I recently finished Jim Butcher's, Ghost Story, the latest in the Dresden files series of books. For those few of you who do not yet know, Harry Dresden is the only listed wizard in the Chicago phone book. Not your pull a rabbit out of the hat variety, either. He's capable of using real magic and in his line of work as a detective it comes in pretty handy. Now go get copies of Storm Front, Fool Moon and Grave Peril right now and stop reading this blog until you finish those three.
For the rest of us who have finished the book prior to this one, Changes, Ghost Story picks up months down the line with the aftermath of the events we had read and how they have, well, changed everyone involved. Avoiding as many spoilers as I can, this book focuses on the world of the departed for Harry and friends to face against an old nemesis thought dead. Through it all we get more depth into Harry's own life, his time spent as a pupil of Justin DuMorne, his relation with his honest to God fairy godmother, and the impact he has on the lives of those around him. The short story from the collection, Side Jobs, centralizing around Karrin Murphy bridges the gap between Changes and Ghost Story but is not required reading as you get a recap in Ghost Story.
Ghost Story is well told and shows more of Butcher's skill as an author. I take issue with the way he decided to tell this tale because of what it does to our protagonist, Harry Dresden, but I guess it couldn't be avoided. He's altered many of the characters we've come to care about, many in directions I personally don't like. It's a good book and leaves me wanting to read the next, knowing that Harry has a lot of work left to do even after solving the primary problem from this book. I have a hard time trying to recommend this book without any prior reading beyond the first three novels and Changes(as listed above). I would say that if you wished to get "caught up" on this franchise with minimal reading, than beyond those one would also need to read Dead Beat and Proven Guilty at least. However this is a series that one truly needs to read every book in it to fully enjoy the experience (You can skip the short stories, if you must) and Ghost Story finds a nice, spooky, scary place to settle into.