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Mean Streets Paperback – January 6, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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 Trade (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451462491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451462497
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this collection to be a bit of a disappointment.

The first story, The Warrior, was very good and I couldn't put it down. It is set fairly late in the Dresden series, and has some serious spoilers for new readers.
The second story was my first trip to the Nightside. Green's protagonist was too understated and powerful. I had to force myself to come back and finish it. It has a lot of action, but not a lot of tension (he'll be fine). I was disappointed by Mr. Green's Deathwalker series, and this story reminded me why.
The third was about a Greywalker. It was a lot slower and more cerebral than the other tales, probably indicative of that series (not sure, I've not read any of those books). Again, another story I could put down. If you're familiar with (or uninterested in) Day of the Dead mythology then it will be pretty boring. That said, I enjoyed it. I may have to pick up a volume or two of the actual series.
The last story was about Remy Chandler, angel and detective. It feels like it is fairly far along in the series. Again, I had mixed feelings about this one. It had a mystery, but I saw the solution immediately (and was correct). It had combat, but the question was if the protagonist would pull out his "big guns" not if he'd win. It was enjoyable, but not enough for me to rush out and buy the books. The protagonist simply feels too powerful and unstoppable from what I've read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
These are stories of the occult and the unusual. Classed as Urban Fantasy, the four authors represented here are considered among the best writers of this genre. That being said, I found the stories not bad.

The first story, called The Warrior, is by Jim Butcher involving Jim's Wizard Private Eye character Harry Dresden is well crafted within the world Butcher has created in modern day Chicago in his series The Dresden Files and explains elements of the continuing saga of Chicago's only professionally practicing Wizard.

Story number two is by British author Simon Green and is on the surreal noir side; entertaining but not on the same level as the first or last tale. It involves a land that is located in London, but on another plain of existence called The Nightside. John Taylor is the PI/Troubleshooter who specializes in cases that involve femme fatales, supernatural goons,and The Nightside and its denizens. One other thing, Taylor may be more than he seems to be.

The third story by Kat Richardson is interesting and involves a female PI Harper Blaine who can see the dead's spirits. It takes place for the most part in Mexico on the extended Days of the Dead and is an entertaining little tale of revenge from beyond the grave.

The last takes a different tack. Thomas E. Sniegoski's Boston based PI Remy Chandler, is more than he appears to be. He is an Angel. Not just a plain old run of the mill Guardian or Messenger Angel. He is Remeiel a Seraphim; a golden Angel Warrior of heaven grown tired of the constant war between good and evil. He has fled the wars to live as a human upon the Earth and work as a Private Eye. He has been called and finds he must investigate the murder of an ancient figure; an icon of humanity despite being in mourning for his recently deceased human wife. A well crafted and entertaining story despite one rather obvious flaw.
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