Pack of Lies by Laura Anne Gilman

Gilman follows 2010’s Hard Magic with another winning mix of snappy writing and a fun and intelligent story about crime-solving magic users. Bonita Torres loves working with Private Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations (PUPI), but the team’s latest case, the attempted rape of a magical ki-rin’s human companion, has her on edge. The ki-rin killed one assailant and partially disemboweled the other, and everything looks simple until the survivor claims she was used as bait. Human/nonhuman relations are already unstable and could explode if PUPI can’t figure out what really happened. Riding on the case are a woman’s reputation, a man’s death, and the future of PUPI. Grabbing readers from the get-go, Gilman delivers style and substance with layers of mystery, science, politics, romance, and old-fashioned investigative work mixed with high-tech spellcraft. –Publishers Weekly, Starred Review