Short Story Review: “Cryptic Coloration” by Elizabeth Bear

3 of 5 stars.

Like a cross between Chicago’s [and Butcher’s] Harry Dresden and Newt Scamander [of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them], an unassuming NYC Humanities professor scans potential murder scenes for signs of fae machinations or cryptozoology. His glamour sigils tattooed over his body offer protection and near perceptual invisibility.

However, the trio of freshman female admirers are hot on his trail to figure out their elusive professor. Little do they know that they’re following into the territory of his quarry, a dangerous beast . . .

The POV nicely switches between Dr. S and the young admirers. However, the climax happens quickly and amid a flurry of confusion. A deeper parsing from one or more of the women in this scene would elevate this story.

This tale appears in Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations edited by Paula Guran. I’ve previously read Bear’s:
     “The Hand is Quicker–“–4 stars
     “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson”–4 stars
     “The Horrid Glory of Its Wings”–4 stars
     “Madam Damnable’s Sewing Circle”–4 stars
     “One-Eyed Jack and the Suicide King”–4 stars
     “Swell”–4 stars
     [w/ Sarah Monette]–“The Wreck of the Charles Dexter Ward–4 stars
 
 
 
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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One response to “Short Story Review: “Cryptic Coloration” by Elizabeth Bear

  1. Pingback: Anthology Review: Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations edited by Paula Guran | Jaffalogue

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