Warren Smith
Created by Patricia Briggs

"Would you do me a favor?" I asked tossing him my cell phone. "Call Elizabeta -- her number is under w." Under witch; he'd figure it out, he was a smart man. "Tell her we have an incident, a her kinda incident, we'd like some help with...."

"Your kind of thing"? Kyle asked obliquely. Something supernatural, he meant.

Okay, so it's not enough that fantasy author Patricia Brigg's WARREN SMITH is a werewolf private eye lving in the Tri Cirties area of eastern Washington State -- an area full of werewolves, vampirtes, witches and zombies. He has to be gay too?

And yet, Briggs nails it with Warren's first solo outing, "In Red, with Pearls," which appeared in the 2011 anthology Down These Strange Streets. The terse, first-person narration, the brooding melancholy and the snappy patter, the casual violence and the tight-lipped compassion are all present and accounted for, in a story in which Warren seeks to discover who sicced a zombie on his partner, Kyle Brooks, a lawyer.

It's a solid story; far more entertainly and well-written than I expected, and the whole potentially silly werewolf/witches/zombies thing is handled with a pragmatic, world weary matter-of-factness that wouldn't be unfamiar to anyone who's ever read The Continental Op, making me hope this isn't the last we see of Warren flying solo.

In her attempt to leave no sub-sub-sub genre unharvested, Briggs has written all over the fantasy genre, but she's best-known for her series featuring Mercy Thompson, a coyote shape-shifting auto mechanic who has to deal with not just cracked engine blocks and fuel line leaks but also vampires, werewolves, witches and the like. In fact, Warren and Kyle appear frequently in the Mercy series.



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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