Harry Dresden is the only wizard private investigator in the phone book, but he still has trouble making rent, especially since Special Investigator Murphy at the Chicago police department has been giving him the cold shoulder after their last adventure. But just as he spends his last penny, Harry is called in to investigate the brutal murder of a henchman of the local mob boss. Surrounded by paw prints, Harry recalls that the night before was the full moon…

Round two of the Dresden Files — Harry is still irksome, but his dark dorky underdog persona is starting to grow on me. He really enjoys doing magic, so he doesn’t suffer from the reluctant hero syndrome, but Harry does try and protect everyone he knows by going it alone, which is definitively irritating. The writing and characterization are adequate, and Butcher takes advantage of what the audience has already learned in Storm Front to add more depth to Harry and the magical world in which he lives. The pacing is fairly slow and the plot is a little all over the place, but the climax kicks the action into full gear during which I find myself sitting absolutely still and wholly captivated.

I can’t get enough of the unique supporting cast. Bob, who is actually a spirit stuck in a human skull, is back, and he delivers useful magical exposition with dry humor, a sort of encyclopedic textbook, which Harry often uses for making potions while attempting to ignore his crude romantic advice. Two new additions include Chauncy, a demon who gives the audience hints about Harry’s dead family while attempting to trick Harry to the dark side, and Harry’s subconscious, a wiser version of himself with which Harry’s converses in a dream. If only there were more Mister the cat.

Fool Moon is a fun and easy read. Recommended as more of a neo-noir detective murder mystery laced with magic than a pure urban fantasy. The novels in this lengthy series are stand-alone stories so don’t feel obligated to finish the entire series if you pick up just one or two. Enjoy this entertaining no-strings-attached story!

“And I knew that there was some dark corner of me that would enjoy using magic for killing—and then long for more. That was black magic, and it was easy to use. Easy and fun. Like Legos.”