Kevin Hearne, ed., Death & Honey (Subterranean Press 978-1-59606-914-5, $45.00, 300pp, hc) February 2019. Cover by Galen Dara.
Murder and bees make an interesting topic for this original anthology of three fantasy novellas by Kevin Hearne, Lila Bowen (Delilah S. Dawson), and Chuck Wendig, each writing in their own popular worlds. Hearne offers “The Buzz Kill”, a peculiarly sweet and funny new tale in the Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries series, a sideline to the Iron Druid series; here the Irish wolfhound Oberon and his Boston terrier sidekick Starbuck are with the Druid Atticus in Tasmania, where they find a wild beehive and a dead body, and of course they have to investigate. Bowen’s “Grist of Bees” is in the Shadow series, a weird Western with Rhett Walker trying to ignore his destiny as a monster hunter until a very strange bee leads him to help rescue a stolen little girl in big, supernatural trouble. It’s a moody, sometimes dreamlike piece that I suspect works better if you already know the main character’s background. I had mixed feelings about Wendig’s “Interlude: Tanager”, an often powerful story in the series about Wren, who is trying not to kill people just because her vision shows her they will kill someone eventually. Then she runs into a woman with powers of her own, and a plan to stop the bad guys that requires Wren. It’s an involving, creepy story with a lot of killing, but it keeps getting lost in questions about guilt and destiny and whether it’s right to kill – even birds that eat bees. All together, the stories make an enjoyably varied selection, well worth dipping into if you like your fantasy on the deadly side.
Carolyn F. Cushman, Senior Editor, has worked for Locus since 1985, the longest of any of the current staff, and handles our in-house books database, writes our New and Notable section, and does the monthly Books Received column. She is a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in English. She published a fantasy novel, Witch and Wombat, in 1994.
This review and more like it in the May 2019 issue of Locus.
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