It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.
Philip Marlowe pastiche mixed with what the author himself says is a hodge-podge of genuine magical practices mixed together. This is unfortunate because hard-boiled detectives are not terribly interesting these days unless they bring something new to the game. It was obvious that the new thing was meant to be the magic, but in turn that brings nothing interesting either through neither being an original take on how it could work, nor a detailed exploration of what if some genuine belief system really worked. The mystery also had predictable elements. The saving grace was the protracted denouement that dispensed with the wise-cracks and got on with an exciting show-down.
This is a debut novel and I've been told Butcher improves (variously between books 4 and 7 of this series) which is projected to last for 20 volumes. I think it's more than 3/4 of the way there already. My feeling is that the climax of this book made up for a lot of the previous sins and I would definitely read more, though I'm inclined to try one of his other series to see if he really has got better with practice. On this showing, Malcolm Pryce's Louis Knight series is a better modern pastiche (or send-up) of the hard-boiled detective genre and Stross's Laundry Files or Lukyanenko's Watch series are both hugely more original urban fantasies.
Talking of Storm Fronts, I have one approaching from the south west - how soon 'til I start hearing thunder?
I'm not quite seeing what all the fuss is about, so far. The mystery is progressing slowly and the concept seems simply to be, mix cliches from two genres and hope no-one notices the lack of originality with regard to either.
Francis has maximised the personal and put in few scientific letters from the Beagle voyage; this is inconvenient for my purposes.
The gazillionth Laundry File confirms that the success of its predecessors depended heavily on the voice of Bob Howard by again not using it. Instead we get Howard-lite in the form of newbie vampire and Laundry recruit, Alex. Alex is the kind of nervous, out of his depth nerd Bob was way back in the mists of time, without the wit or distinctive turns of phrase. This makes the first half of the book a little dull. Circa p200 however, things start to go crazy, the viewpoint widens and war breaks out. After that it's a gallop all the way to the end.
This Dresden fellow is a bit of a sexist git - one of those sexist gits who dress it up as "old fashioned" and "gentlemanly".