Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

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Another delightful addition to the Beka Cooper Triology.  This time Beka has to solve a giant conspiracy and kidnapping.  The usual detective work is left to a group of misfit characters.  Beka, a guardswoman (equivalent to a police officer and detective) is tasked with finding the prince.  Luckily, her faithful partner Achoo (a scent hound) is the best tracker around and her human partner, Tunstall.  Only this time, Beka is paired up with a mage who tend to be stuck-up jerks.  Time is running out before the young prince is lost forever.  
Overall, the book falls nicely into the quirky medieval fantasy.  The setting is approximately 18th century England with the added bonus of magic.  Our main character may be the quirkiest of all with her own abilities to talk to dust spinners and the ghosts of the dead that ride on the backs of pigeons.  Having grown up reading Tamora Pierce’s novels, I was not disappointed with her blend of magic.  This time her message is a clear commentary on the evils of slavery which is well done for a teen audience.  This is truly a book for someone that enjoys a unique twist of fantasy or crime novels.  I always strive to read the more unconventional because I have read too many books where the plot is too easily figured out.  The outcome is slightly predictable but the journey is not. 
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