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Publisher's Summary

In “Death by Dahlia,” number-one New York Times best-selling author Charlaine Harris takes vampire Dahlia Lynley-Chivers to a lavish party that turns deadly. And with so many different creatures of the night in attendance, Dahlia will have a hard time identifying the most likely suspect.

Number-one New York Times best-selling author Patricia Briggs thrills in “In Red, with Pearls,” as a werewolf P.I. races to crack a case involving zombies, witches, and the most horrifying creatures of them all: lawyers.

In “Lord John and the Plague of Zombies”, New York Times best-selling author Diana Gabaldon follows Lord John as he journeys to the beautiful but faintly sinister island paradise of Jamaica, where he’s soon investigating a mystery with no shortage of spiders, snakes, revolutionaries, and, of course, zombies.

With these and 13 more original tales, Down These Strange Streets takes you to the cities where fantasy and mystery collide and where private eyes who have seen it all find something lurking that is stranger still.

©2011 George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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A Hit ( for me at least)

These anthologies can be a HUGE miss sometimes but I think I got a hit this time. This book has the usual hit urban fantasy writers such as Charlaine Harris, Carrie Vaughn and Patricia Briggs. But it also has Diana Gabaldon with a short Lord John Zombie story as well as gem of the story from Lisa Tuttle Set with a curious mystery of cursed goods set in 19th centery London. I have to say I loved to read about Warren from the Mercy Thompson story taking a spotlight in her short story!

Recommned it to anyone who likes a little unusual detective stories! and of course if you are a fan of those arthors and their world, you will definately have fun!

1. “Death by Dahlia” by Charlaine Harris (from Sookie's world)
2. “The Bleeding Shadow” by Joe R. Lansdale
3. “Hungry Heart” by Simon R. Green (Nightside story. Humorous)
4. “Styx and Stones” by Steven Saylor (this seems to be a part of a series)
5. “Pain and Suffering” by S. M. Stirling
6. “It’s Still the Same Old Story” by Carrie Vaughn (Kitty's world a Rick story!)
7. “The Lady is a Screamer” by Conn Iggulden
8. “Hellbender” by Laurie R. King (Really interesting premise! I wonder if there is more)
9. “Shadow Thieves” by Glen Cook ( a part of a series I think)
10. “No Mystery, No Miracle” by Melinda M. Snodgrass (Really interesting. I would love to read more about Cross and his work )
11. “The Difference Between a Puzzle and a Mystery” by M. L. N. (This was a really clever story and I would love to disscuss it with someone)
12. “The Curious Affair of the Deodand” by Lisa Tuttle (I loved this short story. I would love to read more from this world)
13. “Lord John and the Plague of Zombies” by Diana Gabaldon (YES! another Lord John story!)
14. “Beware the Snake” by John Maddox Roberts (A part of a series I think)
15. “In Red, with Pearls” by Patricia Briggs (A part of Mercy's world and Warren is the main character! I loved it!)
16. “The Adakian Eagle” by Bradley Denton ( a lot going on with this story... I think I need to relisten to it)

51 of 51 people found this review helpful

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  • Eugenia
  • Chatsworth, CA, US
  • 11-06-11

Wonderful Anthology

So thankful to Yuriko who listed the stories with the authors and some comments! It was such a chore to try and keep track of all the stories and authors as well as remember what they were about. So, thank you, Yuriko!I gave this book only 4 stars because the stories were of very uneven quality. Some I absolutely loved and others, I actively disliked. Some, I wished were much longer and could have been novels. But, others, I stopped paying attention to as I listened.

The main reasons I got this book are the authors, Diana Gabaldon and Charlaine Harris. But ironically, their stories were mediocre, and some other authors' stories that I thought I wouldn't like, such as Patricia Briggs, turned out to be terrific.But first I need to say that ANYTHING read by my hearthrob boyfriend (I wish) Phil Gigante, is worth five stars in my high esteem. His voice, no mattter the character, is SO melting. So with that totally unbiased opinion, I especially LOVED "In Red, With Pearls" by Patricia Briggs. How wonderful to have the main character of Warren, a gay werewolf, and his lover, Kyle, a human. I ADORED these characters and the premise and I hope for Ms. Briggs to wite a series using Warren as the main character! Please, please, please. I will buy every book.

The main reasons I liked "Lord John and The Plague Of Zombies" by Diana Gabaldon are the Lord John character and his brief mentions of Jamie Fraser (that I ate up with a spoon) and Ms. Gabaldon who could write a book about the phonebook and I'd be enthralled. This is not her finest work, but who's complaining when it's Lord John?

