Death & Honey

Death & Honey

Illustration By Galen Dara
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Edited by Kevin Hearne.

Dust jacket and interior illustrations by Galen Dara.

About the Book:

Death & Honey contains three novellas by New York Times bestsellers Delilah S. Dawson, Kevin Hearne, and Chuck Wendig. Each of the stories features a full-color, full-page illustration by Galen Dara, who also contributed the cover and a full-color frontispiece.

In The Buzz Kill by Kevin Hearne, Oberon the Irish wolfhound and Starbuck the Boston Terrier sink their teeth into a new Meaty Mystery when they discover a body underneath a beehive in Tasmania. It’s been badly stung, but the bees aren’t at fault: This is homicide. The hounds recruit the help of their Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan, and the Tasmanian police to track down the killer in the interest of a reward—but this time, they want more than food and justice.  

Grist of Bees, by Delilah S. Dawson writing as Lila Bowen, follows Rhett Walker, who has given up his destiny as the monster-hunting Shadow to settle down with his beloved Sam. But when the call to action grows too strong, Rhett saddles up to follow a peculiar bee into the unforgiving desert. The bee leads him to a weeping mother in a strangely prosperous valley, and Rhett has no choice but to hunt the creature that's stolen her child—even if it destroys a land of milk and honey.

Interlude: Tanager by Chuck Wendig returns us to the world of Miriam Black. Lauren “Wren" Martin is a young psychic woman who can see the stained souls of killers; it is her gift, or as she sees it, her curse. And up until now, it has been her mission to kill those killers, to remove them from the pattern so that they may not murder again. But now, after a death that may not have been deserved, she’s left rudderless, without plan or purpose, until a woman with a strange power of her own takes her in and gives her a new mission—and a new target.

Limited:1500 signed numbered hardcover copies

Lettered: 52 signed leatherbound copies, housed in a custom traycase

From Publishers Weekly:

“In this blood-soaked collection of fantasy novellas tied to larger series, three otherwise unconnected tales are linked by the thematic inclusion of murder and bees… While all three stories rely heavily upon previous knowledge of their respective series, they’re still accessible for newcomers. Established fans and completionists will undoubtedly enjoy seeing what these characters are up to now.”

From Locus:

“All together, the stories make an enjoyably varied selection, well worth dipping into if you like your fantasy on the deadly side.”



Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries: The Buzz Kill (excerpt)

By Kevin Hearne

Chapter 1: Bee Alert

The true danger of trotting around Tasmania with a Druid is that there are so many interesting animals to bark at. It’s difficult to stay focused, honestly, because in the course of chasing a wombat, for example, you might startle a tiger quoll or a barred bandicoot. Or you might run into a bunch of wallabies and they’re loads of fun. Nothing on the island is really ready for me and Starbuck, however, and Atticus said it’s not fair, so we don’t hunt them seriously. It’s all just exercise for me and my Boston terrier buddy.

Atticus has been healing Tasmanian devils every day for like, five trillion days, I don’t know, but it seems like a long time and it’s not very interesting even if it’s super important, so Starbuck and I have to entertain ourselves somehow since we don’t have cable in the wild and can’t watch cooking shows anymore. Atticus says we can play around as we like while he’s busy healing as long as we follow the rules: 

1) Stay in mental shouting range

2) Don’t kill anything

3) Don’t dump on anyone’s lawn but go ahead on golf courses because they’re not technically lawns and maybe a rich guy will step in it

4) Stay away from people and cars

Sometimes that last one is tough when we are near a city. Right now we’re near one called Launceston, and you never know when you’ll run into hikers who immediately cluck their tongues and loudly condemn Atticus for letting us run around off the leash. Not that they know him. They just say things like, “Some idiot’s dogs are loose,” or “I wish people would take better care of their pets,” or “Bloody hell, that’s a big dog!”

Comments like that get my hackles up sometimes and I get tempted to go bark at them and tell them their socks are stupid or something else really damaging to human psyches, but Atticus said they might have pepper spray or cauliflower or other horrible weapons that could hurt us and we should just stay away no matter what they say—especially if they offer us food. “That’s going to be a trap every time,” he warned us.

Ha! He didn’t need to tell me.I’m no puppy meeting his first cat! Besides, they usually offer things like dry dog biscuits and I have no interest in those. Atticus feeds us really well and someone would need to produce a saucier capable of whipping up some kind of hipster gravy before I’d even consider coming over for a look. And a sniff!

Mmm. Rosemary sausage gravy. That’s the stuff. Uh…what was I talking about?

