A Fistful of Warlocks by Jim Butcher

Mr. Curiosity found a new Jim Butcher Dresden Files book of short stories (Brief Cases) while we were on vacation. He convinced me we needed a copy. I am going to try to restrain myself and read one a week for a while. We’ll see how long that lasts before I break down and read them all in a row.

Published: originally in 2017 in Straight Outta Tombstone

Genre: weird western short story

Length: 28 pages

Setting: Dodge City, Kansas, late 1800s

Summary: Short version: Anastasia Luccio goes after some warlocks in Dodge City with the help of Wyatt Earp

Long version: Luccio is after a rogue warlock who has holed up in Dodge City. She is accosted by a sorcerer during her search. Luckily, the sheriff, Wyatt Earp, has her back. When they put the sorcerer in jail, his compatriots come for him with zombies. Earp’s shooting skills keep the zombies at bay long enough for Luccio to neutralize the summoner and kill the rogue warlock she’s after.

Final thoughts: Such fun. I loved the interplay between Earp and Luccio. Luccio is trying to protect Earp from the sorcery, but he knows exactly what’s going on and has no problem with it. Of course, the fact that he’s a dead shot helps, especially in the battle against the zombies. The story has everything you’re looking for in a short story. There were some great characters, although I must admit I can’t remember Luccio very well from the Dresden Files books – it’s been a while since I’ve read them. Butcher added in a nacken, a shapeshifting water spirit, for added monster fun. There was a fun setting – it’s the Wild West with gun battles and zombies! This story didn’t have the twist at the end that marks so many great short stories. Instead, it was a brief, encapsulated battle.

Title comes from: It’s a play on the title of the spaghetti Western movie, A Fistful of Dollars

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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