The fifth book in the Harry Dresden series will once again keep readers glued to the pages, as the only wizard listed in the Chicago phone book deals with more supernatural trauma. The Shroud of Turin is missing and Harry has been hired to track it down, but that's only the beginning of his troubles. His girlfriend is (almost) a vampire, he's been challenged to a magical duel, and there are demons after him. Life just gets more and more complicated.
Butcher brings an edgy humor to this installment, which is slightly darker than the previous series titles. The return of beloved characters will thrill long-standing fans but won't confuse new readers. Butcher deftly places the supernatural elements within the rough Chicago streets; readers will find his roving werewolf gangs and magic-protected mobsters entirely plausible. The balance between the mystery plot and the fantastical elements will please readers of both genres. Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and Tanya Huff should pick up the Harry Dresden Files. (Aug., 384 pp., $6.99)