Waking the Witch by Kelley ArmstrongDon’t be put-off by the fact that this is the 11th book in a seriesthat being Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld horror/mystery adventures. There’s more than enough here to attract new fans from both camps. Savannah Levine is a witch from Portland trying to solve the connection between three murdered women and a mysterious commune in town. Levine makes an intriguing protagonist, armed with both sorcerous skills and a steadfast commitment to the truth.The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg LarssonIn its original Swedish, the title of this conclusion to the “Millenium Trilogy” is The Air Castle That Was Blown Up, referring to the violent dissolution of a dream. While that may be true for the characters in the novel, rest assured that Hornet’s Nest captures all the success of the previous two novels. Larsson’s untimely death means this is the finale of his body of work. Luckily, it’s a masterpiece.The Taborin Scale by Lucius ShepardShepard has historically woven elements of fantasy, magical realism, and even science fiction into his stunning novellas and stories. The brief (barely over 100 pages) novella The Taborin Scale is a part of his Griaule tales, named for the titular dragon which they all concern. While this isn’t the best of the group, it makes a fitting installment for both fans and newcomers. George Taborin is a coin collector trapped in an unfaithful marriage who manages to come across one of Griaule’s scales.