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Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives (Hell on Earth #4.5 (Hell Bound))

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  329 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Got vampires? Ghosts? Monsters? We can help!

Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives, is your one-stop-shop for Urban Fantasy’s finest anthology of the supernatural. 14 sleuths are gathered together for the first time in all-original tales of unusual cases which require services that go far beyond mere deduction!

Meet our detectives, from these fine agencies.

Paperback, 221 pages
Published April 18th 2011 by EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy
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ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Little better than a beast by T. A. Pratt is a time-travel story. A horrible beast is sent to Felport from the past and Marla doesn't have the time to prepare fot it. She didn't expect the guy who sent it to come too.

Dusted by Laura Anne Gilman is about missing 14-year-old girl. Danny is a private investigator in New York City and since he is a half-faun, he has more ideas than the police. I liked this story, but I admit I may be biased since I love the Paranormal Scene Investigations series. T
Riju Ganguly
Feb 21, 2015 Riju Ganguly rated it liked it
Among all the anthologies available in the market that deals with the adventures of the Occult Detectives, this volume stands out because: almost all the protagonists in these stories are woman. However, that DOESN'T guarantee consistency in terms of quality, and there were several duds. But let me go about it properly.

The book begins with an introduction by the editor Justin Gustainis, titled "Down These Mean Crypts a (Wo)Man Must Walk", giving us an update on the genre. Then comes the stories.
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

Little Better than a Beast (a Marla Mason story)
by T.A. Pratt

Have you met Marla Mason, chief sorcerer of the city of Felport? She’s ‘an ass-kicking sorcerer who doesn’t wear a leather catsuit, doesn’t suffer from low self-esteem, doesn’t wallow in angst, and is almost always absolutely certain she’s right… even when she’s dead wrong. ‘ In our brief acquaintance, that description fits her to a tee. She’s a lot to take at times, but endlessly entertaini
E.J. Stevens
Tasty bites of dark, gritty Urban Fantasy.

Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives is a wonderful collection of urban fantasy short stories. This anthology takes us on numerous paranormal adventures with the intriguing, multifaceted perspective of fourteen hunters and their prey. I enjoyed the diversity of this anthology. While these short stories all share a common thread, they are also each unique. Take a journey into the bowels of nightmare cities, roam the streets with weres and
Sarah (blissbubbley)
Sep 19, 2012 Sarah (blissbubbley) rated it really liked it
Now we all know anthology books can be extremely hard to put together and also they can be pretty hard for the reader too. I love a good detective tale so the blurb for this had intrigued me, especially when I looked down the list of detectives and spotted ones I recognised.

As I had the time I read this anthology in chapter chunks and then took a break, I've found reading a few chapters at once can still make the stories blend together and my little brain needs to stop. It was easier to read but
Sep 05, 2014 Cathy marked it as to-read
The detectives:
**Danny Hendrickson - from Laura Anne Gilman’s Cosa Nostradamus series.
**Cassiel - from Rachel Caine’s Outcast Season series.
**Kate Connor - from Julie Kenner’s Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series.
**John Taylor - from Simon R. Green’s Nightside series.
? Jessi Hardin - from Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series - who's this?
Jill Kismet - from Lilith Saintcrow’s Jill Kismet series.
Quincey Morris - from Justin Gustainis’ Morris/Chastain Investigations series.
Marla Mason - from T. A
Oct 21, 2014 Kara rated it liked it

I tend to pick up books based on title without reading the summary, which can lead to some interesting readings, both good and bad.

I didn’t realize every story here was part of a series. It was all right, and while some of the stories were pretty good, and it was a nice mix of characters (could have been a little more varied) none of the stories stood on their own – every single one of them required reading the rest of the series. Which is good in advertising, but not impressive in literary circ
Nov 11, 2016 Dhfan4life rated it it was ok
Loved the cover and a few of the stories were okay. But for the most part, the science fiction take on what would normally be urban fantasy stories, kind of sucked the sense of adventure out of the stories for me. Which led me to not feeling really connected to any of the characters or any of the stories unfortunately.
Jul 20, 2013 Mo rated it it was ok
Little Better Than A Beast (A Marla Mason Story) by T.A. Pratt

A bit lengthy. Sorcerer cheats with time travel that ultimately backfires on him. It doesn't pay to be disrespectful, heh.

Dusted (A Cosa Nostradamus Story) by Laura Anne Gilman

Half-human PI delves underground to rescue a teen girl from gnomes who have beguiled her. Worthwhile read of a world populated with various magical creatures living among humans (some with Talents of their own).

