Released April 14, 2009
While the plot itself is new and could be read as a stand alone book I wouldn't recommend it, definitely pick up Terrier (The Legend of Beka Cooper, Book 1) first.
Premise: Beka Cooper is no longer a puppy.
She's a Dog now--a full-fledged member of the Provost's Guard, which keeps the peace in Corus's streets. Beka's natural skills of observation and tenacity are augmented by her unusual magical talents, which allow her to gather information both from pigeons and from the eddies of dirt and dust that swirl on street corners. But even her magic isn't very useful when unrest comes to Tortall's capital in the form of counterfeit coins, which turn up in shops all over the city. Merchants raise prices to cover their losses, and with winter coming on, hikes in food and fuel costs could spell disaster--most of all for the city's poor.
The Dogs discover that gamblers are bringing the counterfeits from Port Caynn--and that the Port Caynn Dogs don't seem to be doing anything about it. Beka and her mentor, Clary Goodwin, are chosen to go undercover in Port Caynn and find out what they can. And wherever Beka goes, so do some animals. Departing Corus with her are the scent hound Achoo, who has been newly assigned to Beka, and the pigeon Slapper, who carries the voices of the dead. In Port Caynn, Beka and Goodwin delve deep into the gambling world. There Beka meets a charming bank courier, who may be involved in the counterfeiting ring. Things come to a head just as Goodwin returns home to report to Corus. It won't be enough for Beka to be her usual "terrier" self. She'll have to learn from Achoo to sniff out the criminals--to be a bloodhound.
I love, love Tamora Pierce's books, her first book Alanna, is what first got me addicted to reading, well that and my Dad who is also an avid reader. Needless to say I was beyond excited that another book set in her Tortall universe was coming out! My favorite thing about the the Beka Cooper series is the slang that the common city and street folk use in this book, occasionally I would have to look up what a word meant but there is at trusty glossary at the back of the book that came in handy so I didn't have any troubles. I also sometimes found myself talking like Beka after reading because their language stuck in my head after putting it down. Also this book is written in a journal like format from Beka's point of view which is a refreshing take on books written from first person. Tamora Pierce is well know for her strong female characters and Bloodhound shows that again and again with Beka and her partner Goodwin. They are strong, they can take care of themselves and they know how to have a good time. Beka's unusual 'magic' gifts are different and I was glad to revisit them again. The story kept me interested and turning pages for more. I had taken this book on my family's annual camp out and I didn't hear the end of it, everyone was quite annoyed that I couldn't put it down! I cannot wait to read more about Beka Cooper & company and I hope that the next book does take too long to come out.
Overall rating 5/5