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Death's Excellent Vacation Hardcover – August 3, 2010

3.7 out of 5 stars 85 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: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #714,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Two Blondes by Charlaine Harris

I’ll admit, I do not like the Sookie Stackhouse novels, but I really liked this short set in the Sookie world. Sookie and Pam head to the state border for some river-boat gambling, but end up in the middle of a vampire plot. In order to get free, Sookie must do something she never thought possible. I don’t want to spoil it, but this story was just fun, fun, fun.

The Boys Go Fishing by Sarah Smith

I have mixed feelings about this one. While I really liked the idea behind it, and themes of the story, I felt that the Ranma 1/2 (a popular Japanese anime by Rumiko Takahashi) fan-service detracted from the message. In fact, I would venture to guess this story started out as Ranma 1/2 fan-fiction and was repurposed for this collection. I would have enjoyed the story more without the anime references.

One for the Money by Jeaniene Frost

This story is from Jeaniene Frost’s ongoing book series, although you don’t have to know the characters to enjoy this story it does help to have a passing familiarity with them. While it drags a bit in the middle, but the ending is fun and satisfying.

Meanwhile, Far Across the Caspian Sea by Daniel Stashower

Honestly, I didn’t like this story. Not much happened, and the twist ending, when it did finally come, didn’t really grab me much at all.

The Innsmouth Nook by A. Lee Martinez

Even people who have never heard of HP Lovecraft will enjoy this humorous little tale. I laughed out loud several times during the course of this story, and the twist ending had me doubled over laughing.

Safe and Sound by Jeff Abbott

A bit long, I had a hard time enjoying the story because of the unlike ability of the main character.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
13 contemporary paranormal short stories. No sex.

Charlaine Harris - 3 stars. I'm not really a Sookie fan, but this one isn't too bad. The worst thing you can say about it is it's kind of boring. Too much of what Sookie had for breakfast & descriptions of a casino.

Sarah Smith - 4 stars. Good story about a lonely, immortal superhero.

Jeannine Frost - 2 stars. What the hell happened to this story? Very boring Cat & Bones.

Daniel Stashhower - 4 stars. This is a peculiar little tale. I really liked it. Can't say too much else without giving it away.

A. Lee Martinez - 3 stars. Sea creatures inhabit a small East coast village.

Jeff Abbott - 5 stars. Very cool missing person story. Best in the book IMO.

L.A. Banks - 3 stars. Could have been 4 stars, but the action is over before it begins & everything is wrapped up too neatly. Psychic girl tries to take on a werewolf pack on a killing spree & juggle a new relationship.

Katie Macalister - 3 stars. Obviously part of a series. I was a little lost with character identity. Also tries too hard to be funny.

Christopher Golden - 4 stars. One night stand gone very wrong.

Lilith Saintcrow - 4 stars. Kind of a strange story about gargoyles. I liked it though.

Chris Grabenstein - 3 stars. The choices you make in your youth affect your future.

Sharan Newman - 3 stars. - Family reunion in Ireland.

Toni P. Kelner - 3 stars. This is actually the second Pirate Dave story I've read. This one tells you how it all began between Joyce & Pirate Dave.
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