Who wrote this book and when?
Jim Butcher published this in 2000.
Cover art by Lee Macleod.

Has there been a film version?
No, but the Sci Fi channel has started up a TV series based on the books, produced by Nicholas Cage. Woo hoo! It’s very good.

Who are the main characters?
Harry Dresden – a bona fide wizard (he’s in the phonebook), who has a shady past that keeps haunting him but is really just a guy trying to make rent…by using magic to help people
Lieutenant Karrin Murphy – a cute blonde cop who specializes in weird cases and will occasionally call on Dresden for help, director of “Special Investigations”
Gentleman Johnny Marcone – head of the local mob
Susan Rodriguez – a very attractive reporter for the town’s tabloid paper
Warden Donald Morgan – one of the White Council’s wardens, charged with keeping an eye on Dresden so he doesn’t break any of the Seven Laws of Magic
Bob – an air spirit who lives in a skull and helps Harry out

What’s it about?
Harry Dresden has had a slow couple of weeks. But things start to look up when in the same day he’s asked by a frightened woman to find her husband and Lieutenant Murphy asks him to consult on a case. The woman doesn’t really seem to be telling all of the truth, but hey – it’s money. And it isn’t until Harry sees the two corpses with their hearts literally ripped out of their chests and is then shaken down by a mob boss that he realizes he’s in over his head.

Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
It’s very creative and well written.

Do you recommend I read this book?
Yes, if you enjoy the Harry Potter books or have seen the television series.

How did this book make your list?
My husband recommended it to me. And when I didn’t listen, he had me watch the TV show.

Has it won any awards?
No. But James Marsters (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) reads all the audiobook versions of this book…and that’s pretty much an award in itself.

Favorite quotes:
“Paranoid? Probably. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that there isn’t an invisible demon about to eat your face.” – p 9

“I’d made the vampire cry. Great. I felt like a real superhero. Harry Dresden, breaker of monsters’ hearts.” – p 118

Personal thoughts:
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this book. Sure my husband recommended it, and then the television show made my list of favorites…but sometimes that doesn’t guarantee I’ll like a book. Especially if it’s a TV show. I love the actor who plays Dresden on the television show and watching it helped me picture him a bit more easily – especially in the private eye role. The books are a lot less predictable than the Sci Fi series (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing…the tv show only has 40 minutes to wrap things up). And the tone of the book is darker in several ways – darker content wise but also darker comedy. Dresden is a pretty funny guy…I think I’d get along with him if I knew him in real life.

I was a little disappointed at the lightness of Dresden and Murphy’s relationship. I could never really tell if they were truly friends or if Dresden just has a crush on her. And I missed Bob the Skull. He plays a much more prevalent part in the series than in the books, but I hear that in following installments he shows up more. I guess that’d be my only complaint. More Bob!