I started reading The Dresden Files after watching SyFy Channel’s short-lived TV show based on the books. The show was done well, so I was less excited about this first book then I might have been otherwise. I see the characters from the show in my head as I read, and they are perfect. Dresden especially. There wasn’t enough of Bob in the first book, but I have heard his part grows with the series.

Harry Dresden is a wizard who investigates murder scenes as a consultant for the Chicago PD, when there are unexplainable circumstances. He’s a tough, sarcastic guy on probation with the Wizard’s Council for using black magic (a one-time offense). He keeps a talking skull named Bob, a much more experienced wizard imprisoned in the skull for more serious black magic offenses. Bob fills Harry in on supernatural topics and helps him solve dilemmas.

This first book (case) is related to an inexperienced wizard who has committed murder experimenting with black magic. The magic is addictive, and murder goes to the head. When the mage learns Harry’s name, he becomes a target.

I like the concept of the series, a different take on the detective story. Harry’s character is complex with much dry humor. It’s a little heavy on the fantasy/horror creatures at times, but that’s to be expected given the concept. The freaks of this episode are vampires and a demon. The cases are mostly solved through reason. Harry uses his powers sparingly, so far. I highly recommend the series for a quick read.