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Publisher's Summary

An all-new Dresden Files story headlines this urban fantasy short story collection starring the Windy City's favorite wizard. 

The world of Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is rife with intrigue - and creatures of all supernatural stripes. And you'll make their intimate acquaintance as Harry delves into the dark side of truth, justice, and the American way in this must-have short story collection. 

From the Wild West to the bleachers at Wrigley Field, humans, zombies, incubi, and even fey royalty appear, ready to blur the line between friend and foe. In the never-before-published "Zoo Day", Harry treads new ground as a dad, while fan-favorite characters Molly Carpenter, his onetime apprentice, White Council Warden Anastasia Luccio, and even Bigfoot stalk through the pages of more classic tales. 

With 12 stories in all, Brief Cases offers both longtime fans and first-time listeners tantalizing glimpses into Harry's funny, gritty, and unforgettable realm, whetting their appetites for more to come from the wizard with a heart of gold. 

Collection includes: 

  • "A Fistful of Warlocks" (from Straight Outta Tombstone, edited by David Boon), read by Cassandra Campbell
  • "B Is for Bigfoot" (from Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron, edited by Jonathan Strahan), read by James Marsters 
  • "AAAA Wizardry" (from the Dresden Files RPG), read by James Marsters 
  • "I Was a Teenage Bigfoot" (from Blood Lite 3: Aftertaste, edited by Kevin J. Anderson), read by James Marsters 
  • "Curses" (from The Naked City, edited by Ellen Datlow), read by James Marsters 
  • "Even Hand" (from Dark and Stormy Knights, edited by P. N. Elrodread), read by Jim Butcher 
  • "Bigfoot on Campus" (from Hex Appeal, edited by P. N. Elrod), read by James Marsters 
  • "Bombshells" (from Dangerous Women, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois), read by Julia Whelan
  • "Cold Case" (from Shadowed Souls, edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie Hughes), read by Julia Whelan 
  • "Jury Duty" (from Unbound, edited by Shawn Speakman), read by James Marsters 
  • "Day One" (from Unfettered II, edited by Shawn Speakman), read by Oliver Wyman 
  • "Zoo Day" (original), read by James Marsters 

*The author’s notes that precede each story are read by the author.  

©2018 Jim Butcher (P)2018 Penguin Audio

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

James should have read the WHOLE thing

James Marsters IS the Dresden-virse. If it was a matter of scheduling they should have waited until he could read the WHOLE THING. They've done it before. John Glover read Ghost Story first and now you can't find that version here if you wanted to, they don't even give him credit for the performance. Personally, I liked Glover's performance but the fan base was so up in arms they re-recorded the story with James. They should do it again with this collection. I don't review things much but, all I can say is that while I enjoyed most of the material, it just isn't the same without James throughout the book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The original story is great

Quite a lot of this collection has been released elsewhere. Those stories are quite good, but I'm not exactly psyched about buying material I've already enjoyed and having it duplicated. The couple remaining stories and the new original Zoo Day were VERY good and made me hungry for more Dresden again. Worth the price if most of these are new to you. Worth the credit, at least for me, for the few that were new.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Let's be honest, we all came for Zoo Day.

Brief Cases is a series of short stories following brief moments in Harry Dresden and his friends strange lives and each are lovely.
Yes, I purchased the audiobook purely for the last story, Zoo Day(as I had read the others except Day One), and I was not disappointed at all. Without giving much away, Zoo Day has alot more meat than you'd expect. Just a lovely story read by a lovely man.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Splendid Stories

The last one most especially, with differing viewpoints. Gotta love Harry and his friends. Now hurry up with the next book, dammit.

32 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Recycled Stories

Too many previously released stories, not enough new ones, although they are all well done.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not enough new stuff

As always, I loved the stories, however there was not enough new material to have waited this long for a new Dresden book. I felt a little cheated to have used up a credit for only 3 new-to-me stories.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I already own most of these.

The bad news is if you're a die hard Dresden fan you probably already own most of these contained in other anthologies. The good news is if you don't own the rest of the anthologies you can skip all the mediocre writing in the others and get your concentrated Dresden fix here. Plus there is a little bit of new material. Disappointingly little, but some.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Customer
  • St. Louis MO United States
  • 06-06-18

not enough new material to justify price.

