Working for Bigfoot
by Jim Butcher
Cover Artist: Vincent Chong
Review by Gayle Surrette
Subterranean Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781596067301
Date: 30 June 2015 List Price $35.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The first story is "B is for Bigfoot", which takes place between Fool Moon and Grave Peril. Harry Dresden is hoping for a case since a wizard needs to pay bills. This client seems a bit odd, wanting to meet in the middle of the woods, but then the client is contacting a wizard. Imagine Dresden's surprise when Bigfoot, River Shoulders, shows up and asks him to check on the well being of his son, Irwin Pounder, a nine-year-old who is half human. Dresden accepts the case -- how could he not as he has a soft spot for children in trouble. It appears to him that Irwin is being bullied. But as usual, nothing is easy or simple, and getting the bullying to stop is going to be challenging for Dresden and Irwin.
The second case Dresden accepts for River Shoulders is called, "I Was a Teenage Bigfoot", and takes place about the time of Dead Beat. This time River is concerned that Irwin is reported to be ill. Dresden doesn't see the problem, after all children, even teenagers, get sick. River explains that Irwin has never been ill, that his constitution would keep him healthy no matter what, so something else has to be going on. He wants Dresden to find out what is really happening since his son's mother is out of the country.
What Dresden learns is that the school has some pretty impressive security and it takes threats to get to see Irwin in the school's health clinic. Things are not adding up for Dresden and the nurse is uneasy about the boy's state. Dresden runs his own magical tests and ... well, let's say he's not happy, and is more than willing to make others unhappy if that is what it takes to help Irwin.
The third story in the book is "Bigfoot on Campus", which takes place between Turn Coat and Changes. This story also appeared in Hex Appeal (edited by P.N. Elrod, St. Martin's Griffin 6/2012) and reviewed in SFRevu in our September 2012 issue. Here's what I said then:
One of my favorite stories was "Bigfoot on Campus" by Jim Butcher. Harry Dresden has a repeat customer who wants him to keep an eye on his son, whom he has never actually met, and who is now in college. He has the feeling that his son's life is in danger. Dresden agrees to help but insists that the dad introduce himself to his son if he does. At the college, Dresden meets the son and his new girlfriend -- every things seems okay until he realizes that the girlfriend isn't human, and his client's son may indeed be in danger. There's the usual twists and turns and the story is told as Dresden waits for the local warden to come bail him out of jail. Of course, Dresden did warn the police chief that he wouldn't believe him. This one was very poignant on several levels and action packed as only a Harry Dresden story can be.These three stories are windows into the life of Irwin Pounder as well as giving readers insight into Dresden's character. The fact that they're also great mysteries where wit, intelligence, and understanding are more important than power and violence make them great fun, wondering just how Dresden will manage to help Irwin this time.
It's nice to see these stories in one volume with some interesting illustrations and cover by Vincent Chong. Another great addition to any Dresden fan's library.