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Tricks of the Trade (Paranormal Scene Investigations #3)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  801 ratings  ·  74 reviews
When magic goes wrong, who are you going to call?

The name's Torres, Bonnie Torres, and I'm a paranormal scene investigator—rooting out the truth about crimes of magic. It's dangerous and boring and scary and fascinating. Though not everyone in the Cosa Nostradamus is happy we're around, which can make things…tricky.

Working two cases—looking into a murder for the NYPD, and
Paperback, 1st Edition, 352 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Luna (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,505)
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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
3.5 stars

Members of the Private Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations (P.U.P.I.), often referred to as puppies, function extremely well as a team. A year of solving crimes together made them pretty confident about their skills and it allowed them to get to know each other really well. They even have an 87% success rate, something that Ian Stosser likes to mention as often as possible. Sharon and Nifty are still battling for leadership, but their power struggle doesn’t affect everyday work. If a
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
*Rating* Solid 3 Stars
*Genre* Urban Fantasy


Tricks of the Trade, by Laura Anne Gilman, features a group of individuals that have various talents that allow them to investigate crimes against the paranormal community and hopefully solve them without stepping on the wrong toes. These people are called the Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations unit, or PUPI’s for short.

PUPI’s are supposed to be an independent agency that looks into Cosa Nostradamus incidents, like murder, and mayhe
Tricks of the Trade on Fangs, Wands & Fairy Dust

There are so many good things I want to say about this book and Laura's writing. First, it is truly intelligent. I have to look up words! I love learning new things so this is great. I'm not saying that you need a dictionary at hand but once in a while I do look something up. I think it's indicative of not writing to the Lowest Common Denominator. It's quality writing and quality Urban Fantasy with a mystery bent.

It is also one of the best tho
Katharine Kimbriel

Tricks of the Trade is the third of the Paranormal Scene Investigations, as the publisher calls the urban fantasies about Bonita Torres, Talent (that’s a human magic-user to you) and now a PUPI, a Private Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigator. That unaffiliated part is important, because Bonnie, her teammates and two bosses are trying to create something that has never existed before – people who evaluate the Facts of a magic crime, taking no side.

Less than a year into this grand experiment, ther
You can also read this review at Reflections on Reading Romance

I’m a huge fan of Laura Anne Gilman’s urban fantasy Retrievers series, so I was really excited when she began publishing the spin-off Paranormal Scenes Investigation series featuring Bonnie Torres. If you’re a fan of CSI-type shows and urban fantasy, I think you’ll really enjoy reading about Bonnie and the other PUPIs (Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations – pronounced puppies) as they investigate magical crimes. While I
I remember the smile spreading across my face the first time I read Cosa Nostradamus in Laura Anne Gilman's Staying Dead. The inside joke is of the type that is "funny always", because I'm still smiling every time I see it in the offshoot series, Paranormal Scene Investigations. The Cosa Nostradamus is never exactly translated, but I can make an educated guess. If the Cosa Nostra of Mafia fame is "Our Thing" then Cosa Nostradamusis "magic thing" or "magic fam
Another strong entry in the series. I still really like Bonnie, she's a great mix of level-headed and fun. The science and magic mix of what the "puppies" are doing continues to be interesting and I still like all of the characters. And Bonnie finally met Wren, that was a long time coming! It's a small but long-anticipated part of the book for fans of Gilman's other Cosa series featuring Wren as the main character, the series where Bonnie was first introduced.
This is more like a 3-. I was reading this as a break from the slog of Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life. But this turned into kind of a slog, too.

This one was a bit of departure for the series, in that the rest of the cast got a chance to narrate, too. Unfortunately there was way too much emphasis on the Bonnie/Venec dynamic and not enough supernatural excitement. The ending tried to rescue it from the slide into romance rather than interesting, but
Judy  at Musings and Ramblings
It has been awhile since I read the first two books in this series: Hard Magic and Pack of Lies. But as soon as I started listening, I was right back in the action. This story picks up several months following Pack of Lies.

The story opens with the team being split to tackle two separate investigations. Bonnie and Peter get assigned a "floater". Bonnie thinks that Ben assigned Peter to this case as a kind of punishment. Mostly because, although Bonnie and Ben have a mystical connection called "T
Why read: Requested from Netgalley

What impressed me: Bonnie and Ben. With each book, their connection (metaphysically or whatnot) becomes more and more evident. Their struggle against it becomes almost laughable, yet remains completely realistic. Now we're finally getting to the point where it needs to be accepted and where they can go from here since it's obviously not going away, but getting stronger. And now that the others are becoming more aware of the connection, a blatant move is going to
Review posted to Your Urban Fantasy

The pieces are all there for Laura Anne Gilman’s Tricks of the Trade. Your enjoyment will simply depend on your tastes as a reader. If you want mystery, there is tons of it. If you want mythical creatures, you get that too with a little comedy along the way. Basically, it delivers what it promises. Our protagonists are detectives of the PUPI (Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations) organization. It’s supposed to be pronounced as “puppy”, but my Kind
This is the third in a series of Paranormal Scenes Investigation. It reads a lot like a CSI type show – which is a plus since I am a fan. In this series, the investigators are part of Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations – aka PUPI (puppies!) and like their human counterparts, they investigate crime scenes. Unlike their human counterparts, their crime scenes involve the paranormal.

In this book, Bonnie Torres is the lead character. Her boss and Top Dog, Benjamin, have to figure out wha
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
The third installment of the Paranormal Scene Investigations series, Tricks of The Trade, picks up a few months after Pack of Lies ends. The PUPI's have two new cases to work - a dead fatae found floating in the river and a break-in on millionaire row. Neither case is quite what it seems and the PUPI's, under the guidance of the Big Dogs Ben and Ian, have a hard time getting to the truth of both crimes. To further complicate matters The Roblin, a mischief demon, takes an interest in the group, a ...more
Shay Williams
This is a series that I stumbled onto and one that I am definitely going to follow in the future as well as picking up her back list. I was really impressed at how well TRICKS OF THE TRADE stands on its own even though it is the third book in the series.

I think that what really set this book apart in my mind is the way Ms. Gilman explains the group dynamic of the PUPS as a pack. There are the Big Dogs which as the bosses and then the working team with the alpha dogs and all. The working team is
This is the third book in the Paranormal Scene Investigations. The first one I have read but not the last one. They mention other cases in this story which I assume is in the other two books. Their is another series of books called Retrievers and they mention Wren and we meet her in this book. I want to read at least one of that series too.
Bonnie Torres is a talent in fact all the investigators are talent. Bonnie and one of her bosses are fighting what they call merge. Their talent is drawn toge
Review originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..

Bonnie's still hard at work along with her fellow teammates working paranormal crime scenes to get to the root of the offense. They've slowly been able to establish some credibility, though nothing is ever easy as they are treading in untested waters. Working two cases at once shouldn't have posed a problem, but then some crazy things start happening and everything gets turned upside down. To make matters worse a faceless creature is loose i
May 01, 2012 Estara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only read it if you like the series - this is not a book to start with
Recommended to Estara by: auto-buy series
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Another fun entry in a (can I still call it new?) new series. There's plenty of mystery and plot to go around, and the characters are growing and evolving. Best of all, the sexual tension between the lead character and her romantic interest is used to enhance the story not to replace it.

I'm really glad Laura can balance the romance with the plot. She's a wonderful storyteller and it's good to see that without losing it to a overly explicit relationship that makes you want to bathe in hand saniti

Scooper Speaks
Favorite Lines: “I don’t think people are meant to share that much, that openly, without the option to say no. It goes against all our self-protective instincts, that loss of choice, and having to trust someone else to keep those private places safe.” (p. 283, egalley)

Tricks of the Trade is book three in Laura Anne Gilman’s Paranormal Scene Investigations. As I’ve mentioned in the past, this series is the paranormal version of CSI. I’ve got to admit that I enjoyed this book more than the prev
Sonia Lal

I enjoyed Tricks of the Trade. It's doesn't move at a breakneck speed, but it's not slow. It just kind of advances at a very steady, moderate kind of pace.

Tricks of the Trade is the third in Paranormal Scene Investigations. It's like a magic CSI: NY. Sometime between the last book and this one, the team got a new player and I really think Ms. Gilman ought to do a short story or two detailing her interview and subsequent disaster in the field (referred to by the characters, but not in any detail.
Lelia Taylor
Tricks of the Trade
Laura Anne Gilman
Luna, November 2011
ISBN 978-0-373-80331-6
Trade Paperback

Who keeps the Cosa Nostradamus on the up-and-up, so to speak, when it comes to criminal events? Bonnie Torres and her colleagues in an elite crime-fighting unit, the PUPI—Private, Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations—are dedicated to looking for the truth in magic-related crimes. Created by Ian Stosser and his partner, Ben Venec, PUPI is all about investigating crimes involving the Cosa Nostradamus, the
Kathy Martin
This is another interesting episode in the PUPI series. The Pups have two cases to work on this time and the one that they were least expecting to blow up in their faces is the one that does. Meanwhile, Bonnie and Venec are trying to deal with the Merge each in their own ways. Bonnie favors denial; Venec is more about control. To paraphrase Bonnie, she isn't going to let herself be pushed around by some kind of magic that has decided she and Venec will make beautiful babies. But, at the same tim ...more
(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
Originally posted at

Favorite Quote: “The world we live in isn’t black and white…it’s always been shades of gray “

Tricks Of The Trade is the 3rd book in Ms. Gilman’s CSI like paranormal series-Paranormal Investigations. Heavy with criminal investigative lingo and procedures, this steady paced urban fantasy combines multiple criminal cases with personal crisis’s to keep the reader well engaged to the end. Innovative world building coupled with rich characte
Robert Stubbs
This is the third book in the Paranormal Scene Investigations series by Laura Anne Gilman which is also in the same universe as the Retrievers series. I normally try to avoid doing reviews because it requires me to put on my analytical hat so to speak and dissect my reasoning behind what I like and do not like in a book but I am putting that aside because I received the book for free through the Goodreads First Reads. Thank you Laura Anne Gilman and Goodreads for that.

An Excellent prologue where
I really like these books. I like Bonnie and her formerly wild ways. I like Ben and his locked up emotions. I like the Pups and their way with current. I like the twists and turns, the unraveling and the shenanigans. I just like these guys, okay? I like them.

Now, I'm a shipper at heart. I want everyone to end up with someone. It's a personality flaw that I've come to accept about myself. Part of me wants Ben and Bonnie to throw caution to the wind and do something crazy and part of me loves the
"Tricks of the Trade" is the 3rd book in the Paranormal Scene Investigations series by Laura Anne Gilman (which I did not know, otherwise I would have started with book 1). It follows the adventures of Bonita Torres, P.U.P.I. and her co-workers/team. Having not read the first two books, there is a lot of information missing for me. Also, I disliked the way the story was told. Bonita mostly tells her story in 1st person POV format, but for important scenes and plot movement, there are sudden swit ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
At first this was hard to get into. The characters work for an outfit called Private Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations, PUPI for short. The street level characters call themselves pups and the head dudes are referred to as Big Dogs. The pup thing seems very serious and not tongue in cheek (though in universe it started as a joke) and it's hard for me to not roll my eyes.

Once the story got rolling, though, it was a fun read. The relationship plotlines weren't of the sort that I personally fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ultimately, I’ve been disappointed with this book. At the end of the day, nothing progressed with this novel, just more of the same.
It was the same old continuation of the ongoing saga: the investigations were the same old, the relationships continued with the same old. There was no epiphany, no innovations, no new characters, no introductory concepts. That’s a big NO, for anything injecting freshness into the series.
The story went on for way too long, dragging out the investigations to the poi
Barbara ★
In the third installment of the Paranormal Scene Investigations three things are going on: 1) the Roblin has come to town (a fae mischief maker); 2) there are two ongoing cases - one a murder, one a robbery; and 3) the Merge is causing problems between Bonnie and her boss, Venec.

I'm really liking this series and will definitely read book four shortly! I liked the way the crimes were investigated. With two cases, Bonnie couldn't head both investigations so the team was split though both teams ev
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By the time she was fourteen, Laura Anne Gilman knew she would be an editor, a teacher, or a writer.

By thirty, she was all three. She's a little focused that way (when not being distracted by -oooh shiny!).

After fifteen years working in NY publishing, Laura Anne became a full-time writer, with more than twenty novels under her various bylines, including the SILVER ON THE ROAD, the Nebula Award-nom
More about Laura Anne Gilman...

Other Books in the Series

Paranormal Scene Investigations (4 books)
  • Hard Magic (Paranormal Scene Investigations #1)
  • Pack of Lies (Paranormal Scene Investigations #2)
  • Dragon Justice (Paranormal Scene Investigations #4)

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