I am giving the collection 2 stars because it does not have enough new material. the stories are great and I enjoyed them the first time I purchased them. About 1/3 of the book was previously released as working for Bigfoot. of the remaining stories most of them have been released in other anthologie that if you are a Dresden fan you have gotten multiple recomdations for.

if you have not purchased any of the other books the stores were published in the past it is worth every penny.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Mostly old stories with one new one hoped for more

After waiting one hella long time for a new Dresden book to come out, Butcher finally gave us a taste of something new. One new short story out of a collection of previously published tales. Now what gets my goat is that he re-collects his bigfoot trilogy here, meaning that he had already had a book just for those tales. I am severely P.O.'d that they were included here, since I had already purchased the Working for Bigfoot book a long time ago. That would be like taking three stories from Cold Cases and re-presenting them here. That would upset a lot of buyers, paying for the same set of stories twice. That move cost 2 stars in the overall. Either write a few extra shorts to fluff out your book, or don't recycle. I might have been able to stomach 1 retread, but not 3.

As for the narration, Marsters does not do all of the voice work. Molly's two stories are read by a lady, Julia Whelan, who does a very nice job, but I would have preferred James. It grated on me when she would say Leanan Sidhe. James says it as La-non-she, she says it as La-nan-she, and it just pushed me out of the story. Seriously, if you are going to narrate a short for a series that has a rabid devotion to its narrator do some simple research. Butter's tale is also not by Marsters, and I see no reason for that at all. Wyman isn't bad, but, again, no reason for it to not be Marsters. The first story, A Fistful of Warlocks by Cassandra Campbell was just flat. I would have preferred Whelan over Campbell. She did not do Anastasia justice. So, overall I am dissatisfied with the narration. That was one star off, I have to be fair, and I understand Marsters can't do everything, but Campbell hurt the story and I barely got through it.

The one shining moment of this book was the last story, A day at the Zoo, in which we got three very different events for the people involved. Maggie, Harry, and Mouse all have a connected but seperate set of experiences while at the zoo, and for me, finally getting to see things from Mouse's perspective was the one thing that made this collection worthwhile. Does it make up for the incredibly long wait we have been forced to endure? No, but at least it shows Butcher can still write Harry adventures. I'm sure I'm being overly critical, because hey, who doesn't like paying for the same exact thing twice? Have a favorite narrator? Let's not use him for eveything! Man, I get that sometimes you want a woman to read a story from a woman's perspective, but marsters has been living these characters for years. If he can't pull off Molly and Anastasia stories who can?

I'm all for collecting tales that not everyone could find, but this was a big disappointment. It is not fantastic, I don't have rose colored glasses on and I do not think that Butcher can do no wrong. There are a lot of things wrong with this book. Nothing horrible, but I really expected more.

21 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book but narration in the first story cringy

There are multiple narrators in this book, with varying levels of success.

Cassandra Campbell narrates the first story and it was...not good. Her Luccio accent hovered somewhere between Italy and Transylvania. Her Southwestern characters were so badly cliched they were insulting. Her English accent was passable, and the German accent was good. Not every actor can do accents. This was the only Dresden story that was so cringy in the narration, I wasn't able to finish it and switched over to the e-book. However, I tried to listen to it again later, and going in knowing that I was going to hate the accents, instead of being shocked that it wasn't James Marsters, helped. If you just accept that it's going to be cringy, you'll be able to get through it.

James Marsters is brilliant, as always. He is, without a doubt, the best male narrator in the literary world and the definitive Harry Dresden. I was wondering how he was going to pull off the last story, but he did it. He can totally be a wizard, a girl and a Foo dog.

Jim Butcher. It was fun hearing Jim Butcher introduce each story. He's actually a pretty good narrator, which is rare for an author. While he's no James Marsters, (sorry, Jim, but Marsters sets a very high bar!), he's enjoyable. He's also better than other authors I've heard, who (for some unknown reason) insist on narrating their own books. There are very few authors who can or should do this. At least Jim seems to have some acting ability and training.

Julia Whelan. I've heard her before and I really like her as a female narrator. She did a great job as Molly and bringing that part of the world to life.

Oliver Wyman made me laugh. He is soooo Waldo Butters. I love James Marsters, but Oliver nailed Butters. He's exactly how I hear Butters in my head. Loved him. I'm going to have to find more books narrated by him.

I hadn't heard the stories before, I tend not to read multi-author anthologies, so I loved having these stories together in one book. These were all new stories for me, and they really helped to bridge the world between the novels. The writing is brilliant, as always, even if some of the protagonists sound suspiciously like Dresden in their dialogue. But that's okay. A day with multiple Dresdens is better than a day without any.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful