It’d be easy to get the impression that the Dresden books are just episodic mysteries that can be read in any order. I mean, take a look at Jim Butcher’s Proven Guilty , the eighth book in the series.

The cover starts off the pretense by subtitling the book “A Novel of The Dresden Files”. Not “Book Eight of The Dresden Files,” just “A Novel.” Inside, Butcher continues the theme by giving us the same introductions that he’s given us in every single book. Hey, Harry’s VW Beetle isn’t really blue anymore, since he’s had lots of panels replaced, but he calls it the Blue Beetle. We’re told this with predictable regularity in every single volume of the series, just as every Encyclopedia Brown book tells us that Idaville has a low crime rate. It’s as if Butcher really thinks we’re going to pick up this random novel of the Dresden Files and start reading here.

But — and this is important — you should ignore all that, because these books aren’t at all episodic, and there are deep and important running storylines and character developments, many of which come to a head in this book and are handled masterfully.

Yet another great installment of an excellent series. And now, on to book nine.


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