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Martin H. Greenberg, John Helfers, Simon R. Green, Patricia Briggs, Michael A. Stackpole, P. N. Elrod, Anne Perry, Melville Davisson Post, Carole Nelson Douglas, Mike Resnick, Steve Perry, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Laura Resnick, Lillian Stewart Carl, Max Allan Collins, Norman Partridge, Elizabeth A. Vaughan, Kelley Armstrong, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Michelle West

The Best Paranormal Crime Stories Ever Told

Copyright © 2010 by Tekno Books and Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

Copyrights

Introduction copyright © 2011 by John Helfers

“Appetite for Murder,” copyright © 2008 by Simon R. Green. First published in Unusual Suspects. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Star of David,” copyright © 2008 by Patricia Briggs. First published in Wolfsbane and Mistletoe. Reprinted by permission of the author and her agent, Linn Prentis, Literary Agent.

“If Vanity Doesn’t Kill Me,” copyright © 2009 by Michael Stackpole. First published in Crime Spells. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Grave-Robbed,” copyright © 2007 by P.N. Elrod. First published in Many Bloody Returns. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“The Judgement,” copyright © 2004 by Anne Perry. First published in Powers of Detection. Reprinted by permission of the author and her agent, Don Maass, The Don Maass Literary Agency.

“Special Surprise Guest Appearance by…,” copyright © 2004 by Carole Nelson Douglas. First published in Murder by Magic. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Occupational Hazard: A Harry the Book Story,” copyright © 2007 by Kirinyaga, Inc. First published in Wizards, Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“She’s Not There,” copyright © 2009 by Steve Perry. First published in Crime Spells. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Hostile Takeover,” copyright © 2007 by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. First published in Wizards, Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Dopplegangster,” copyright © 2004 by Laura Resnick. First published in Murder by Magic. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“The Necromancer’s Apprentice,” copyright © 2004 by Lillian Stewart Carl. First published in Murder by Magic. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“The Night of Their Lives,” copyright © 1995 by Max Allan Collins. First published in Vampire Detectives. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Road Dogs” copyright © 2008 by Norman Partridge. First published on www.SubterraneanPress.com. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Ninja Rats on Harleys,” copyright © 2009 by Elizabeth A. Vaughan. First published in Zombie Raccoons and Killer Bunnies. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Stalked,”copyright © 2007 by Kelley Armstrong. First published in My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Corpse Vision,” copyright © 2009 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. First published in Jim Baen’s Universe, December 2009. Reprinted by permission of the author.

“The Unicorn Hunt,” copyright © 2005 by Michelle West. First published in Maiden, Matron, Crone. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Introduction by John Helfers

A lot of paranormal fans think that supernatural creatures have all the fun. Vampires have that immortality thing going on, as well as near-invulnerability to all but a few common household items (and one really big environmental one). Werewolves get that superstrength, speed, and senses, not to mention wicked claws, and a nice, thick fur coat (although there is that problem of what to do with your heap of shredded clothes when you change). Witches and warlocks get to wield phenomenal cosmic power (that almost never backfires on them, usually).

But, as a famous uncle from the comics said long ago, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Specifically, the responsibility not to use those amazing powers for evil. Sadly, many of those creatures of the night don’t manage to stay on the side of good. Although the temptation is understandable- after all, they’re already outsiders in society, so what’s to stop them from breaking the rest of humanity’s laws? And whether transgressing or being transgressed against, these creatures will find a way to get away with much more than they should…

Of course, for those who try to break the law, there are also those who do their best to bring the perpetrators to justice as well. If the officer of the law is a human, they might be biting off more than they can chew, but if they’re also a paranormal, then get ready for all hell to break loose.

The fifteen stories collected here represent both sides of supernatural law and disorder. From best-selling author Kelley Armstrong comes a tale of two shapeshifters on their honeymoon in the big bad city, and how their trip is enlivened by another werewolf who’s looking for a fight-and gets much more than he expected. Simon R. Green brings us another story set in his inimitable, shadowy world of Nightside, where nothing and no one is who they first seem to be. Veteran crime writer Max Allan Collins serves up a gritty tale of crime and detection during the Great Depression; and when someone starts killing the down-and-out frequenting a soup kitchen, it takes a very special detective to go undercover and find out who’s committing murder. And another best-selling author, Patricia Briggs, brings us a story of an estranged father and daughter who come together while protecting a special boy from a very dangerous predator.

From con artists with a touch of the fae to-and I’m not making this up-motorcycle- riding rats wielding ninja swords, these stories will take you on several walks into the wild side of supernatural life, with the good, the bad, and in several instances, the ugly. So take a deep breath, and prepare to break a few laws… or chase after the lawbreakers… in The Best Paranormal Crime Stories Ever Told.

Appetite for Murder by Simon R. Green

I never wanted to be a Detective. But the call went out, and no-one else stood up, so I sold my soul to the company store, for a badge and a gun and a shift that never ends.

The Nightside is London’s very own dirty little secret; a hidden realm of gods and monsters, magic and murder, and more sin and temptation than you can shake a wallet at. People come to the Nightside from all over the world, to indulge the pleasures and appetites that might not have a name, but certainly have a price. It’s always night in the Nightside, always three o’clock on the morning, the hour that tries men’s souls and finds them wanting. The sun has never shone here, probably because it knows it isn’t welcome. This is a place to do things that can only be done in the shadows, in the dark.

I’m Sam Warren. I was the first, and for a long time the only, Detective in the Nightside. I worked for the

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