Tamora Pierce published the latest (and last, it looks like) book in the Beka Cooper series. The book is called Mastiff, to go along with the earlier Terrier and Bloodhound. Set in an early Tortall, Beka joins the Dogs, the street police, as an apprentice (Puppy). The books follow along as she learns her trade and moves up in the heirarchy to become a full Dog. A connection with her first series about Alanna is that Beka is an ancestor of George Cooper and there are framing pieces that make the connection.
Beka's a great heroine. She struggles with insecurity, making and keeping friends, and can barely bring herself to testify in court against the criminals she's caught. She never gives up though, and has accomplished great things in the earlier books. In Mastiff, she's roused at night and sent on a secret hunt with her partner and mage. The hunt is quite serious and connected to a possible coup attempt. There are some great twists and turns in the story, and I found myself teary at several points. You could probably start the series here, but there's a lot of background which adds to the story if you've read from the beginning.
( Possible spoilers for Mastiff )
There are lots of authors, books, and series that I love. Sometimes, often when it's been a while since a new book in a series has been published, or I haven't read the series in a while, the feeling is amorphous. I remember that I love the series, but it's not an 'active' feeling, for want of a better description. That's how I felt about Madeleine Robins's The Sleeping Partner. It's the latest book in her Miss Sarah Tolerance series. Set in an alternate Regency-era England, Miss Tolerance eloped with her brother's fencing master as a teenager. They went to Holland, but never married. After his death, she returned to England, and helped by her aunt (also Fallen and now a brothel-keeper), she set up as an agent of inquiry.
Within a few pages, I thought, 'Yes! Now I remember why I love this series!' Miss Tolerance is a great character. She has the skills to keep herself out of trouble and an ability to extract and acquire information in a methodical manner. In this newest installment, she is asked to find a runaway sister. She is given a portrait, but no name--because they are trying to keep the elopement secret. No one seems to know of a particular friend that could have precipitated the elopement. Meanwhile, her aunt has been acting oddly and may remarry which is causing consternation in her staff and Miss Tolerance.
Miss Tolerance, although unusual, feels very much a product of her time. She is very aware of her status as a Fallen Woman but manages to survive and even prosper anyway.
I definitely hope we see more of Miss Tolerance in the future.