Oh yeah! The danger of chasing things in Tasmania. Once Atticus found a den of devils to heal outside of Launceston, he let us go explore and we soon found a butterfly called a Tasmanian Hairstreak, a brown and yellow fellow we’d seen before, and we followed him for a bit and snapped in the air beneath his wings. Chasing butterflies is kind of like playing with a balloon, except you never know where they’re going to land. But they have a thing for flowers the way we hounds have a thing for asses. They can smell things other creatures can’t.

<Hey! Flying noise thing!> Starbuck said, distracting me from the Hairstreak.

<What noise? Where?> I hoped it wasn’t a mean old wasp. But as soon as I asked, I had my answer as the buzz of wings reached my ears and I found the source: It was a honeybee, flitting among the white-petaled flowers of a leatherwood tree.

<That’s a bee,> I told Starbuck, who was much better now with his language but still needed plenty of help. <That sound it makes is a buzz.>

<Bee is food?> he asked.

<No, but they make food. Their vomit is called honey and it’s very sweet. Humans love it. They put it in their tea and on their toast and all kinds of stuff.> 

<Vomit is food?>

<Not usually. Bee vomit is the exception to the rule. It is without doubt the best-selling vomit in the world. There’s also a market for whale vomit, which humans call ambergris, but it’s not as popular as honey.>

<Where is honey?>

<Almost everywhere. You can find it in almost any store.>

<No. This bee. Honey from this bee.> 

<Oh! Well, all the honey is going to be in the beehive where she lives. They take the nectar from these flowers back to the hive and then they convert it into honeycomb.>

<I want to see hive,> Starbuck said. <Can we follow bee?>


It was nice to have a purpose to the day’s wanderings. I had learned all about bees from a nature documentary plus some additional things Atticus told me, and I was happy to tell Starbuck all about them as we waited for the honeybee to load up on nectar before heading back to the hive.

Eventually her legs were weighted down with a payload of vomit catalysts and we followed her, crashing through underbrush for probably half a mile or something. I’m not sure, honestly, but I called out mentally to my Druid to make sure we weren’t breaking rule #1.




Grist of Bees (excerpt)

By Delilah S. Dawson writing as Lila Bowen


The last goddamn thing Rhett Walker wanted was another adventure. He’d made Sam a promise—that he would ignore his destiny and settle down—and he was hellbent on keeping it. From time to time over the last few years, he’d felt things pass nearby, dangerous and magical things that needed tending to. And he’d felt that familiar tug in his gut, that internal sense of the Shadow urging him to ride out into the sunset, guns a-blazing. And he’d ignored that and gone out back to milk the cow, facing no threat more dire than a pernicious billy goat who knew exactly when to sneak up on a feller while he was carrying a pail of frothy milk through a frost-crusted yard.

Did he feel bad about it? Maybe a little. He was the Shadow, and the Shadow was a legendary monster hunter sent to protect the innocent. But none of those tugs were as big as his three greatest foes had been: the Cannibal Owl, Bernard Trevisan the necromancer, or El Rey. And so he’d let the monsters go on with their monstering and stayed close to home, close to Sam. It felt like penance: Sam was a vampire now because Rhett had shirked his duty and let a monster kill him, and now Rhett would stay home and let the monsters kill somebody else. Even if many an afternoon found him awake by Sam’s side, eyeballs wide open and watering and seeing nothing but the pitch black of their sealed-up room in the pueblo complex, his hands in fists as he fought the Shadow for the right to run off and get himself killed by a stupid goddamn monster and, even worse, disappoint Samuel Hennessy.

But this tug he was feeling, right now? It was the worst one yet.

And it had taken the form of a peculiar little fuzzy insect, striped gold and black and round as a grape. It perched on Ol’ Bess’s speckled hide as Rhett milked her and seemed to stare at him with eyes as black as crystal, whisker-brows twitching at him.

“What the hell do you want?” Rhett asked, but not unkindly.

In response, the critter fluttered its veined wings and took to the sky, buzzing toward the barn door as if in invitation. Rhett figured that was just him putting people things on animal doings and went back to pulling teats, enjoying what seemed to be his only truly private moment. Every morning, right after Sam yawned wide to show his vampire fangs and settled down into the bed he’d made to sleep for the day, Rhett kiss him on the forehead and went outside to go about his daytime chores. Cows, after all, did not like being milked at midnight, and so Rhett spent a quiet, thoughtful hour in the barn they’d built beyond the ridge of pueblos. He milked the cows, checked any young things that needed watching, gathered eggs, kilt snakes, and generally enjoyed the freedom of a complete lack of human or monster intrusion. As soon as the sun hit the ridge, Snappy the rooster would start his caterwauling, and Winifred’s demon daughter would wake up, and pandemonium would ensue. But this quiet time, his cheek to the cow’s warm flank, was as close as he got to feeling peace.

And now here was this bug—a bee? Is that what a bee was? And it buzzed right back over to him and bomped against his cheek, soft and inquisitive as a kitten’s paw.