But the absolute worst was "Beware The Snake" by John Maddox Roberts. I'm sorry, but I happen to love snakes and all animals and having to hear about all the cruel and abusive things those pesky ancient Romans did to the animals really left me cold. Besides the historical details, the story was boring.

"The Lady Is A Screamer" by Iggulden (sp?) was a standout. I love ghost exorcists! But, I'm sorry, salamnders? In "Hellbender" by Laurie R. King. I mean, really, salamanders?

But there's plenty to enjoy in this anthology and I highly recommend it.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Excellent anthology

This is a collection of urban fantasy/detective stories. This is one of the best anthologies I’ve read in recent years. Usually, I only like a few of the stories in an anthology, but in this large anthology there were only a few I didn’t like. There were several stories by authors I already know and like and there were several by authors that I am glad to have been introduced to. I’ve already downloaded one novel by one of the authors below and have put others into my wishlist. There was also a great deal of variety in this anthology. There were stories in many different and unusual places and times. There was also much variety in the form the fantasy took. In some stories we had your typical urban fantasy werewolves and vampires, but in others there were less typical types of supernatural events taking place, and in still others the supernatural was only in the minds of the characters. I recommend this book.

“Death by Dahlia” by Charlaine Harris
A vampire named Dahlia is asked by the vampire sheriff to find out who committed a murder in the vampire nest. So-so. Not bad; not great. 3.5 stars

“The Bleeding Shadow” by Joe R. Lansdale
Takes place in the 1950s near as I can tell. We have an unlicensed private detective asked to find the brother of his ex-girlfriend. This is a dark story but very gripping. 4 stars

“Hungry Heart” by Simon R. Greene
I’ve tried one of Greene’s novels and two of his short stories. They are dark, cynical and tongue in cheek a la Terry Pratchett. I think he writes well, but his style is just not to my personal taste. Give it a try.

“Sticks and Stones by Stephen Saylor
Stephen Saylor is the author of a popular series of historical novels set in ancient Rome. This story’s main character is a young Roman man who goes to the even more ancient city of Babylon as a tourist. Ghostly events follow. 4 stars

“Pain and Suffering” by S. M. Sterling
Very well written. Narrator is good too. The story of a man who, after leaving the military, returns to New Mexico and becomes a cop. Only problem is, he keeps running into things that aren’t quite right. I’ll be trying this author again. 5 stars

“It’s Still the Same Old Story” by Carrie Vaughn
I’ve read other things by Carrie Vaughn. They almost do it for me. This is framed as a murder mystery as most of the stories in this anthology are, but it is more of a bittersweet romance. If you are into romance, you may like it more than I did. 3 stars.

“The Lady is a Screamer” by Conn Iggulden
I really liked this story. The main character has a lot of personality. I enjoyed his journey from fake psychic to... I haven’t read anything by Conn Iggulden before, but I plan to try him again soon. 5 stars

“Hellbender” by Laurie R. King
Laurie R. King is one of my favorite writers. She has written a little science fiction, but she is best known for her crime novels. In this story she combines the two, and she does her usual excellent job. I don’t want to give away ANY of the details; better to let the story unfold itself as you read. All I will say is that I found the ending brutally satisfying. 5 stars

“Shadow Thieves” by Glen Cook

“No Mystery, No Miracle” by Melinda M. Snodgrass
I enjoyed this one. We have a being from another universe, disguised as a human private detective, riding the rails during the Great Depression, disguised as a hobo... 4 stars

“The Difference Between a Puzzle and a Mystery” by M. L. N. Hanover
A cop is working with an exorcist to solve a torture-murder of a young woman. I have to admit that I don’t quite understand this story. I liked elements of it. I’m left with questions. I guess that was the author’s intent. 3.8 stars?

The Curious Affair of the Deodand” by Lisa Tuttle
This seemed as if it must be the beginning of a series. Though the names are different, we seem to have a young Sherlock Holmes and a female Watson. The language seemed very similar to that of Conan Doyle, but whereas Holmes consistently rejected belief in the supernatural, this story embraces it. I liked it. If it WERE part of a series, I would buy the next one. 4 stars

“Lord John and the Plague of Zombies” by Diana Gabaldon
I was a big fan of Diana Gabaldon’s first book, but I liked each of its successors less. I’ve read one other Lord John story and it didn’t inspire me to search out the others. I didn’t dislike this one, but it dragged a bit for me. 3 stars

“Beware the Snake” by John Maddox Roberts
This is another historical mystery with a Roman as the main character. In this case we have a Roman senator who has been commissioned by Caesar to solve a crime involving a stolen religious object. I liked this one. I plan to look into the author’s other books. 4 stars

