I’m not usually a fan of these short story compilations but quite liked the idea of a werewolf themed festive read. Wolfsbane and Mistletoe contains 15 stories by fantasy authors that you may or may not know. The Werewolf Before Christmas by Kat Richardson was probably the best festive story, where a werewolf finds out that he’s eaten Rudolph. Also good reads are the ones with alternate Santa myths however many of the stories just happened to be set around the holidays and could be read any time of year. It’s always nice to read stories in the worlds created by Karen Chance, Carrie Vaughn and Patricia Briggs but these were the least Christmassy of the lot.

There are always some misses amongst the hits but at the very least lets you know to avoid the full length novels by the same authors. In The Night Things Changed by Dana Cameron, supernatural beasts are sickening do-gooders and vampires recharge in the sunlight. For me this is too far from the original mythology for my liking so I wouldn’t hunt out the series.

For those of you attracted by Charlaine Harris’ name on the cover, her contribution is Gift Wrap which is included in the Sookie short story collection, A Touch of Dead. Overall the collection is a cut above the rest providing you don’t want a festive feel to every story.