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The Dragon Done It Hardcover – March 4, 2008
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"Editor's Introduction" tells how this book has conceived and compiled. The editors had recently produced science fiction mystery anthologies and a fantasy mystery collection. This work seemed to be the obvious next step.
"The Long and Short of It" (Original publication) by Mike Resnick puts Mallory into a case of rearranged physiques.
"Dead Wolf in a Hat" (Realms of Fantasy, 2005) by Graham Edwards is about a wolfman shot in the doorway to a detective's office.
"This Town Ain't Big Enough" (Vampire Slayers, 1995) by Tanys Huff pits Vicki against a more experienced vampire.
"The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds" (Knave, 1984) by Neil Gaiman forces Jack Horner to solve the death of Humpty Dumpty.
"The Whistling Room" (The Idler, 1910) by William Hope Hodgson places Carnacki in the midst of an ancient haunting.
"Doppelgangster" (Murder by Magic, 2004) by Laura Resnick exposes two Mafia families to doppelgangers and death.
"Claus of Death" (Slipstreams, 2006) by Michael M. Jones brings his ex-wife back to Santa Claus with a murder case.
"McNamara's Fish" (F&SF, 1963) by Ron Goulart involves Max is a case of mutual suspicions and a water elemental.
"Gunsel and Gretel" (The Mammoth Book of Awesome Comic Fantasy) by Esther M. Friesner brings Gretel to the gingerbread house witch to find the missing Hansel.
"Alimentary, My Dear Watson" (Sherlock Holmes in Orbit, 1995) by Lawrence Schimel involves Watson and Holmes with Alice and the March Hare.
"Fox Tails" (Realms of Fantasy, 2005) by Richard Parks discloses the family disgrace of Lord Abe no Yasuna.
"A Case of Identity" (Analog. 1964) by Randall Garrett takes Lord Darcy to Cherbourg to find a missing Marquis.
"The Case of the Skinflint's Specters" (Christmas Ghosts, 1993) by Brian M. Thomsen examines the reasons for an investigation of Ebenezer Scrooge.
"The Black Bird" (New Voices in Science Fiction, 2003) by David Kirtley
confronts Spade with a talking black bird who asks about the location of the real falcon.
"The Enchanted Bunny" (The Undesired Princess and the Enchanted Bunny, 1990) by David Drake carries a ghost writer into a royal family affair.
"The Adventure of the Pearly Gates" (Sherlock Holmes in Orbit, 1995) by Mike Resnick regards the boredom of Holmes in Heaven and a small affair that livens his existence.
"The Seventh Chapter" (F&SF, 1997) by Harry Turtledove introduces the nomophtlax -- chief counsel -- of the Patriarch of Videssos to a puzzle in a small town.
"The Detective of Dreams" (Dark Forces, 1980) by Gene Wolfe relates the case of the Dream Master, who haunts the dreams of people in an Alpine town.
"The Witch's Murder" (Original publication) by Dave Freer & Eric Flint deals with an accusation of murder within a town near the Venetian Lagoon.
These tales range from Mother Goose to European witchery to Japanese spirit stories. Most were written in the past few decades, but the oldest was published prior to the First World War. This subgenre seems more popular since the Second World War, with authors like Manly Wade Wellman dealing extensively with such themes.
Fantastic mysteries are difficult to devise. If anything is possible, how can the reader have any chance to solve the mystery? The author has to provide even more clues than in mainstream mysteries.
Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys tales of fantasy, mystery and weird ambiances. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin
* Sherlock either shows up or is referred to in several stories.
* A few stories feature multiple universes.
* Magic can be scientific, mystical, or fairy-tale, author's choice.
* Hard-boiled gumshoes make their noir way through several stories, mostly starting with a dame walking into the room.
* No fantasy is complete without at least one visit to the circus.
The cover led me to expect a shape-shifitng dragon, but nope.
Stories were originally from 1910 to 2008 - 2 new stories were written for the collection.