Title: In Red, With Pearls
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercedes Thompson #5.5, Mercy-verse #16
In: Shifting Shadows (Patricia Briggs) & Down These Strange Streets (George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Werewolves
Format: Short story
Publisher: Ace fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: I spun and snarled, a hand to my shoulder.
Originally published in the anthology Down These Strange Streets and included in Shifting Shadows. This story features a gay werewolf, Warren, (a main character in the Mercy Thompson series) in his new job as a private eye.
Warren gets his own story! I feel like that is almost enough to say that this is an amazing short story. After all, who couldn’t love Mercy’s best friend – the gay, cowboy werewolf?
But, since I do like to carry on a little, I will share why I thought that this was such a great story. For starters, Warren is always viewed in this series through Mercy’s eyes. Which really doesn’t paint him in a very cut-throat, tough light. After all, he is always saying cute things like “Shucks”. But, seeing the lengths to which he’ll go to protect Kyle… you can see why he survived for so long and is so high in the pecking order. The fact that this story also brings to life (so to speak) zombies, and the resident Russian witch just makes it all the more enthralling.
It actually took me two reads to realise why this story is called In Red, with Pearls – that’s what the zombie and killer are wearing at different points throughout. The fact that this involves a very misplaced crush, and an underestimated villain… it’s just beautiful. And brings karma to the annoying neighbours…