Powers of Detection: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy

Powers of Detection: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy

by Dana Stabenow

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101208526
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/05/2004
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 561,984
File size: 291 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Dana Stabenow, a New York Times bestselling author and Edgar Award winner, has written twenty Kate Shugak mysteries, four Liam Campbell mysteries, three science-fiction novels, and two thrillers, and she also freelances for Alaska magazine. She was born, raised, and lives in Alaska, where she was awarded the Governor's Award for the Arts and Humanities in 2007.

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Powers of Detection: Stories of Mystery and Fantasy 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
This twelve story collection anthology combines elements of the mystery and fantasy genres into a fantastic rewarding experience. Each tale is top rate and several include popular characters such as Sookie Stackhouse and known locales like Nightside. The contributors are top players from in their own genre, but had no problem placing a foot in the area they normally do not frequent. Each author insured that the magical elements seemed real drawing the reader into becoming a believer for the moment yet did not crimp on the mystery components whether it is an investigation of a murder by mythological creatures, magical Alaskan charmers, a school to rival Potter¿s alma mater, or a legal thriller with quite a jury of ones peers. The crossing of the two genres works on all levels so that the audience of either will appreciate mayhem in a whimsical setting............................. Harriet Klausner
leahsimone on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This anthology was one of the better ones I've read recently. Out of the twelve stories presented I enjoyed nine of them. My favorites included Cold Spell by Donna Andrews, The Nightside, Needless to Say by Simon R. Green, Palimpest by Laura Anne Gilman, and Justice Is A Two-Edged Sword by Dana Stabenow. The Price by Anne Bishop, Fairy Dust by Charlaine Harris, The Sorcerer¿s Assassin by Sharon Shinn, Cairene Dawn by Jay Caselberg and The Death of ClickClickWhistle by Mike Doogan were pretty good if a bit predictable or somewhat lacking in interesting characters. I do think this compilation would have been better with out Lovely by John Straley, The Judgement by Anne Perry, and The Boy Who Chased Seagulls by Michael Armstrong as they were completely uninteresting.
surreality on LibraryThing 8 months ago
It's the usual mix of quality and styles in an anthology. Some good stories, some bad ones, and some that make you wonder whether the authors realized they were supposed to write a mystery.
stephmo on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Powers of Detection presents a dozen stories loosely based around mystery and a fantasy or science fiction or magical element of some sort. I'd originally picked up the anthology to read Charlaine Harris's story, Fairy Dust, a quick mystery set in Bon Temps where Sookie Stackhouse solves a murder mystery sans vampires. Her story expanded the Sookie's universe a little, but remained open to someone who may not be familiar with the world of Bon Temps.The rest of the collection presents a bit of a mixed bag. Highlights for me included The Nightside, Needless to Say where a zombified detective finds himself in the interesting position of being able to solve his own murder; Lovely which was told from a Raven's rather angry perspective and Justice is a Two-Edged Sword where a simple stop for a young seer and soldier turns into a search for justice in a town determined to lynch a young man for the murder of a pretty young girl.Each of these stories felt like introductions to new writers for me, and they felt like stories that were given attention and care. On the downside, The Judgement started out as a good idea, but grew increasingly sloppy; The Boy Who Chased Seagulls read like a rejected Aesop fable and The Death of Clickclickwhistle began to collapse under the weight of its own cleverness. In the case of these stories, it felt almost as if these authors suddenly remembered that they'd promised to deliver a short story to an anthology and that they'd just suddenly remembered their deadline. Still, between the hits and the misses, there are some more than passable stories. This is an easy read and a worthwhile introduction for some authors you may not have read before.
