Some of the stories in this book were really good, while others I didn't really like at all. I tried to post a longer review for this book but it wasn't being accepted, so I'll simply sum up by saying my favorite stories in this anthology were Cold Spell by Donna Andrews, The Nightside, Needless to Say by Simon R. Green, The Price by Anne Bishop, Fairy Dust by Charlaine Harris, The Sorcerer's Assassin by Sharon Shinn, Palimpsest by Laura Anne Gilman, and Justice is a Two-Edged Sword by Dana Stabenow.
There are many great short stories here, but Charlaine Harris' contribution helps the reader of her Sookie books understand the faries' presence in her life. Sharon Shinn, Anne Bishop, Laura Anne Gilman, and Simon Green all contribute excellent stories.
Very nice collection of stories. Strong authors and a great way of tasting the styles in a short form.
Great stories by some of the best paranormal writers there are!
I enjoyed all of the stories included in this book. Despite the common sleuthing thread, they are a very eclectic collection with something for almost everyone; one told from a raven's perspective, one sci fi, one about faeries, one about a mage with a cold, one about Egyptian gods in modern Cairo...
These stories are a great mix of fantasy and mystery, with one having a science fiction motif. I liked Simon R. Green's story of a detective who solves his own murder in the Nightside (The Nightside, Needless to Say), Sookie Stackhouse's interaction with local fairies in Charlaine Harris's Fairy Dust and the sometime humorous account of an alien murder investigation in Mike Doogan's The Death of Clickclickwhistle.
It amazes me how much of an influence an editor has over my enjoyment of the stories in an anthology. I've learned that some editors have a tendency to rush from climax to conclusion, allowing as little as a paragraph for the fact that it's over to sink in. Other times, the editor allows the authors so much leeway that they don't even appear to bother with such elements as structure, characters, setting or plot - and would be tempted to do away with verbs if at all possible!
This is why I've learned to respect Dana Stabenow as an editor. For the most part, the short stories in her collections have an introduction, conflict leading to climax, and a true resolution. She allows her authors the short-cut of character exposition as the plot goes along these are, after all, SHORT stories! However, by the time the story is over, I'm comfortable that I've followed the plot & learned something about the characters and usually their locale, as well.
This last aspect is VERY important in the collection Powers of Detection: Stories of Mystery and Fantasy. Most of the stories are good old-fashioned murder mysteries, except rather than set in the back-alleys of New York or Chicago or they're either in some fantasy realm, or among some extraordinary denizens of our world. Therefore, the setting MUST be described in greater detail, and the physical rules of the world or dimension in which the story is set must also be explained all while running towards the conclusion of a SHORT story.
I would find it hard to pick out a favorite among the stories and authors. Charlaine Harris lends a tale featuring her Sookie Stackhouse (a character I've heard of, but not read before now). The editor contributes a tale where sword and sorcery also provide a more traditional sense of justice. Sharon Shinn, Anne Perry, Donna Andrews, Mike Doogan a dozen stories, in all.
While I'm not usually a fantasy reader, the prospect of setting a murder mystery in a fantasy setting was intriguing to me, and I'm glad I invested the time into reading this collection. So much so that I have already picked up the sequel: Unusual Suspects.