The Demon You Know (A Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom St
Jul 01, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it
Review originally posted at:

Those Who Fight Monsters is an entertaining collection of short stories featuring a strong combination of both male and female protagonists with a proclivity for fighting supernatural crime. As with any anthology, some stories are more intriguing than others with certain authors managing to create a complex and layered tale in just a few pages while others struggle a bit with the short length, leaving us wishing for
Lori S.
Mar 31, 2016 Lori S. rated it liked it
I'm not a big fan of short story collections, since one story out of the whole pack might appeal or stick in the mind after being read, while the others are over and easily forgotten. I find that, even though I read the whole collection, the only which will actually stick with me will most likely be the Tony Foster story "See Me" by Tanya Huff and that has more to do with the fact he's one of my favorite characters from her books. The Nightside story "The Spirit of the Thing" by Simon Green migh ...more
Jun 16, 2016 Theresa rated it liked it
Most of these I didn't read since I don’t really care for detective stories. I only got this for the Rachel Caine ‘Outcast Season’ story, but I nibbled at the rest and read the ones that peaked my interest. The rest are not necessary bad just not interesting to me. I rated this based on the stories I read rounding down for the ones I wasn't interested in.

1."Little Better than a Beast" by T.A. Pratt. 5.6 ‘Marla Mason’ series. Didn't read.

2. "Dusted" by Laura Anne Gilman. 7.75 ‘Retrievers: Costa N
Wendy Hines
Jan 14, 2012 Wendy Hines rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy reading urban fantasy. When I was presented the opportunity to read Those Who Fight Monsters, I was delighted. Then, with the tantalizing book in my hand, I was ecstatic to read that most of the short stories in the book are from characters of urban fantasy series that I read! Talk about a home run.

Meet the Detectives:

Danny Hendrickson - from Laura Anne Gilman's Cosa Nostradamus series.
Kate Connor - from Julie Kenner’s Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series.
John Taylor - from Simon R. Gr
Jul 16, 2012 Jayne rated it really liked it
An anthology can be a tricky assemblage. A strong theme can result in stories of a similarity that wears on the reader, while a weak theme leaves disconnects from one story to the next, gaps that allow the reader's attention to leave the book entirely. Editor Justin Gustainis found a good balance with 'Those Who Fight Monsters.' All stories have a monster (or more than one) and a detective, yet each stands alone in respect to characters and plot.

The detectives cover the gamut from hard-boiled P
Oct 24, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it
These days, urban fantasy stories are big business (in literary terms). This anthology presents new stories of demon hunters by today's most popular writers.

Kate Connor is your average suburban soccer mom, who just happens to work for a super-secret branch of the Vatican. Allie, her teenage daughter, is a demon-hunter in training, but is not yet ready to join Kate on patrol (a never-ending source of sulking and whining on Allie's part). Allie sneaks off to a fancy party in a huge mansion owned b
Jul 02, 2011 Deborah rated it really liked it
This was very good, I even enjoyed the introduction. I loved how at the end of each story after telling a bit about the author, he then told a little about the hero of the story as if they were real.

I would recommend this book mainly for people who have read most of the series referenced. I'll only rate the ones I liked.

Little Better than a Beast (Marla Mason) by T.A. Pratt - I love and miss Marla. 5 stars

Dusted (Cosa Nostradamus)by Laura Anne Gilman - This was great, I'm glad Danny is going t
Jul 11, 2012 Marcia rated it liked it
Another fun anthology, my favorite type of book for "cleansing my palate" between novels of any sort. As is usually the case, some of these short stories were much better than others, but only a couple were truly bad, so overall, I enjoyed the book.

There is a real trick to writing a good short story. An author has to introduce characters in very few words, yet let us know who we are dealing with and why we should care about them. They have to put together an interesting plot with a definite beg
Robin DeJarnett
Jun 03, 2011 Robin DeJarnett rated it liked it
Recommends it for: occult science fiction lovers, fantasy, extreme paranormal NOT FOR KIDS
For someone who doesn't read a lot of science fiction-style paranormal, this was a great way to sample a bunch of authors. Many stories revolved around worlds or characters that are already developed in full-length novels, so I felt a little behind the curve when being dropped into their mythology.

A couple stories stood out, though, and I may go looking for the novels that match.

The story by Justin Gustainis (the editor) was an updated Faustian tale that was just fun to read. Not any great surpr
May 25, 2011 Paige rated it liked it
I bought this for the following authors contributions:

Julie Kenner--A short story about Allie & Kate and what happens when Allie encounters a demon w/out her mom present. It is a nice short story because it allows Allie to be a teen and show typical teen rebellion. It also allows Allie to learn lessons about actions/consequences (obviously this is make believe b/c that doesn't happen). Short and sweet.

Carrie Vaughn--this involves Detective Hardin (very minor character) and Cormac. The story
Apr 24, 2011 Amanda rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic anthology for fans of eerie urban fantasy! The collection features 14 sleuths together for the first time in all-original tales of unusual cases involving vampires, demons, succubae and other seedy beasties. There is something for every horror fan out there - you've got the twisted and sinister tales, the classic detective stories with a paranormal spin, chilling mysteries, and much more.

There are stories like Chris Marie Green’s “Soul Stains” which is a unique spin on vampi
Jul 21, 2015 Colleen rated it liked it
The thematic construct of the book was urban fantasy crime-solving. The unspoken purpose of this book was to bring together short stories set in existing urban fantasy worlds and show them off to the readership. Every short story ended with both an author bio and a character bio, for our further edification about the series from which the story came. I picked it up exactly for that reason. I read a lot of urban fantasy, and am always interested in ways to taste-test more.

