Scott, Melissa -- Point of Knives

I really liked Point of Hopes and Point of Dreams, but Melissa Scott's co-author died a few years ago, so I didn't expect any new novels in the series. There still aren't, but Scott has written this novella instead. (Set between the original two novels.)

If you never read the novels, go back and start with Point of Hopes. It's a youngish (albeit not rookie) cop in a particularly distinctive and nifty fantasy city. With alchemy! But not standard-American-cop tropes transplanted to fantasyland. (Much as I enjoy the Elantra series, it leans pretty heavily on familiar police procedure.) The Pointsmen of Astreiant are officers of the Queen's law, but you're supposed to tip them when you put them on a case. It's not bribery, it's what everybody does. The system is just different enough, like that.

So anyway, here we have a straightforward case -- old Grandad Steen is found stabbed in an alley, who would do such a thing, everybody likes Grandad Steen and his goofy pirate stories. Adjunct Point Nico Rathe springs into action, and immediately collides with his on-again- off-again-lover Philip Eslingen -- currently off, because Philip is currently bodyguarding the local organized crime boss, and it would Look Bad. You can imagine how long that lasts.

I would have preferred a new novel, but this is the right size: it's one case (only a little bit political) and one episode in Nico and Philip's story. I think there's also a continuity error (re Steen's keyring), but I'm only mentioning that in case someone else has noticed -- it doesn't spoil the story.

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