Wolfsbane and Mistletoe
Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner
Ace, Oct 2008, $24.95
In MANY BLOODY RETURNS, editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner limited the scope to vampire birthdays. This time the pair restricted the topic to a merry werewolf Christmas. The results are similar as in spite of the incredibly narrow and restrictive theme, the fifteen contributors provide fresh interesting tales with no losers and star some of the more famous series characters like Sookie Stackhouse in “Gift Wrap” by Harris and radio talk host Kitty in “Il Est Ne” by Carrie Vaughn. Patricia Briggs’ "The Star of David" showcases that even werewolves have family issues while Simon R. Green opens and closes with the memorable line of “You Never Forget your first” in his short short “Lucy, at Christmastime”. Fans will enjoy this fine anthology whether it is a paranormal investigative tale (see "Christmas Past” by Keri Arthur) or half breeds (see “Rogue Elements” by Karen Chance) summed up nicely over “Milk and Cookies” (by Rob Thurman) as simply “You Better not Pyout” by Nancy Pickard. My only suggestion is to spread the compilation over the Twelve Days of Christmas (or longer) because singing Jingle Bells fifteen times in one sitting will lead to a Blue Christmas.