Dead Beat’s Breakdown (Part 1)

Jim Butcher is at it again.  Throughout “The Dresden Files” series, we’ve seen monsters, vampires, demons, dastardly villains, and impossible escapes.  We’ve felt joy, fear, heartbreak, and anger right along with our favorite wizard.

And we’re about to jump on that crazy roller-coaster again with Book 7, Dead Beat. Remember to remain seated and to keep your arms, legs, and various foci in the car at all times, and enjoy  the ride!

Catholic Geeks Spoilers

Do you remember how in the Bible it only took the addition of two brothers to make the world too tiny?  Harry mused about exactly why as he tried to deal with his new living arrangement.  Dear little Mouse wasn’t so little anymore.  Mister was more easily annoyed.  Then, there’s Thomas.

Thomas had been unable to hold down a job for more than two weeks (inappropriate conduct at the workplace).  His White Court mojo made him impossible to resist, even in a hairnet.  Whether he was at work or simply just walking Mouse, Thomas would attract every woman who saw him.  Which eventually brought them to Harry’s tiny apartment.

Obviously this created a little bit of tension between the brothers.

And if that wasn’t enough to ruin Harry’s day, Murphy was heading out of town on vacation.  To spend time with Kincaid.

Yeah, Harry’s not been having such a good time.

After walking Mouse, Harry returned home to find there was a manila envelope with his name on it, in very inhuman letters.

He checked it for magical booby-traps with his deep fried hand.  It was clean.  Within were photos of Murphy killing a man with a sawed-off shotgun.

Remember in the last book when the team took out that nest of Black Court vampires? That’s where these photos came from.  Of course, Harry knows what happened, but if any of that was given to the police, she’d be discredited at best and incarcerated at worst.

In addition to the photos was a lock of Murphy’s hair and a note that read:


I desire a meeting with you, and offer a truce for the duration, bound by my word of honor to be upheld.  Meet with me at seven p. m. tonight at your grave in Graceland Cemetery, in order to help me avoid taking actions that would be unfortunate to you and your ally in the police.


Don’t you hate it when baddies don’t stay dead? I know I do.

Unable to refuse, Harry and Mouse met up with Mavra at the cemetery.  As it turns out Her Spookiness wanted Harry to find what’s called the Word of Kemmler.  This thingy is apparently is a trail to power, and Mavra would like it before midnight on Halloween.  Harry is not allowed to get any help and must find it alone.  Otherwise, the information about Murphy will be sent to the police, and only Mavra can stop it from being sent.

So with a new case and all the bad news, Harry consulted Bob, the best talking skull a wizard could ask for. He’s not only witty and sarcastic, but he seems to genuinely care about Harry’s well-being.  He noticed that Harry was basically up to his eyeballs in fear.  Fear of his own fire magic.  Naturally, Harry blew him off, but that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t right.

Harry steered the conversation away from his insecurities and back to the task at hand.  Apparently, Bob used to work for Kemmlar back in the day.  Justin DuMorne (as a Warden of the White Council, might I add) rescued Bob from the nutty necromancer.  Ironically, that rescue was very similar to how Harry saved Bob from Justin.

Harry pressed the matter about what Kemmler was like to work under. And he pushed the wrong button…..


Bob went from a sarcastic humorous son of a gun to a very cold, very scary, very creepy power source.  He almost killed Harry!  Luckily, Harry built into the command that he would stop when things got bad.  Harry commended Bob to bury the heck out of those memories once and for all and never talk about them again.

After that, Harry decided it would be a good idea to go visit Butters at the morgue.  Since there would be a lot of magics going around, there would be a breadcrumb trail of bodies he could follow.  When he got there, Butters had mad a discovery about how wizard live so long.  Apparently, when a wizard heals they heal almost completely.  Instead of stopping at the functional point like normal people, wizard keep healing until even the evidence is not there.  That was a cool bit of science.

Sadly, that’s about all they figured out.  They were interrupted by the security guard who chucked Butters’s desk despite his Colombian necktie.  Poor Phil.  It was good knowing you dude.

Along with Dead Phil, there were three men in dark fedoras who were none too pleased about… well, anything really.  They wanted to abscond with the medical examiner, but Harry didn’t like that idea.  The two of them escape into the night relying on the blue Beetle’s speed and Harry’s magic tricks.

But there’s one thing Harry didn’t count on.  Butters now wants to know about magic.

How will that go over? Find out next time!

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1 Response to Dead Beat’s Breakdown (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Dead Beat’s Breakdown (Part 2) | The Catholic Geeks

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