A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire is the second book in the October Daye series. I reviewed Rosemary and Rue for CBR11, so it’s only natural I pick the series back up for CBR 12. This novel finds the changeling Toby stumbling upon an unexpected murder mystery in Silicon Valley.
As his knight, Toby can’t refuse a request from Sylvester, the Duke of Shadowed Hills. His kingdom is the faerie land closest to San Francisco. He wants her to check on his niece, January. She happens to have her own fae territory nestled while running a computer game company. He hasn’t heard from her and can’t go investigate himself due to fae politics. He sends Toby with an apprentice named Quentin to figure out what the heck is going on there. Toby is still reeling from the events in the first book. So when trouble finds them, she goes into defensive mode. Even getting into the company office reeks of danger. But Toby has to see it through. Solving this case is a tall order when everyone including January refuses to tell her the truth.
I enjoyed this second entry in the series. Toby is still finding her way with this detective gig. I’m willing to give her some leeway while other fans were disappointed. The action comes in small bursts building up to the final climax. The set up of the mystery reminded me of an Agatha Christie whodunnit. People keep turning up dead and no one seems to know why. Toby isn’t quite as clever, but she does narrow down her suspects eventually. I took a shine to Quentin, her assistant almost immediately. There’s not much romance, but we do have some kissing. So bonus points for that. As the software company takes in all types of fae, the story introduces the reader to more of McGuire’s fantastical world. I especially loved learning more about the mythology around the night haunts. The book also delves into what motivates Toby as she attempts to find out who is killing January’s employees. I didn’t expect that dark of an ending, but it certainly gives our heroine hard lessons. This version of Faerie is chock full of dangerous creatures with varying degree of morals.
I would highly recommend starting at the beginning of this series. I’m already knee-deep in the third book, An Artificial Night, so it’s clear I’m hooked on it. You can understand most of A Local Habitation without reading book one, but the context is important to her character arc. If you’re a fan of magic and technology colliding, this is a fun read. If you’ve had enough of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, Toby is another magical detective with a knack for finding trouble.
With this book’s yellow cover, I hit my final CBR 12 bingo: 4 corners + center square. I improved upon last year when I completed only one bingo. I’m still woefully behind on my reviews. I’ve read 32 books but this is only my sixteenth review. Read reviews from this year and past Cannonball Read challenges on my blog.