This is another series that my husband has been reading forever, and I just never picked one up until now. Storm Front is the first of 25 planned books (19 are currently out). The set-up is similar in a lot of ways to Midnight Riot: Harry Dresden is a Wizard living in Chicago, and working more or less as a private detective. He is also on retainer to Chicago PD for those cases that are just a little too…out there. In classic noir fashion, a new client shows up right at the beginning of the book, asking for Dresden to help find her missing husband. He also gets called to a murder scene, where the crime could only have been committed using magic…putting Harry on the scene as prime suspect.
From here, we follow Harry as he tries to solve the murder before it’s pinned on him. We get a good intro into how magic works in this universe (there are vampires, and fairies, and a White Council enforcing the rules of magic use), as well as a whole cast of side characters (who are developed to varying degrees). The stakes for Harry couldn’t be higher – he knows, and we know, that the killer is going to strike again – and that does keep the action driving forward.
However. Harry is a bit insufferable in much the same way as Peter in Midnight Riot: there’s definitely some uncomfortable chauvinism here; the duster and boots are mentioned often enough that it’s clear the author thinks they constitute a whole personality instead of a fashion choice.
The book was…fine. The mystery and world building were enough to keep me engaged, but I’m not sure I liked Harry enough to spend another 18 books with him.