Book Review: Dragon Justice by Laura Anne Gilman

Dragon Justice
Paranormal Scene Investigations #4
Laura Anne Gilman
Harlequin, July 2012
ISBN 978-0-373-80348-4
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

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….

I first “discovered” the world of Cosa Nostradamus and the good folks from Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations a few months ago, meaning that’s the first time I read one of the PUPI books although I’d known about them and other works by Laura Anne Gilman for quite a few years. I’ve regretted the lost time but my procrastination does mean there’s a lot for me to enjoy before I have to join the hapless many who wait impatiently for each new book.

The one I read last March was the third in the series, Tricks of the Trade, and I intended to go back to read the first two but we all know what happens to good intentions, don’t we? So, here we have book number four and a wild ride it is.

Life is never exactly what we would call “normal” for Bonnie and the rest of the Talent she works with, that is, a handful of  humans with  magical abilities who fight magic-related crimes. To do this, they have to keep their skills away from the notice of Nulls, those poor humans who have none, and always be on the alert for the misdeeds of the fatae, supernatural creatures. Bonnie has been ordered to take some vacation but her boss, Ben Venec, has invited her to help with an outside job at a museum in Philadelphia and, the next thing she knows, she’s in the thick of the search for a truly vicious serial killer as well as trying to figure out why young girls have been living in a park in New York City. A very large side issue involves money and Ben’s partner, Ian Stosser, with some deadly collections efforts.

Bonnie and Ben finally give up their fight against a mutual attraction but the romance in this particular book is kind of lightweight. I’m not actually sure if that disappointed me but I think maybe not. It was enough to lighten the mood a bit but the investigations are too important so I can wait for the romance to develop more in future books. Some very dark things happen in Dragon Justice and it will be interesting to see where Ms. Gilman takes us next.

One of my all-time favorite dark fantasy characters, the well-to-do Great Worm known as Madame, is once again an important element and I loved visiting her along with Bonnie. Wouldn’t you love to have a dragon friend in your corner, especially one with such good taste?

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, November 2012.