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Death's Excellent Vacation Hardcover – August 3, 2010

82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Harris and Kelner's third short-story anthology sends paranormals on vacation. Some of the 13 journeys are romps: Harris dispatches Sookie Stackhouse on a weekend getaway with an errand to a strip club that involves more than Sookie bargained for, in "Two Blondes." Katie MacAlister gives Guardian Aisling Grey's demon servant a trip to remember in "The Perils of Effrijim." And A. Lee Martinez's "The Innsmouth Nook" B&B caters to an unusual crowd, to say the least. Other tales are chilling: Jeff Abbott's tabloid journalist pursues the "Safe and Sound" return of a missing tourist; Christopher Golden observes the a hotel's "Thin Walls" for connections between a mourning man and a succubus; and Chris Grabenstein's "The Demon in the Dunes" stresses the perils of smoking. Sarah Smith, Daniel Stashower, L.A. Banks, Lilith Saintcrow, and Sharan Newman also contribute quality work, and readers will find this collection a great sampler for discovering authors they'll want to follow. (Aug.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Praise for the editors’ previous collections
“Exceptional authors…A captivating collection.”—Darque Reviews
“Entertaining and worth reading. This excellent collection will appeal to
the growing legion of paranormal fans.”—Library Journal
“Experienced genre hands ensure the high quality.”—Booklist
“Fresh, interesting tales… [that] star some of the more famous series
characters like Sookie Stackhouse.”—Alternative Worlds

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; 1 edition (August 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441018688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441018680
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #682,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 88 people found the following review helpful By melindeeloo on August 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Death's Excellent offers a variety of vacation themed shorts. I enjoyed the mix of stories - a few with a touch of romance and some with a touch of horror - and even found a couple of new authors on the way, but I have to say that some of these vacations make finding a new travel agent, or safer still, taking a 'staycation' at home seem like a really good idea.

1. Two Blondes - Charlaine Harris - A Sookie short - Sookie and Pam head off to the riverboat casinos to mix business with some fun - For fans of the books the way that the pair manages to hide in plain sight when the business part of the vacation goes bad is something completely different for Sookie (for fans of the show probably not so much).

2. The Boys Go Fishing - Sarah Smith - A crotchety old superhero's lonely exile is invaded - he longs for death, but may yet discover how to truly live - I really really liked this story, it had some powerful and poignant moments. I'll be keeping out an eye for more by this author.

3. One for the Money - Jeaniene Frost - Night Huntress short - Cat and Bones pull guard duty for a human heiress targeted by supernatural hit men - This is a nice little Night Huntress fix for fans (there's even a few steamy bits)

4. Meanwhile, Far Across the Caspian Sea... - Daniel Stashower - An author takes his job as researcher to a new level.

5. The Innsmouth Nook - A. Lee Martinez - Owners of a bed and breakfast rewrite their business plan to accommodate an unexpected demographic in their clientile.

6. Safe and Sound - Jeff Abbott - An ambitious and less than scrupulous TV reporter milks the investigation into a young man's disappearance for ratings - given the reporter's nature, I thought that the resolution was fitting.

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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Julia A. Andrews on August 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love, love, love all things Sookie since I read Charlaine's first novel involving the sassy Louisana waitress a few years ago. Then Alan Ball teams up with Charlaine and HBO to bring my favorite little Lousiana town to life. BAM! It is a Sunday Supe Spectacular with Mr. Ball bringing his own brand of quirkiness to the mix. This book is dedicated to him with good reason.

This collection includes a terrific story about Sookie and Pam out on the town while doing an errand for Eric. Every Eric errand is bound to spiral out of control and this one is no exception. The dialogue is sharp and witty with the storyline delighting the dedicated Sookie fan. Especially when CH makes Sookie and Eric sizzle again.

With the exception of L.A. Banks I had not read anything from the other authors. I must say this book broadened my Urban Fantasy "to read in the future" list as I enjoyed the other stories immensely. As an avid reader I am always on the hunt for a new author/series so this collection was akin to a supernatural smorgasbord.

Thanks to the book editors, Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner, for picking such great stories for this urban fantasy anthology. Not a stinker in the bunch!

Bon Temps!
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23 of 30 people found the following review helpful By R. Wilson on August 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Charlaine Harris' Sookie short story kinda made me mad. I loved that it was about Pam and Sookie, I like their friendship, but the things Sookie did in this book was NOT sookie at all. So I am pretending like I never read this story.

Jeaniene Frosts short story about Cat and Bones was just what I expected. I love The night huntress and Night huntress world series. It was good but I wanted it to be longer. overall I give it 4 stars. I think I prefer short stories that are not part of series I read. stand alone shorts work better for me. Although sometimes I enjoy reading shorts and finding out they are part of series and then picking up the series and loving them.

The other 5 1st shorts (basically 1st half of book) were terrible. I almost didnt keep reading the book. I did pay a lot of money so I figured I would keep going.

Good thing the second half of the book got better. I think the last 3 stories were my favorite (besides Jeaniene frosts story). I am def. going to look into Toni Kelners books.

I think they were lazy when they were picking authors to go into this book. Do I think this was worth 13 dollars? no. Would I have made the same purchase knowing this.. probably.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am usually not a fan of short stories. I most always require a book with a bit of length and quite a bit of "meat" to it. Having said that, I found most of the stories in this collection to be quite a nice vacation, and I was introduced to a couple of new authors that I will definitely be following up on. While the theme is paranormal vacations, there was actually quite a bit of variety here. There's a great horror tale by Christopher Golden, and a story that struck me as almost pure fantasy by Katie MacAlister.

I'm a big fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books, so it was good to see her again, although I did not find her story very satisfying. If you're looking to buy this book just for that story, I would suggest that you just check it out from the library instead. If you are a fan of this genre though, this is by all means a worthwhile purchase.

I have never read Jeaniene Frost and really enjoyed her entry. Those characters are incredible, so I'll be looking at reading some more stuff from her. I thought Daniel Stashower's entry, Meanwhile Across the Caspian Sea... was just brilliant. It had a nice Twilight Zone feel and was beautifully written with a lot of wit and humor. He's another author I'll be looking into!

Jeff Abbott does a great job as always with a very well written tale of media gone amok, with some very memorable characters. He's a great storyteller and I would say that his story alone is worth the price of admission. Chris Grabenstein, who I know from his work with juvenile literature, contributes a great story here that brought me back to the 70's with a deliciously ghostly twist. There's nothing like a good American Ghost Story!

All in all, this was a great read.
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