Thursday, March 20, 2014

GoodReads Review: The Dragon Done It

The Dragon Done ItThe Dragon Done It by Mike Resnick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fantasy-mystery crossovers have enjoyed increasing popularity, and I had high hopes for this anthology of short stories, advertised as humorous in nature. This is a solid but not remarkable anthology; there aren't any real duds, but none of the stories stand out in my mind as especially memorable, though Esther Friesner, as ever, delivers a highlight with twists upon twists ("Gunsel and Gretel").

There is definitely a bias towards noir here, especially in the first half of the book, which is specific enough that the stories start to feel a bit repetitive. I wonder why the noir offerings weren't spread out more evenly, because we also get some entertaining Sherlock Holmes takes - I'm particularly fond of "The Adventure of the Pearly Gates" by Mike Resnick, which is set in heaven - and some well-realized historical tales. Another unusual offering is "Fox Tails" by Richard Park, which features an eastern setting.

Overall, this collection was decent, but not exceptional. Some of the stories, I wouldn't classify as mysteries. Some of the humor was of the broad, silly type I have trouble with - it takes me out of any tension. Other examples were quite clever, though, but this isn't a humorous anthology as a whole. Worth reading, but don't run out to get it.

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