side-jobs-the-dresden-filesJim Butcher
ROC
2010

In between the publication of the several novels of the Dresden Files series, author Jim Butcher also wrote a bunch of short stories featuring his put-upon wizard detective; some for various magazines, some for short story collections, all a little bit of story that mostly takes place in-between the regular novels, sometimes filling in some continuity. Either way, short stories are fun, so let’s take a look at this collection, shall we?

“A Restoration of Faith”
Harry is on the case of finding a runaway, only to learn upon finding her that the parents are planning on accusing Harry of kidnapping her to save face. Then they encouter a troll that has taken up residence under a bridge they need to cross. Wackiness ensues…

“Publicity and Advertising (Vignette)”
Harry and Bob the Skull have a discussion on how to properly write a Yellow Pages ad. Um, that’s it, really. No wackiness to ensue…

“Something Borrowed”
Harry is getting ready as best man at the wedding of a couple of the Alphas, when the Bride goes missing, and the Groom being tricked into marrying one of the faeries of the Winter Court. Wackiness ensues…

“It’s My Birthday, Too”
On his White Court vampire half-brother Thomas’ birthday, the vampire-themed LARP (just go with it) is interrupted by a jilted former member of the LARP who has been turned into a Black Court vampire and is filled with NERD RAGE! Wackiness ensues…

“Heorot”
A newlywed woman is kidnapped at a local beer fest, along with a keg of microbrew. Turns out it’s a descendant of Grendel, who needs mead in order to breed a child of his own. Wackiness ensues…

“Harry’s Day Off”
Harry has a rare day off, and he plans on spending it on a date. Oh, la-la. Only, these carefully laid plans of mice and men are interrupted by his apprentice wanting to bone up on some potion-making, and by a couple of the Alphas needing a magical flea-dip to get rid of psychophagic mites. Wackiness ensues…

“Backup”
Entirely told by the point of view of Harry’s half-brother Thomas Raith, as he helps out Harry with locating a kidnapped child while keeping Harry unaware that he’s actually helping out. Wackiness ensues…

“The Warrior”
Someone is targeting Michael Carpenter’s family in a bid to get ahold of the Sword of the Cross that Michael no longer wields. The attempts at stealing the swords fail, and then one of Michael’s daughters is kidnapped to try and force their surrender. Kidnap the daughter of a former Knight of the Cross? Bad idea…

“Last Call”
A spell is placed on MacAnally’s famous homemade beer by a maenad to control people attending some kind of sporting event. Wackiness ensues…

“Love Hurts”
After a series of bizarre double-suicides, Harry and Karrin Murphy investigate the source at a carnival outside of Chicago. Turns out it’s the work of a Red Court vampire, casting love spells because they wanted to stick it to the White Court vampires. Um, yeah…

“Aftermath”
Taking place immediately after the events in Changes, Karrin Murphy doesn’t accept that Harry is really dead, on account that his body wasn’t found. She moves on with her life, continuing on the fight against the supernatural evil in Chicago while maintaining her standing as a policewoman…

Overall, Side Jobs is a nifty collection of bite-sized Dresden stories that pack in the humor, mystery and excitement of your standard Dresden story while keeping things brief yet satisfying. Mostly. “Publicity and Advertising (Vignette)” is just that: a vignette rather than a proper story. But still, rather amusing. In any case, very much worth checking out for a nice suplament companion collection to the regular novels in the series.

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