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Bloodhound: The Legend of Beka Cooper #2    by Tamora Pierce order for
by Tamora Pierce
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Bloodhound follows Terrier as the second in Tamora Pierce's gripping series about a young policewoman (Beka Cooper) in a fantasy world. Beka grew up with magical talents in the Cesspool slums. She speaks to pigeons (the Black God's messengers who carry the souls of those dead who have unfinished business) and dust spinners release news and gossip to her. The Lord Provost took in Beka's family to his own household, where she grew up planning to join the Provost's Guard, commonly known as Dogs.

In Terrier, we saw Beka partnered for training with the best of the best Dogs, Matthias Tunstall and Clara Goodwin. Determined and intrepid, she saved her childhood friend Tansy's small son, while investigating a case of missing children. Along the way she collected a magical ally in talking cat Pounce, and a set of reliable friends in lady knight Sabine (who now has a liaison with Matthias), lean and deadly Rogue Rosto (who flirts with Beka), blond swordswoman Aniki, and magic user Kora.

As Bloodhound opens in Corus, seventeen-year-old Beka is a full member of the Provost's Guard, but is having trouble finding a suitable partner. Despite that, she begins to find evidence of colesmithing (forging silver coins) in Port Caynn, and she also rescues a scent hound (named Achoo for her habit of sneezing after catching a scent) from her abusive handler. Then, after Matthias is severely injured in a food riot, Beka and Achoo are partnered with Clara and sent by lord Gershom on a covert mission to Port Caynn to uncover the counterfeiting ring.

In the seafaring town, Beka is courted by handsome Dale Rowan, who is known to the vicious and corrupt town Rogue, Pearl Skinner. Beka and Clara learn that the Deputy Provost turns a blind eye to Pearl's doings - but do they include colesmithing? And is Dale, to whom Beka quickly grows close, involved? Of course Beka (a bloodhound by nature) gets to the bottom of this quagmire, at no small risk to life and limb - and wins a permanent new partner in the process. The Legend of Beka Cooper is a wonderful series - I recommend it to you and look forward to the next adventure.

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