Favorite Lines: “I don’t think people are meant to share that much, that openly, without the option to say no. It goes against all our self-protective instincts, that loss of choice, and having to trust someone else to keep those private places safe.” (p. 283, egalley)
The name’s Torres, Bonnie Torres, and I’m a paranormal scene investigator—rooting out the truth about crimes of magic. It’s dangerous and boring and scary and fascinating. Though not everyone in the Cosa Nostradamus is happy we’re around, which can make things…tricky.
Working two cases—looking into a murder for the NYPD, and a rich man’s break-in—should be well within our abilities. But when things start getting weird in the Electric Apple, Private Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations is stretched to the limits, trying to keep one step ahead and out of trouble. Add in rumors of a powerful creature gunning for us and it’s not just our rep on the line this time—if we don’t solve this case, everyone will suffer.
Fortunately, around here, when the going gets weird, the weird hire us.…
Tricks of the Trade is book three in Laura Anne Gilman’s Paranormal Scene Investigations. As I’ve mentioned in the past, this series is the paranormal version of CSI. I’ve got to admit that I enjoyed this book more than the previous two maybe because I now feel comfortable in Gilman’s urban fantasy setting. Fans of Gilman’s Retriever series will notice its heroine Wren Valerie makes an appearance in Tricks of the Trade. Do not read this book as a stand alone. References to past books are made and the world building and paranormal sciences are laid out in books one and two.
The story is told in the first person from Bonnie’s POV, but it occasionally changes to Bonnie’s future love interest Ben Venec’s POV. It was slightly confusing, but the first two books did the same thing and I gradually adjusted. I think it interrupted the flow of the story like a minor hiccup. The story would also jump to the third person as it followed a villain.
Tricks of the Trade is basically a mystery that shows the growth the PUPIs have made learning magical techniques which mimic science. We are introduced to more knowledge about the paranormal world and its past, while the characters attempt to solve a couple of mysteries. Relationships are also explored as characters examine where and how they fit together or within the group as a whole. The character who showed the most growth through the series, however, is Bonnie.
I actually liked Bonnie more in this book than in the previous two. She’s still fighting (kinda) the bond she has with Venec, but she doesn’t seem as immature as I found her before. I like how she tentatively feels her way around Venec and admits her attraction to him without jumping into the bed with him. (That doesn’t mean I don’t want them to get it on!)
Tricks of the Trade is a great set up to book four. I’m looking forward to reading how and where Gilman leads Bonnie, her co-workers and boss. I think it’s going to get dark and hopefully a romance will bloom. Usually the third book will turn me on or off of a series. I’m pleased to state this book makes me want to continue the series.