Harry Dresden, Paranormal Investigations, has been down ever since his girlfriend left town and business dried up. In walks the Winter Queen of Faerie and offers Harry a chance to pay off his debt to his Faerie Godmother, if he agrees to three favors. He wants to refuse, but between the Red Court Vampires and the White Council of Wizards, Harry doesn’t have any other option but to involve himself in faerie politics. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Queen’s right-hand man, the Summer Knight, and clear the Winter Queen’s name.

Fast paced and tightly plotted, Summer Knight is another extremely entertaining read of the Dresden Files. In between scenes of action-packed adventure, Harry makes cynical jokes to hide his softhearted, self-conscious persona, eventually performing magic that impresses even the Fae kind. I really enjoy the inner workings of the White Council, the stuffy hierarchy, contrasted with a dirty sleep-deprived Harry in a bathrobe who can’t remember his conversational Latin. There’s also a scene with Mother Winter and Mother Summer, cranky aged faeries living in a cottage in the Nevernever, who help Harry decide his ultimate course of action. Also, Bob the skull has some fun too.

Although I still don’t feel like Harry is in Chicago, Butcher really begins to take advantage of the urban settings in order to defy typical fantasy expectations. Despite the fact they were published around the same time, I read the Sookie Stackhouse series first, so a convention center dinner theater or trip to WalMart isn’t as novel, but still a lot of fun. The story also gets a little bogged-down in faerie court-drama, but a little exposition never hurt anybody.

If you’re looking for an easy, fun series, and a wise-cracking wizard detective sounds up you’re alley, then this is for you!

“All of those faeries and duels and mad queens and so on, and no one quoted old Billy Shakespeare. Not even once.”