I don't quite know why I'm so hooked on short story collections right now, but I am. I'm happy to report that, as with the previous P.N.Elrod compendiums, this was a good one. And I'll go further and say that this collection was bang on the money. I liked every story in the book. That's not usually the case, especially when heroes make mistakes and people die. I have to temper my enthusiasm with a complaint that the last story in the collection was not the strongest, so the book kind of trailed off rather than finished with a bang, but still, it was a solid good read even with changing authors and voices every chapter.
One of the attractions of the Elrod-edited books is the story by Elrod that slips in there. I like the idea of a vampire in the roaring 20's who is trying to make a buck the old fashioned way and deal with the mob. The crazy Irishman doesn't hurt either. The Jim Butcher story was in the Dresden-verse, but was from Marcone's point of view and Dresden never showed up. Deirdre Knight's story was not as strong as it might be, and the "it's all a dream" trope got a bit tiresome, but the ending was far better than "happily ever after." Viki Pettersson did a lovely job talking about the heartbreak of being mortal. Etc. So yes, I'm pleased.
On the other hand, it looks like I should add to my "books read" list with a "books abandoned" post-script. I've gotten about 100 pages into Sing the Four Quarters, and I'm finding that I just don't care.
-- New-to-me books read in 2011 (as opposed to re-reads) --
Little Dee vol 2
Little Dee vol 3
The Black Stallion (yes, I know, I should have read it with Black Beauty)
Ravens in the Library: Magic in the Bard's Name, with a pre-finished commentary here
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Fang Bangers: An Erotic Anthology of Fangs, Claws, Sex and Love
Must Love Hellhounds
Dark and Stormy Knights
-- Books abandoned rather than completed in 2011 --
Sing the Four Quarters, by Tanya Huff