Book Review (SERIES): The Coldstone Case Files (Volume One)

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One with the Wolf by Jason Gilbert

  1. Wolfbane
  2. Wolfmoon
  3. Wolfsong
  4. Wolfheart


James Coldstone is the perfect eligible bachelor: he’s rich, he’s handsome…and he can turn into a werewolf at will.
What starts as an ordinary day turns into an investigation into the most horrific murders James’s hometown has seen since the infamous Wolf-Man Murders of years ago. But things are never uncomplicated, and the rabbit hole only goes deeper.

James is joined by his best friend, Phillip, as he chases a group of kidnappers down the east coast to rescue a little girl from a fate worse than anything he could’ve imagined.

Before it’s all over, James Coldstone will discover that evil knows no boundaries, and that his damaged past pales in comparison to what the dark and infinite world of human trafficking has in store for both its victims and the people who are willing to look beyond the veil that conceals its inhuman truths.


One with the Wolf collects the first four novellas of the Coldstone Case Files into one volume:
Wolfbane, Wolfmoon, Wolfsong, and Wolfheart. My individual reviews for the novellas can be found under the named books. This review is about the overall series.

On one hand, this series starts with all the hallmarks of a cozy mystery series. A millionaire who is friends with a police detective investigating mysteries of the paranormal variety. On the other hand, it’s also paranormal urban fantasy with the millionaire containing a nearly feral wolf under his skin – making him a werewolf.

As the series continues, the plotline slides firmly into the urban fantasy end of the spectrum – but keeps the cozy mystery requirement that the mysteries and crimes could be real and worthy of police investigation, with child trafficking playing a big part of the investigation.

And Mr. Gilbert (the author), while placing this is as Urban Fantasy world, while going for cheap, easy laughs between friends, while doing all the things to make an ENTERTAINING book, doesn’t cut corners or belittle the seriousness of Human Trafficking, especially in relation to minor children.

At the end of the day, the collected works show that Mr. Gilbert is writing recreational reading, but also making sure that the story is REAL enough to not be fluff.


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James Coldstone is the ideal eligible bachelor: he’s wealthy, handsome, lives modestly…and he can turn into a gigantic Werewolf at will.

When a string of grisly murders are discovered in his sleepy South Carolina town, James agrees to help his friend Sgt. Phillip Brown investigate. But as the investigation take a turn down a dark path, James soon realizes that monsters aren’t always defined by their supernatural appearance.

As he digs for answers about this current case, James will have to face many things, including his father’s hellish legacy: the long-dead case of the Wolf-Man Murders.


Wolfbane is the first of a new action-packed urban fantasy, where the series-title character helps his police friend solve crime of the supernatural nature.

James Coldstone has it all but hates most of it – he has wealth, but will never touch it; famous family with long-history ruined by a serial killer father; and great power … as a werewolf. Living modestly, out of the way, helping his childhood best friend, Phillip Brown, with police cases that have supernatural culprits, James’ not-quite idyllic life comes to an abrupt end when a series of murders leave bodies torn apart, as if by an animal – but in their homes, as if by a human. Having had a werewolf father, all eyes turn to James.

Someone is framing him. While his best friend asks formal police questions like “Why?”, James’ wolf asks a more feral question: “When are you going to let me off the leash?”

A “cozy” mystery/crime solving, just not very cozy.


The book came up on my book club and so I read through the book again since it had been over a year. The book still was entertaining as the first time around. Sometimes I wince at James relationship with Phillip, as they joke like boy-men who known each other a long time (and one has been in the military) including college together. Male humor for friendship is very prickly.

A good second read. Some books don’t stand up to a re-read, especially ones with mystery aspects, but this one does.


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Historic Charleston, South Carolina is a city filled with mystery, romance, and beauty.

And vampires. Lots of vampires.

James Coldstone and his best friend, Phillip Brown, head to Charleston looking for Mindy and Clara only to find a city under curfew thanks to a wave of disappearances with no explanation. James meets a vampire with a common cause, and he soon finds that the monsters he’s chasing will lead him into an even darker world filled with evil, perversion, and sin: all for the sake of greed.


Book Club Read
My book club decided to go through all existing Coldstone Case Files for their October meeting – werewolves make good Halloween lore, especially Mr. Gilbert’s version which is not the cute-fuzzy version of man-wolf, with the two forms of man and wolf, and the wolf is treated like a puppy.

Nope, James, the main character is limited to two forms but they are man and WEREWOLF – an 8 foot tall creature whose arms double as running legs as needed, and claws cut through stomach and tear off faces. Whose bite removes heads. Serious Monster here. Puppies who willingly take a leash and pretend to pass for a dog will get stepped on.

Last book centered around a murder, which gave it a “cozy mystery” feel when James’ police friend Philip brings him in on a case. This book continues to develop that mystery, now the murders are done, following the crime syndicate structure which supported the murders down the rabbit hole which is Human Trafficking.

And Mr. Gilbert (the author), while placing this is as Urban Fantasy world, while going for cheap, easy laughs between friends, while doing all the things to make an ENTERTAINING book, doesn’t cut corners or belittle the seriousness of Human Trafficking, especially in relation to minor children. North Carolina is 6th in the nation for Human Trafficking – so this is very real, and very urgent. Something I care passionately about. (#StopChildLabor; #AbolishSlavery; #NoChocolateThursday)

Wolfmoon is a good book that takes on the crime novel, but doesn’t go for the easy murder mystery. Murder is far from the only criminal activity. Human Trafficking is very profitable, so the layers to this mystery and investigation have to chug through some serious layers of Criminal Syndicate. All the while playing with vampires, werewolves, and succubus. Entertaining. The focus is on entertaining.


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There’s more to see in Florida than Disney World.

Like vampires who may (or may not) be into organized crime.

A clue in Charleston sends James and his friends to Jacksonville, Florida in search of Mindy and the trafficking group they’ve been chasing. They soon discover that Jacksonville is run by and home to some of the most powerful vampire houses in the Southeast, including a mysterious group known as House Wangenheim. Things go from bad to worse, and James finds himself embroiled in a world of conspiracy, crime, and ancient beings who can control the very seas.


Read for book club – Another Coldstone Case File Book (novella length).

The relationships are getting complicated, the search for the girl is getting long, and the wolf needs a good hunt. Who will get what they want?

What I wan is more information about Lucy. I have to wonder just how much of the information she has shared is incomplete – like she is “over” one hundred. How far over?

This un-cozy mystery-thriller urban fantasy series provides what a reader wants with action, character, supernatural creatures, and a bad guy to pound.


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Not all vacation packages offer free vampires, grisly murders, and those drinks with the little umbrellas in them.

James Coldstone tracks his quarry to Westenra Island-a remote manmade resort that caters only to the wealthiest people, some with an interest other than getting away for a weekend of lavish parties and walks on the beach. Between specific vacationers being slaughtered at night and the upcoming auction event, James begins to realize that even the people he trusts the most are keeping secrets from him. Despite the chaos, he is hellishly set on one goal: save Mindy and destroy the darkest evil he has ever faced.


The dynamic between James and Lacy is amusing and powerful. The layers of worldbuilding for this series of novellas keep on getting better. What is happening with each of these people: Lacy, Mindy, Phillip, the Wolf, and Agent Smith? – each person brings a wallop of complications for James. Everything is about relationships and the strings that come attached to these people (and the wolf).

But it isn’t all about brains, interactions, and worldbuilding – LOTS OF ACTION – lots of werewolf, rip-the-world-apart action.

The end of the first four novella arch delivers on everything building since Wolfbane.