Author: Laura Anne Gilman
Publication: Harlequin Luna; Original edition (July 24, 2012)
Description: In my time with PUPI, formally known as Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations, I've seen a lot. Learned a lot. And not all of it's been good. But what we do—make people accountable for crimes committed with magic—is important work.
Still. Even I need to take a break every now and again. Or so I've just been told (ordered).
So hey, vacation. Maybe I'll finally figure out what's going on with the "special bond" between me and the boss man, Benjamin Venec. Venec seems to like that idea—he's invited me down to join him on a jaunt to Philly. But no sooner do I arrive in the City of Brotherly Love than we're called in to look at a dead body.
And that's when life gets really complicated….
My Thoughts: This fourth adventure in the Paranormal Scenes Investigation series had all the thrills and adventure that is the series' trademark. It combines police investigation, though the PUPIs aren't members of any police force, and magic. PUPI is an organization of magic users who investigate magical crimes. The story begins with an investigation of the kidnapping of a little human girl. Two members of the Fae bring the case to them because they don't want to be blamed for breaking the Palisades Treaty. Working for a Lord and Lady of the Fae isn't easy but there are possible future benefits. So Ian Stosser, one of the bosses of PSI, takes the case and assigns Bonnie to try to find the girl - discretely.
Bonnie calls in favors from friends we have met in earlier books in this series and in the Retrievers series when she visits Wren, a famous retriever, and Danny who is half-faun, a private detective, and a former police officer. Bonnie's case seems to be intersecting with Danny's as he also has missing kids to find. Together they determine that someone is trying something magical the needs 7-year-old, 14-year-olds, and 21-year-olds. She finds her little girl with the help of a dryad and also finds a totally untrained talent. She knows this girl needs a mentor and decides to take her to Wren.
Ben Venec, meanwhile, is taking some time off from being the other boss at PSI and decides to take a side job of his own in Philadelphia. He and Bonnie have a sort of magical relationship called a Merge which both are denying because neither wants magic to decide their life for them. But when Bonnie gets a couple of days off, Ben invites her to join him in Philadelphia. They could work on their relationship. At least they could if they didn't stumble on a murder case. There is a serial killer targeting and killing Talents. Ben, Bonnie and the whole crew get sucked into the investigation.
I love Bonnie. She is smart, tough, caring and has a strong sense of justice. I also love the relationship between Ben and Bonnie and am glad that they have moved on from ignoring the Merge and are trying to figure out how to fit it into the life they want to lead. The magic system and the worldbuilding are strengths of this series. When I think about it, I think of little vignettes - Bonnie visiting the dragon in charge of New York; Bonnie bringing lasagna to Wren for a housewarming; Bonnie with the dryad of Central Park.
This was a very entertaining story. I recommend it for lovers of urban fantasy.
The boss likes to give a lecture about how we're not crusaders or superheroes. The world's too big a place for us to save all of it. He lectures us, and he knows that we're listening, but we don't believe him. Hell, he doesn't even believe himself, not really, otherwise he wouldn'nt be here with the rest of us, training us, teaching us enough to stay alive and get our job done.I got this eARC from Harlequin Luna via NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.