I enjoyed the stories. S
The collection features 14 sleuths, some traditional, some not, in original tales of unusual cases involving vampires, demons, succubi, and other supernatural critters. Gustainis, the editor, defines occult detectives broadly by his own admission - "to include any fictional character who contends regularly with the supernatural." That broad definition allows for a wide range of detectives, supernatural beings and occurrences and mysteries. The stories all fit well in the given range. The authors ...more
Jan 23, 2011 Shelley marked it as to-read
releases March 1st 2011

* Introduction: Down These Mean Crypts a (Wo)Man Must Walk
by Justin Gustainis
* An Ace in the Hole (a Sazi story)
by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp
* Running Wild (an Outcast Season story)
by Rachel Caine
* Dusted (a Cosa Nostradamus story)
by Laura Anne Gilman
* Soul Stains (a Vampire Babylon story)
by Chris Marie Green
* The Spirit of the Thing (a Nightside story)
by Simon R. Green
* Deal Breaker (a Quincey Morris story)
by Justin Gustainis
* Impossible Love (a Piers Knigh
Jul 13, 2014 Kayleigh rated it liked it
Short story collections are almost always a source of frustration for me. On the one hand, they can be a great way to discover new authors; on the other, you have to slog through the badly-written or poorly plotted stories (and there are always at least a couple) in order to get to the good ones. It's a gamble that doesn't always pay off.
This particular collection was about 50/50, quality-wise, and I can say that all of the stories at least had an interesting premise. Some dragged a bit more tha
Oct 03, 2012 Carole rated it it was ok
I admit I only bought this anthology because I'm a huge Tanya Huff fan, and had to have the newest Tony Foster story, which in my completely biased opinion is the best story in the anthology.

However, there are a few other great stories here. Since the public library has a slight lag time, I found this anthology to be a great method of discovering new authors. I especially enjoyed T.A. Pratt's Marla Mason story, and Caitlin Kittredge's Black London story.

There are a few distressing typographical
Sadly, this collection has more misses than hits. All of the stories feature characters from established urban fantasy series. Several of the stories don't function well as stand-alone stories - they either assume a background knowledge of the characters, or they awkwardly try to cram the background into the short story form.

That said, some of the stories were very good. "The Spirit of the Thing" by Simon R. Greene was outstanding, and is the reason I give this book three stars rather than two.
Christopher Munroe
Apr 19, 2013 Christopher Munroe rated it liked it
....a collection of short stories featuring paranormal investigators and investigators who are also paranormal beings. The stories here are good, and some of them are great, but they're drawn from already established worlds created by their authors for other books/stories, and this leads to a lot of missing information re: character/world that you're assumed to know already. Which isn't an insurmountable problem with all of the stories, but there were a few I couldn't connect with, where I suspe ...more
May 27, 2015 Susan marked it as currently-reading-anthcoll  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthology, e-books
Little Better Than a Beast T. A. Pratt
Dusted • [The Cosa Nostradamus] • (2010) • shortstory by Laura Anne Gilman
The Demon You Know Julie Kenner
The Spirit of the Thing by Simon R. Green
Holding the Line • [Jill Kismet] • (2011) • shortfiction by Lilith Saintcrow
Defining Shadows by Carrie Vaughn
Deal Breaker by Justin Gustainis
See Me • [Tony Foster] • (2011) • shortfiction by Tanya Huff
Soul Stains by Chris Marie Green
Under the Hill and Far Away by Caitlin Kittredge
An Ace in the Hole By C. T. Adams
Mar 24, 2011 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
We can all sleep better knowing that in this new century there is an intrepid band of detectives who hunt down the occult monsters - demons, werewolves, vampires,etc - that are out to get us.

Justin Gustainis has assembled an entertaining group of fourteen stories where the bad guys/gals/things never stand a chance. Many of the authors - including Gustainis - will be familiar to readers and so will many of their characters. Besides visiting old friends in new situations this terrific volume is a
May 04, 2011 Day rated it really liked it
3.5 stars - Full review on

I am becoming a HUGE fan of anthologies...especially in this genre. Every single time I pick one up I end up finding a new Urban Fantasy series to read, and THOSE WHO FIGHT MONSTERS was no exception.

With 14 original stories written by some of the most talented in the genre, there is literally something for every adult UF fan--whether it is a creepy sinister tale or a good old fashioned mystery with a supernatural flare.
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Justin Gustainis was born in Northeast Pennsylvania in 1951. He attended college at the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university that figures prominently in several of his writings.

After earning both Bachelor's and Master's degrees, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the U. S. Army.

Mr. Gustainis currently lives in Plattsburgh, New York. He is a Professor of Communication at Plattsburgh State U
More about Justin Gustainis...

Other Books in the Series

Hell on Earth (5 books)
  • Hell's Belles (Hell on Earth, #1)
  • The Road to Hell (Hell on Earth, #2)
  • Hotter Than Hell (Hell on Earth, #3)
  • Hell To Pay
  • A Chance in Hell (Carniepunk)

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