Seven for a Secret

Bear returns to the team of the wampyr Sebastian and Abigail Irene Garrett, decades after the stories of New Amsterdam (2007). Abigail Irene is now in her eighties, not particularly mellowed with age. Sebastian, remembering his history in London, is protecting young lovers from the Schupo (i.e., police; England has been under the not-very-popular iron fist of the Prussians for some time), in the process finding a mystery begging solution. The smell of wolf—of two girls, yes, but also a wolf—and magic somehow relating to sevens sets Sebastian and Abigail Irene to finding out what terrible thaumaturgical experiments the Prussians are into now. Seven echoes, quite often, the events in Paris (i.e., in New Amsterdam), and Sebastian is prone to fits of soul-searching. He has a very small court and is old enough to have a lot of memories to work with. Bear again handles the combination of PI caper and vampire yarn with her usual unconventionality. Sebastian is a fascinating character, and the mysteries he becomes embroiled in are magnificent examples of alternate history. –Booklist