The second self-sufficient book in the Beka Cooper series expands Beka’s word beyond the walls of her city. Off to Port Caynn to hunt down the mysterious origins of a colemongering ring that may have the power to bring an entire kingdom to its knees, Beka can’t afford any mistakes. Pounce is off in the Devine Realm, but a new friend might be able to help her catch the Rat behind this dangerous game.

Bloodhound is an excellent book that keeps Beka’s story fresh with new characters and scenery. The language and sexual content is slightly escalated from Terrier, but the long chase at the end will have readers rooting for Beka to succeed.

Sexual Content

  • Kora tells Beka, “You told the third one you’d lop his hands off if he put them on you again.”
  • Rosto, “kissed me so very gently on the forehead. He knows I might have punched him in the gut if he’d tried to kiss me on the mouth, him with blood on his hands.”
  • Beka mentions that her adopted cousin was illegitimate. “His mother being a peasant that my lord’s father had kept for a mistress on their home estates.”
  • Beka takes a fancy to a man named Dale. When he whispers in her ear, “Suddenly the cloth over my peaches felt over-tight, and I was finding it a little hard to breathe.”
  • A friend of Beka says, “Inside I am a beautiful woman . . . The Trickster tapped me in my mother’s womb and placed me in this man’s shell.” I’d heard of many tricks done by the gods, but surely this was nearabout the cruelest.”
  • Dale sits Beka on his lap. She protests, but “then said nothing else . . . I only know that my dress, decent enough before, now seemed scandalously low cut. Moreover, from the way his arm drew its fabric and the fabric of my shift tight over my peaches, he knew I was not thinking of the cards.”
  • Dale teases Beka, kissing her fingertips and the palms of her hands. She thinks, “The peaks on my peaches went so tight I thought they might pop clean off.”
  • Beka kisses Dale several times. “And then he did kiss me. Oh, I came all undone. He wrapped me about in his arms . . . He fit his lips to mine and went very quiet and gentle, breathing my breath, settling his hold on me until we matched, twined about like vines.” Another time, “He kissed me so sweetly, his arms just strong enough as he drew me tight to his chest. His tongue slid gentle into my mouth as I wrapped my hands around the back of his head, feeling his silky hair against my fingers.”
  • Beka thinks about how far she wants to go with Dale. “Will I bed Dale? Should I? Surely what is between us cannot last . . . I think I should stop at a healer’s in the morning and purchase a new charm to prevent babies. It’s been so long since I needed one, I don’t even remember where the last one went.”
  • Beka beds Dale. “Last night was the finest I have had in my life. Dale took me to a good supper . . . After that, we returned to his room. Not that I will be writing the details of that. I’ve heard tell of folk who write little books that are nothing but what happens when folk canoodle. How can anyone bear to write such things where other folk might read them?”
  • “Dale picked up my hand and kissed the inside of my wrist slowly, as he liked to do. I’d thought that perhaps, now that we’d had a tumble, his touch wouldn’t unravel my tripes as it had before. I was wrong.”
  • Dale gives a maidservant, “a pat on the bum. I kicked him under the table. ‘I was just being polite!’ he protested. ‘Mayhap she’d like to keep her bum to herself,’ I told him. ‘If you need to be patting someone, pat me.’ “