“Well that’s a bunch of goddamn nonsense,” he replied.

The cow sighed against him, and he kept milking, but the bee kept buzzing at him. Not in a threatening way. More like a child who wanted something and would keep tugging on a feller’s sleeve until he gave in. With his usual dogged stubbornness, Rhett filled the pail and left it in the communal kitchen with a cloth over top, then collected the eggs in his pockets and shirt. The bee followed him all along in a patient sort of way, like it was willing to give him his hour of peace in good faith. Finally, when he’d done all his chores and heard the rooster getting all puffed up for his big crow, Rhett buckled on his gun belt, checked his knife’s edge, and let out a huge yawn.

“Whatever you want, it had better be good,” he told the bee. “It’s getting on my bedtime.”

As if understanding him perfectly, the bee buzzed right out the open door.

Rhett watched it hover, just outside, waiting. He put his thumbs in his pockets and rocked back on his heels.

“Look here, bee. I made a promise I wouldn’t go out hunting monsters. A promise I kept for four years now and don’t intend to break. And what’s more, I been awake since dusk, and daylight is no longer my fond friend. I ain’t a one to go following strange critters into trouble.”

But the bee just waited, gilded by the sun’s reaching rays.


With a little swoop that reminded him of a shrug, the bee took off. 

Rhett tried to turn around but instead found his feet moving of their own will, as if he were being towed along behind a horse instead of a bitty little bug. The Shadow had not been this insistent in—hell. Four years. Not since El Rey. A feeling started up, a warm and growing thing, pressing tight against Rhett’s heart, urging him to go, to leave, to do what needed to be done.

To kill what needed to be killed.




Interlude: Tanager (excerpt)

A Wren Novella

By Chuck Wendig

1. That Was Then…

Miriam called her on the hospital phone; the girl, young at the time, not even a teenager yet, leaned over the bedrail, the IV tangling around her elbow before she answered. “Hey, psycho,” Wren—aka Lauren Martin—said. She maneuvered her arm free from the IV serpent.

“Still charming as ever,” Miriam said.

Wren apologized: “Sorry.” Not an easy task for her. She’d lived so much of life willfully, purposefully not apologizing. Saying sorry was a sign of weakness—like exposing your belly for someone to sucker-punch you. How often she’d opened her arms to her mother only to be abused, abandoned, hit, spat, or ignored… but here, she meant it, because Miriam had done a thing no one had done for Wren before: Miriam saved her. She stood up for her against stupid odds. Went against not one serial killer, but a whole familyof them, a family that had designs on Wren, designs that involved her death. Killing her to right the world in some twisted, delusional fantasy.

It wasjust a fantasy, wasn’t it?

Either way, the matriarch of the Caldecott family, Eleanor, took Wren and dragged her down in the river. The muddy churn. The slither of slime-slick weeds. Wren didn’t remember much about it. But she remembered the wetness. And the dark. Like being held in a monster’s mouth for minutes before the beast finally swallowed you down into its bowels. But Miriam had jumped in after her, and Miriam’s—boyfriend?—Louis jumped in after Miriam, and together, they somehow made it out. Alive.

“No, it’s cool. I like that about you. You remind me of me.”

Wren liked that. She likedMiriam. That felt strange, too. Like the other woman was her big sister or—well, no, not her mother. Her mother didn’t want her. And Miriam did. Mothers were terrible and Miriam was not. That made Miriam different and better. “They said I was a bad girl. That’s why they wanted to kill me.”

“They did,” Miriam answered.“They thought you were going to turn out to be a real bad apple and so they figured on killing the tree before it could…drop the fruit. Ugh. Metaphors. You know what, fuck metaphors. They thought one day you were going to grow up and be a bad person and hurt other people.”

“Will I?”

There came a pause before Miriam said: “You won’t if you don’t want to. Fate isn’t written. This life leaves room for choice, but only if you want it real bad.”

“I want to be good.”

“Then be good.”

“Will you help me?”

Miriam sighed. Wren could hear the crispy crackle of a cigarette. Then: the exhale, whoosh. Miriam sniffed. “I’ll be back for you in a few years. Check on your smart-ass, make sure you’re not a total shit-bird.”

“Thanks.For that andfor saving my life.”

“Ain’t no thing.”

A shadow passed by the window to Wren’s hospital room. She saw the hint of a police officer’s hat. “There are cops outside my room.”

“I know. That’s why I’m calling you.”

“I told them you were one of the good guys.”

“Not a bad girl?”

“Not a bad girl.”

Another drag off the cigarette. “Thanks, Wren. I’ll catch up with you one day. Keep your grapes peeled.”

“Bye, Miriam. 



Galen Dara
Kevin Hearne
United States
Out of Print