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Review: Home Improvement: Undead Edition Edited by Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner

Submitted by Doll Believer on October 6, 2011 – 8:30 am4 Comments

Edited by: Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner
Book: Home Improvement: Undead Edition
Release: August 2, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Anthology
Reviewer: Believer
Purchase: – Book Depository

Sookie Stackhouse resides in these pages, in a never-before-published story by #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris. And New York Times bestselling authors Patricia Briggs, James Grady, Heather Graham, Melissa Marr, and nine other outstanding writers have constructed more frightening and funny fixer-upper tales guaranteed to shake foundations and rattle readers’ pipes.

I love anthologies. It’s like speed dating for me. I get introduced to a lot of authors I might not meet otherwise without the fear filled commitment of a novel. I also get a chance to see favorite authors take a detour from their usual storylines.

Home Improvement: Undead Edition is the fourth anthology from Charlaine Harris & Toni L. P. Kelner, the same duo who brought us anthologies dealing with paranormal birthdays, paranormal winter holidays, and paranormal vacations. Considering how many shrinks classify remodeling as one of the top 10 causes for a nervous breakdown or divorce, the topic sure gives you plenty to work with. And this is perhaps the only bug-a-boo I have with this book. When considering that we are talking about a supernatural community – it is surprising that most of the authors didn’t stray from a traditional stick & brick type dwelling.

Here’s is the table of contents provide by Toni herself:

“If I Had a Hammer” by Charlaine Harris A Sookie story.

“Wizard Home Security” by Victor Gischler

“Gray” by Patricia Briggs Not werewolves or shape shifters this time – vampires!

“Squatters’ Rights” by Rochelle Krich I don’t even know how to describe this one. But it’s delightfully creepy!

“Blood on the Wall” by Heather Graham Heather gives us nasty murders in New Orleans, cultists, and a PI with strong family feelings.

“The Mansion of Imperatives” by James Grady Yes, this is the James Grady who wrote Six Days of the Condor. When I told my father he was going to be in the anthology, he squee-ed. In a manly way, of course.

“The Strength Inside” by Melissa Marr Don’t you just hate home owner associations?

“Woolsley’s Kitchen Nightmare” by E. E. Knight It’s hard work putting the perfect dining experience together.

“Through This House” by Seanan McGuire Yes, it’s a Toby Daye story!

“The Path” by S. J. Rozan Nobody writes about China like S.J!

“Rick the Brave” Stacia Kane How can a guy named Terrible be such a wonderful character? And Chess is there, too.

“Full-Scale Demolition” Suzanne McLeod Suzanne has published three of her amazing Spellcrack books in the UK, but so far only one is out in the US. You’ll want to buy it.

“It’s All in the Rendering” by Simon R. Green Some houses have doors on both sides–and some Houses open onto more than one world.

“In Brightest Day” by Toni L.P. Kelner In which I exploit the hitherto neglected sub-genre of zombie mysteries.

My favorite story is “Squatters Rights” by Rochelle Krich. Krich’s piece is fresh and different while thrilling the pants off me. It is simply told – no fancy gimmicks but, I swear to you that this story is the one that has stayed foremost in my mind. Heather Graham’s “Blood on the Wall” takes full advantage of the paranormal world and gives us a fun ride through NOLA. Stacia Kane’s “Rick the Brave” was wonderful. But it is Toni’s story that gave me a real chuckle and closed the collection in a most irreverent way.

So – as we enter the Halloween season and you begin to look through your stored items for all the Halloween decorations you plan to set out, spend some time relaxing with Home Improvement: Undead Edition and get yourself in the holiday spirit!

Also Reviewed By: Vampire Book ClubBook’d Out

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to read story books. She devoured them because they were full of magical possibilities with every turn of the page. Then the little girl grew up and school work occupied more and more of her time. Eventually the little girl graduated from school, trading in poets & prose for business management & autobiographies. Magic was left behind in her quest for the top and the world became a place filled with “paradigm shifts”, ROI & financial reports. Before she knew it, the girl was a woman who felt out of touch with the world’s magic until she met Birth and her sister Death. While Birth filled her with wonder & happiness; Death filled her with sadness & loss. And so one day she set aside the management books and instead picked up a paperback story filled with vampires, shifters & telepaths. Lo and behold, her passion for these stories blossomed and the woman became a believer in the magic of reading, again. My name is Believer9200 and I believe in the magic of stories because they give me hope.
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