“In Red, with Pearls” by Patricia Briggs
This story is part of the Mercy Thompson series. However, the main character in this story is Warren. If you have read the Mercy books, you know that Warren is third in dominance in the local werewolf pack, and that his lover has helped him get a private detective’s license. This story doesn’t involve the pack. He is doing outside detective work. I don’t want to give away any plot details, so I’ll say nothing more than that it has a very fine ending. 5 stars

“The Adakian Eagle” by Bradley Denton
This story is set on one of the Aleutian Islands during World War II. We have
American troops stationed there to prevent the Japanese from invading, and we have a torture/murder which needs investigating. I liked this story. 4 stars

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Harris and Gabaldon

I downloaded this for two reasons, Charlaine Harris and Diana Gabaldon. Harris's contribution was alright - not great, but still part of the Sookie universe. I really like Gabaldon's though. Trying to place it in the Outlander chronology - it is when Lord John is in the Indies after Claire and Jamie are gone to the Colonies. I really did enjoy the story- it was short, but for the material, it was great.

I plan on listening to the others at a later point.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Really good! Strongly written. Entertaining.

Any additional comments?

Long stories so if you don't like short stories, go ahead and order. Each had the stated theme but there was nothing similar about them. Unique to say the least. Urban mythology at its finest. Many of them are memorable. Really well done. I recommend this book and I do NOT like short stories. I was actually impressed w the quality and depth of this book. The format makes it easy if you do not have a lot of time to listen. It seems as though many of these well known authors gave some of their best for this book. Try it!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Story Listings, with Comments

The Story Contents:

Death by Dahlia, by Charlene Harris (read by Nicola Barber)
The Bleeding Shadow, by Joe R. Landsdale
Hungry Heart, by Simon R. Green (read by Ralph Lister)
Sticks and Stones, by Steven Sailor
Pain and Suffering, by SM Stirling
It's Still the Same Old Story (a Kitty Norval Story) by Carrie Vaughn
The Lady is a Screamer, by Khan Iggeldan
Hell Bender, by Lori R. King
Shadow Thieves, by Glen Cook (a Garrett PI Story)
No Mystery, No Miracle, by Melinda M. Snodgrass
The Difference Between a Puzzle and a Mystery, by MLN Hanover,
The Curious Affair of the Deo Dundle, by Lisa Tuttle (read by Nicola Barber)
Lord John and the Plague of Zombies, by Diana Gabaldon (read by Ralph Lister)
Beware the Snake (an SBQR Story), by John Maddox Roberts (read by Ralph Lister)
In Red, With Pearls, by Patricia Briggs
The Edackian Eagle, by Bradley Denton

(Apologies if I misspell an author's name. Not all were listed, so I wrote how it sounded.)

Overall, I think this was a good way to get introduced to a lot of different authors, and if you like even just three of the authors you find then it'll be worth a credit to pick it up.

Each of the narrators worked on different stories, with Phil Gigante doing the bulk of the talking - if no narrator is listed above, it's safe to assume it's Phil's gig. I gave 3 stars because Phil sucks at imitating female voices, and he tries a bit too hard to perform the story, which has mixed results. He's competent, and if you like the booming style of 1950's era radio you'll probably enjoy a lot more of his performances than I did. I found Ralph Lister to be closer to a 4 star narrator and don't recall enough of Nicola's performance to comment beyond that she didn't detract from the stories she read.

As to the file organization, each story spans several chapters, but each story starts with a new chapter section, which at least makes getting around easy enough. Each story also starts with about a minute or two of author blurb - accomplishments and a "further reading" list, that sort of thing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great book

I loved hearing all the different authors , I n
picked this book because of two of my favorite authors but found several others I can now check out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Using mobile app, you can only jump chapters, which do not correlate with individual stories. I found a couple of the narrators' voice a little grating, so it's hard to say if I disliked some stories due to irritation or truly not connecting with the story.

These are minor issues. I only gave the book 3/5 stars because there are only a handful of stories memorable enough to make an impression, and only the Lord John and Warren Smith stories were engaging.

Given that's the point of anthologies, I can't criticize it too harshly, but for me, most were authors I probably won't follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a strong collection well read

I picked this collection for the Simon R Green story. Unusually I enjoyed all the stories and will be looking up several authors.
The collection also had a good choice of narrators without any overly done accents or women's voices.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Collection

What a great collection of stories. I especially liked A Hungry Heart, but I would say they were all good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful