample their works and make the decision of whether or not to go seek out and read their full length books.

*****Aug. 31, 2009***** Two of my favorite characters in this anthology are Moira (the blind witch) and Tom (the werewolf) in the Patricia Briggs story "Seeing Eye". Those two characters play a substantial role in the new Briggs book Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, Book 2). It was wonderful to meet up with them again.