""...this latest book is as satisfying a read as ever." "
This latest book by Sara Paretsky starts with V.I. Warshawski looking out for a bunch of teenage girls intent on performing an initiation ceremony to the Carmilla Club at night in a deserted cemetery. Carmilla is the heroine of a series of cult books about a shapeshifter Queen who turns into a raven at will. The girls are the protégés of V.I.'s niece. Petra, who has turned to her aunt for help when she learns of the meeting in the cemetery. To add to the horror of the situation, a body is discovered on a nearby gravestone. Two of the girls have very influential parents; one is a Democratic candidate for Illinois, one is one of the world's wealthiest men. All parents are concerned about their daughters' safety.
Several complicated strands run through the story; an old friend from Vic's university days gets back in touch. She is in the midst of a manic phase of her bipolar disorder, but she alerts V.I. to her concern about happenings in the local Mental Hospital, before falling from a balcony at the University.
A right wing TV presenter appears to be determined to undermine the campaign of the Democratic candidate. Warshawski's ex husband has hired the private eye whose body is found in the cemetery. Somehow, V.I.'s dogged persistence unravels the various plots and culminates in a rather public and melodramatic finale. P.S. The old favourites, Contreras, Jake, Petra, and above all, the dogs, remain to delight.