Can the magic of The Purloined Poodle be recaptured? Yes -- maybe even topped. For many, that should be all I need to write. If that's the case, you're fine -- go ahead and close this, no need to finish this.
If you're still here, I'll write a little more -- While on a trip to Portland to go sight-seeing, er, sight-smelling, Oberon, Orlaith and Starbuck get away from Atticus (er, I mean, Connor Molloy) while chasing after a suspicious-looking squirrel. That's a tautology, I realize, if you ask the hounds, but this was a <i>really sketchy</i>-looking squirrel. Anyway, this brought the group into the path of Detective Ibarra. She happens to be at the train station investigating the odd murder of a man who looks just like Atticus.
Naturally, that gets him interested and investigating things as best as he can. Thanks in no small part to the noses of the hounds, Atticus and an old friend are able to uncover what's going on to help Atticus' new friend make an arrest.
It's a whole story in Oberon's voice, I don't know what else I can say about the writing/voice/feel of the book. That says pretty much everything. From Oberon's opening comparison of the diabolical natures of Squirrels vs. Clowns to Orlaith's judgment that "death by physics" "sounds like justice" to the harrowing adventure at the end of the novella, this is a fine adventure for "the Hounds of the Willamette and their pet Druid!"
There's a nice tie-in to some of the darker developments in the Iron Druid Chronicles -- that won't matter at all if you haven't read that far, or if you can't remember the connection. This was a good sequel that called back to the previous book, and told the same kind of story in a similar way -- but didn't just repeat things. Just like a sequel's supposed to be, for another tautology. I smiled pretty much the whole time I read it (as far as I could tell, it's not like I filmed myself). I don't know if we get a third in this series given the end of the IDC next year. If we do, I'll be happy -- if not, this is a great duology.
<i><b>Disclaimer:</b> I received this eARC from Subterranean Press via NetGalley in exchange for this post -- thanks to both for this.</i>