  • Beka is attacked by a slave. “She rushed me from behind, her hands gripped together over her head in one giant fist. Only my instincts got me out of the way, or my head would have been crushed. The blow glanced off my left elbow, numbing it.”
  • Rosto tells Beka that when he found criminals using false coin, he “had them branded we did . . . A coin with an X through it, on their right hands. So every time they shake a dice box or pick up a card, folk will know.”
  • Goodwin says she used to be loose with the law, many years ago. “I ended in the gutter, buried under two corpses and not sure I wouldn’t be the third by dawn. I promised the Goddess I would change my ways if I lived.”
  • When a friend says, “Mind those saucy sailor coves, Beka. Their hands are nimble, and they mean no good to a pretty mot like you,” she replies, “I smile all the time. I just don’t do it for nonsense from coves who only mean to get under my skirts.”
  • When a group jump Goodwin and Beka, Goodwin “in a flash she had her knife at his eyes. She had her other hand dug firm into his gems. His knees buckled. His face turned red in the dim light.”
  • Beka meets several acquaintances in a gambling house. “Hanse [gave a woman] a slap on the bum that made her squeal and smack him back.”
  • While eating seafood, Beka thinks about how, “Everyone knows the reputation oysters have for putting folk in the mood for canoodling.”
  • Beka arrests men who were stealing children for the slave trade. “The redheaded one came at me first, doubtless thinking the sword would scare me off. I let him reach a bit too far and slammed him on the wrist, breaking it.”
  • Beka is part of a group of Dogs that raids the Rogue’s Court. “He carried a length of firewood gripped in both hands. It would crush my shoulder if it struck, so I darted under his swing and, one-handed, smacked both of his kneecaps with my baton. When he stiffened, his grip on his weapons going loose, I jammed the end of my baton between his thighs and yanked it up.”
  • Beka is attacked while chasing a criminal. “He thrust out with a short sword that would have skewered me, had I still be in front of it. I seized the hand on the sword hilt, slamming my baton down on the forearm just above my grip. Bone crunched.”
  • Beka finds several murdered people. “One had bought passage to the Peaceful Realms with a neck slash from a very sharp blade . . . I almost missed the death sign on the other cove, until I saw the blood that ran from his ear. I crouched to inspect the wound. At a guess, I’d say that someone very knowing in the ways of murder shoved a thin blade into the cove’s ear all the way to his brain.”
  • Pearl fights, rather than let herself be captured. “She had knives in both hands. I learned that when I caught one knife on my dagger’s hilt, and took the blade of her second knife along my right hip. It hurt like fire had chopped in to my side . . . I twisted my knife hand around her arm, trapping it. Pearl shook and thrashed, trying to make me let her go as the tide dragged on us.”

Drugs and Alcohol

  • Beka tells her partner, “You walk a bit, and you stop for a jack of ale.”
  • Beka talks to a cruel Dog. “I could smell the drink on him. He was swilled, and the hour not even noon.”
  • When visiting friends, Goodwin says, “I am off duty, and I will have ale.” Ale is often drunk and served at dinner and other casual events, though Beka rarely partakes.


  • Beka writes, “I should have known tonight’s watch would kiss the mule’s bum when Sergeant Ahuda stopped me after baton training.”
  • Insulting, but not profane, words such as cracknob are used as insults or exclamations of disgust. Once Beka says, “he’s a lazy, jabbernob, pudding-livered scut,” and Goodwin calls Tunstall a “jabbernob.”
  • The word bastard is used twice. Tansy says, “A flea I put in my cove’s ear, not stopping the plague bastard before handling a citywoman like me!”
  • Ass is said several times. Tunstall tells a criminal that he shouldn’t want, “us chewing at your ass.”
  • The Rogue of Port Caynn calls Beka and Goodwin bitches seven times throughout the book. “I know what you two bitches are doin’, sniffin’ about my turf.”
  • Piss and summer are used often, usually in reference to work with a scent-hound or to Beka’s pigeons. “Phelan had said things with piss or scummer on them were the best. I don’t know how poor Achoo can stand it. Mayhap the smells that made me like to puke were perfume to her.”


  • Beka has a cat who is, “a constellation, as close to a god as makes no difference.”
  • Beka can hear the unhappy ghosts that ride pigeon-back until they move on to the Black God’s realm. “I gathered the complaints of the dead from the pigeons while they ate. There were few ghosts complaining of their lot today.”
  • Many people have variations of the magical Gift, which can be used for healing, fighting or many other things. Beka’s Gift allows her to hear bits of conversations that are picked up by wind spinners. “Stuck in one place like they are, their veils of air spinning tall or small depending on the weather, they savor the taste of other places. In return they give me the bits of talk they’ve gathered since my last visit.”


Spiritual Content

  • Pounce tells Beka, “Have faith that the gods know what they are doing with your life.” Beka thinks, “It never goes well for the god-chosen! Pounce can just tell the gods to leave me be.”
  • There are many gods in Tortall, such as the Goddess, the Black God and the Drowned God. Different people honor different gods, and some people are more devout than others. The gods names are also used in greetings, or as exclamations of surprise. One man tells Beka, after she is almost killed, “I would give the Trickster, the Goddess, and great Mithros some offerings, if I were you.” Beka takes his advice, “and did all the offerings to the gods that I promised in return for their help in the last few days.”
  • Goodwin tells Beka, “This stream has a sprite in it. They hate mortal magic . . . Except for the tail, they look like people.”

by Morgan Lynn

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