Harry Dresden

Jim Butcher’s excellent Dresden Files novels (published in the UK by Orbit, (the very nice people who sent me a lovely bottle of Xmas plonk today – thanks, guys!) are being made into a TV show soon. Harry Dresden is a detective; he’s also the only wizard in the Yellow Pages (“no potions or love spells”) in a series which is now up to seven installments, mixing magical fantasy and horror with down-at-heels gumshoe noir and a very nice combination of thrills with humour (Harry’s wizardly robe is actually his tatty bathrobe and he bribes some small faeries with pizza).

Although each book has a main mystery Harry gets mixed up in (his home city of Chicago has an interesting mixture of organised crime and supernatural threats, so he gets called in as a ‘consultant’ by the Chicago PD a lot) and these are always engrossing, the main thing which keeps pulling me back is that Jim develops not only Harry and his supporting cast in each book but builds up a background tale so there is a real feeling of progress through the series which adds a lot to it.