janemarieprice on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Twelve fantasy and sci-fi mystery stories. This one is a mixed bag, some were quite good, but most were unremarkable. Cold Spell by Donna Andrews ¿ A mage and his assistant try to solve two mysteries at a duke¿s castle ¿ a murder and a magical security issue. Entertaining. ***The Nightside, Needless to Say by Simon R. Green ¿ A paranormal detective must solve his own murder. Witty. ***Lovely by John Straley ¿ A crow follows a murdered body looking for a meal. Strange. **The Price by Anne Bishop ¿ An assassin investigates a brutal magical murder. Very good. ****Fairy Dust by Charlaine Harris ¿ A Sookie Stackhouse story ¿ Sookie helps two fairies discover the murder of their sister. First I¿ve read of these¿cute. ***The Judgement by Anne Perry ¿ A woman is on trial for magically killing her brother-in-law. Had a dreamy quality that I liked. ***The Sorcerer¿s Assassin by Sharon Shinn ¿ The head professors at a school for wizards must discover who among them is trying to kill the others. Funny in way. ***The Boy Who Chased Seagulls by Michael Armstrong ¿ A strange man teaches a young boy a lesson about birds. Weird. **Palimpsest by Laura Anne Gilman ¿ A thief discovers that her recent job is not all it seems. Interesting. ***The Death of ClickClickWhistle by Mike Doogan ¿ A diplomat tries to solve the mystery of a dead delegate of an alien race. Too clichéd. **Cairene Dawn by Jay Caselberg ¿ A detective is given an odd assignment to discover the whereabouts of a reanimated businessman. Ok. **Justice is a Two-Edged Sword by Dana Stabenow ¿ A seer and her swordswoman determine to bring the murderer of a young girl to justice. World-building was good. ***
Darla on LibraryThing 11 months ago
As with most anthologies, it's a grab bag. Some of the stories were good mysteries. Only a couple of them were the kind of short stories that are one small step up from poetry in the navel-gazing, see-how-clever-I-am category that makes me hesitant about the whole idea of short stories. I bought this one for the Anne Bishop story, and didn't even plan to read it shortly after Dreams Made Flesh. Fate loves me. Anyway, the Anne Bishop story was worth it--the others--the good ones, that is, were just frosting.
Capfox on LibraryThing 11 months ago
The problem with anthologies of short stories by multiple authors is that they can be really uneven. This one has an additional complicating factor: the premise, while interesting, leads a lot of these people into trouble. You see, these are mystery stories written in a fantasy or sci-fi setting, mostly by authors of the latter, and you can tell. A lot of them don't write mysteries well at all; it's long been an observation of mine that everyone thinks they can write a mystery. (Willard Scott? Martina Navratilova? At least Michael Moriarty has the name.) They're a lot harder than you'd think to write well.A couple of the stories were just flat-out terrible, but most were just blah for three reasons. One is the aforementioned need to write a mystery: these people write something totally guessable, and don't have a really good style for it at that. A second reason is that short story mysteries are really hard to do, since you don't have a lot of space to set things up. Even an accomplished mystery writer like Anne Perry, who has a story in here, didn't do very well within the strictures of a short story space. Which leads to the third reason, which is that some authors tried tying the stories into other worlds they'd published books in, and I didn't know most of them. Maybe they'd have been better if I did, but they fell flat without it.There were a few good stories, though. The Sharon Shinn one set in a magical boarding school in a very non-Potteresque way was good, and I didn't guess it to boot. The Charlaine Harris one was the only one tied to an outside world that I felt worked well, although I don't like it enough to try reading her other books. The Dana Stabenow one was very good, about a sword and magic duo that work as judges, and it was probably the second best (I think). My favorite was the Laura Anne Gilman one, featuring characters she turned into novel heroes after, drawing magic in otherwise everyday surroundings like electricity. Good enough mystery, good style, sorta Kelley Armstrong-ish. I'll probably pick up the first novel later.In all, though, you could probably just sit and read the better stories in a bookstore or something. That'd be worth it.
Mendoza on LibraryThing 11 months ago
A universal problem with anthologies is that you may get a couple excellent stories and then you get some rancid pieces thrown in that make you hate publishing houses that force you to pay top dollar for a very short story by your favourite author.Having vented, there are a couple really good pieces in this book. Simon Green, Charlaine Harris, Laura Ann Gilman and Dana Stabenow wrote what I felt were the best. Of course that leaves 8 other authors that I didn't care for. Oh well, they weren't terrible, just not what I look for in a novel.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing 11 months ago
Great blend of mystery and fantasy and makes me want to search out some of the authors to read more.
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Andrew_of_Dunedin More than 1 year ago
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”.
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