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Mean Streets Paperback – January 6, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers will be delighted with this collection of original novellas tied to popular crime/fantasy series. The standout is Sniegoskis Noahs Orphans, in which angel PI Remy Chandler must solve the murder of the biblical Arks builder, whose battered corpse is found on an abandoned oil rig. Sniegoski manages to make a far-fetched setup both plausible and moving. Butchers The Warrior hints at a mysterious ongoing war, while wizard detective Harry Dresden solves a case with typical dry wit. Green employs darker humor in The Difference a Day Makes, in which PI John Taylor assists a woman who wandered into the dark world hidden within London, while Richardsons The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog neatly merges noir conventions with a fantastical plot. All solid and suspenseful, these stories are sure to please. (Jan.)
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About the Author

A martial arts enthusiast whose resume includes a long list of skills rendered obsolete at least two hundred years ago, Jim Butcher turned to writing as a career because anything else probably would have driven him insane. He lives with his wife, his son and a ferocious guard dog.
Kat Richardson lives on a sailboat in Seattle with her husband, a crotchety old cat, and two ferrets. She rides a motorcycle, shoots target pistol, and does not own a TV.

Simon R. Green is a New York Times bestselling author whose works include Drinking Midnight Wine, Beyond the Blue Moon, Blue Moon Rising, The Adventures of Hawk & Fisher, and the Deathstalker series. A resident of Bradford-on-Avon in England, he is currently working on the next Deathstalker novel.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451462491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451462497
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 84 people found the following review helpful By I. J. Gilbert on February 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anthologies usually aren't something I'm interested in - I generally prefer the more fleshed out, complete stories of a novel length book. But I'm a Jim Butcher fan, and the other authors have some solid reviews so I figured I'd give it a try...

Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden story was good. Harry's friend Michael Carpenter, former Knight of the Sword, is being threatened and it's up to Harry to figure out who it is and and stop them - if he can manage to without getting killed himself. The story was well-paced, and can be enjoyed by people not familiar already with the Dresden series. Butcher took care to give enough background information so that new readers wouldn't be lost; but familiar readers won't be bored by repetition. Butcher does a good job, in that while his hero is a powerful wizard, he's far from indestructible, and often gets out of jams by the skin of his teeth. This was the best story of the anthology in my opinion, but then I already admitted to being prejudiced on this count.

Kat Richardson's Greywalker/Harper Blaine story was interesting. I'd never read any of her work before so was totally unfamiliar with the character; but like Butcher enough background information was provided that I could follow the story line easily enough. Basically, Harper is hired to do a simple job in Mexico - one that turns out to be, of course, more complicated that it's first thought to be. Richardson's heroine has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts, and she uses this ability to solve the puzzle of this short story. This is NOT an action-packed tale though - so if you're expecting a lot of intense scenes of peril for our heroine, you'll be disappointed. Overall, the story was good enough that I'll be looking into more of this series.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By melindeeloo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Mean Streets succeeds where so many anthologies fall short - pun intended. So if you are buying this one just for the Harry Dresden short, you're going to pleasantly surprised because authors Green, Richardson, and Sniegoski manage to keep up with Butcher and all four authors deliver great urban fantasy novellas packed to the brim with satisfying stories carved from their series

"The Warrior" - Harry Dresden steps in when it appears that his good friend and former Knight of the Cross, Michael and family may be in danger. Someone wants Michael's old sword, a holy weapon against evil, which was given into Harry's keeping and that someone knows that Harry doesn't fear his own death but will go to any lengths to protect those he cares about. - This is one of the better mini episodes from Jim Butcher's Dresden world but Butcher does makes heavy use of the characters from his series so if you are new to the Dresden series you won't love Michael as much as I do or get the same kick out of seeing Butters doctoring Harry, but you will still get a good feel for Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard and all-around decent guy.

"Noah's Orphans" -- As much as I love Harry, when I skimmed through the book in the bookstore the start of Thomas E. Sniegoski's story is really what made me buy this book. Sniegoski's hero is angel Remy Chandler, who has chosen to leave heaven behind, and spent the last few millenium trying to be as human as possible, now making his living as a private detective. Though Remy wants nothing to do with the fallen angel who comes seeking his aid, Remy ends up on the case when Noah (of flood fame) is found murdered and "Noah's orphans" (the flood survivors denied a place on the Ark) are implicated.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By T. Edmund on April 16, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I quite often find collections of short stories from successful writers to be little more than divided effort cash-cows, however Mean Streets was a cut above the rest.

Jim Butcher's story is an action packed story from his regular character Dresden. I'm often leary when swords are mentioned due to my favourite groan-worthy quote "A sword gets you a lot of space, even on a crowded hovertrain" from Saintcrow's Deal with the Devil. This story kicks ass though.

The next piece by Green is a pretty comical work "I opened my third eye; my private eye" (my eyes rolled) that isn't a bad read, probably more of a WTF don't take too seriously work though.

Richardson's story is a lengthy tale of msytery which is a great read, but does become a little convoluted and the author tries to squeeze decent twists into a short story.

Sniegoski risks melodrama of biblical proportions but pulls off a decent story with some cool action and a compelling lead character.

Overall these stories are of a style of urban fantasy that will appeal to boys a bit more especially in a genre dominated by twlight fans. The stories are action dominated with good character development underneath. Well worth the read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By myotherself VINE VOICE on January 26, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
These are four novellas from four private investigator/paranormal character series. Each of the four has a very different flavor. The page numbers indicate actual print pages for each story. The book is 311 pages long but there are many blank pages and also title and dedication pages which I have not counted toward story length.

Jim Butcher - Harry Dresden in "The Warrior" - 59 pages - 5 stars
This story just jumps right in to the previous relationship between Harry and Michael without filling in much background. Someone is sending Harry photographs of Michael and his family as a possible warning of danger to them. As it unfolds, the messages were actually aimed to get Harry's attention. If you've never read any other Harry Dresden stories, this is probably not going to help you a whole lot with catching up with character development, but it will certainly show you the high quality you can expect from a book written by Jim Butcher.

I saw a statement written by someone several weeks ago where he was complaining about having "Christian propaganda shoved down his throat". If you feel that way also, I need to tell you that this story is full of Christian symbols, history and doctrine juxtaposed very nicely with magical abilities. I loved it!

Simon R. Green - John Taylor in "The Difference a Day Makes" - 63 pages - 5 stars
John Taylor and Dead Boy are spending some quality time at the oldest bar in the world, Strangefellows, in the Nightside when trouble comes walking through the door. This trouble has lost her memory for the last 24 hours and she wants John to find those memories for her because her husband may be in trouble.

Have you ever read a really good parody of a bad Humphrey Bogart film?
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