I was first introduced to this series via the short-lived television show, circa 2007. I enjoyed Paul Blackthorne's (Arrow) portrayal of Harry Dresden. He had a devil-may-care swagger that made the character of this wizard/investigator intriguing. This is who I thought of as the title character as I read the first book in the popular series by author Jim Butcher. Jim was involved in the production of the series.

I also enjoyed Valerie Cruz as Lt. Connie Murphy, Dresden's sometime friend, sometime employer, full time bad-ass cop. When I read this book though, Connie was now Karrin, although I suppose it's really the other way around. My secretary, Ms. Google, uncovered the tidbit that the television name change was due to a real Chicago police officer having the name of Karyn Murphy. I would have been flattered to have the same name, but maybe the constable wasn't. I can't quite figure that one out, unless Butcher changed her name in the later books. But I doubt that.

If you missed the series, here's a clip. (Those of you reading this on a non-interactive site can access the review, pictures, videos and all at If you haven't read the books and don't want any images in your head, this is your official SPOILER ALERT!

Sadly, apparently I was one of the few viewers that watched the series. It only ran for one season. I guess The White Council were behind the purse strings on that one.

When I stumbled into my local Chapters and saw the first book in the series, Storm Front, I picked up to give it a read. For me it was unmemorable. So much so, that flash forward a few years and I'm in that book store once again and what did I do? I thought about how much I liked the series and bought the book again.

While reading the first chapter I had a faux deja-vu moment when I think I might have read the book before, based on the pizza orgy in the cabin scene. But I'm not sure whether I've got it confused with one of the other supernatural books in a long line of reads. So many pizza orgies, so little time.

But as I am possibly re-reading the book for the second time, I begin to think something has changed, and I think it's my frame of mind. This time the characters, even Bob the skull-head, who wasn't a particular favourite of mine in the TV show, are coming to life on paper better than they did on my first go-around. I liken it to being in a movie theatre when you're just not into the flick for no fault of the movie.

There is a gruesome double murder in the city that the police can explain, so Murphy calls on Dresden to see if he can determine who committed the crime because it doesn't look like the works of mere mortals like the local Mafia boss Johnny Marcone. Dresden is glad to be back on the police payroll as pickings have been slim at his investigation agency, at least until long, cool Monica Sells shows up at his office throwing a wad of cash at him to try to find her missing husband.

Whomever is behind the murders isn't content to let the count stay at two, and before long, Harry's involvement puts him on the hit list. If that doesn't kill him, The White Council, governors of all things supernatural, are standing in line to do the same thing. That is if Murphy doesn't arrest him first. No, it does not look good for Harry.

Obviously, as there are more books in the series, Harry survives. But it's a fun ride to see how he gets out of the mess he's gotten himself into.

I'm giving this three howls, moving onto the second book in the series and hoping for greater things. As it turns out, I HAD partially read the book before. Mr. Butcher gets double royalties on that one. My bad.

McJanine's rating:
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