Melissa Marr


Graveminder (2011)

Anthologies: Home Improvement: Undead Edition (2011), Naked City (2011), Teeth: Vampire Tales (2011)

Graveminder (2011)

graveminderRebekkah Barrow is called back to Claysville for the death of her grandmother, the Graveminder.

Byron Montgomery has gone into the family business, and helps his father at their funeral home. But the death of Maylene Barrow, Rebekkah’s grandmother, makes him there’s way more going on than he’s been told.

This is quite different from what I usually read, and I only picked it up because it was on sale, but I’m glad I did, because I enjoyed it.

Of course, the loss of her beloved grandmother struck me in particular. I still miss my grandmother, and for some of the same reasons.

Maylene believed in me. She thought I was better than I could ever be. Her love wasn’t choking, but it wasn’t something I had to feel guilty asking for either.

Oh very much that.
Rating: 7/10

Published by HarperCollins




Naked City (2011) edited by Ellen Datlow

This collection of urban fantasy stories has several of my favorite authors, so it was a no-brainer to get. The bad thing is that I’ve been reading this collection for several months, so I now have no idea what the stories at the start of the anthology were about, which is dangerous, because it means I may end up accidentally rereading several of them.

Curses - Jim Butcher
How the Pooka Came to New York City - Delia Sherman
On the Slide - Richard Bowes
The Duke of Riverside - Ellen Kushner
Oblivious by Calvin Klein - Christopher Fowler
Fairy Gifts - Patricia Briggs
Picking up the Pieces - Pat Cadigan
Underbridge - Peter S. Beagle
Priced to Sell - Naomi Novik
The Bricks of Gelecek - Matthew Kressel
Weston Walks - Kit Reed
The Projected Girl - Lavie Tidhar
The Way Station - Nathan Ballingrud
Guns for the Dead - Melissa Marr
And Go Like This - John Crowley
Noble Rot - Holly Black
Dady Longlegs of the Evening - Jeffrey Ford
The Skinny Girl - Lucis Shepard
The Colliers' Venus - Caitlan R Kiernan
King Pole, Gallows Pole, Bottle Tree - Elizabeth Bear


Although there were several stories I didn’t care for, I believe that was more a matter of personal taste than quality. And the stories I did like, I liked very much.
Rating: 8/10

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin

Home Improvement: Undead Edition (2011) edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner

As with most anthologies, there are stories here I really liked, and some that I found to be just okay. What was unusual was that there were some stories that I actually strongly disliked.

If I Had a Hammer - Charlaine Harris
Wizard Home Security - Victor Gischler
Gray - Patricia Briggs
Squatters’ Rights - Rochelle Krich
Blood on the Wall - Heather Graham
The Mansion of Imperatives - James Grady
The Strength Inside - Melissa Marr
Woolsley’s Kitchen Nightmare - E. E. Knight
Through This House - Seanan McGuire
The Path - S. J. Rozan
Rick the Brave - Stacia Kane
Full-Scale Demolition - Suzanne McLeod
It’s All in the Rendering - Simon R. Green
In Brightest Day - Toni L.P. Kelner


Two stories, “Woolsey’s Kitchen Nightmare” by EE Knight and “The Strength Inside” by Melissa Marr weren’t bad, but just didn’t grab me.


All in all, an okay collection, but I’m not sure why it’s been so expensive for so long, and if I could have gotten the Patricia Briggs story solo (I really do enjoy her short stories), I’m not sure I’d necessarily haven bothered with it.
Rating: 6/10

Published by Ace

Teeth: Vampire Tales (2011) edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

This is an Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling anthology, so as always, there are fascinating bits of folklore.

Rice, not garlic, was the most effective means of keeping Chinese vampires at bay, for they had a strange compulsion to count. Throwing rice at the ghost compelled it to stop; it would not move again until each grain was counted.


“Transition” by Melissa Marr is another look at the downsides of being a vampire–the possessiveness and the inability to kill the vampire who turned you being two big downsides.


As expected, this was a very good anthology, and although I didn’t like the horror or the poetry, that’s a failing of mine, not the anthology.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Harper Collins