Monk's Allie Beckstrom stories just keep getting better and better. She may be really hitting her stride now. In the third book in this series, Allie has mostly recovered from her last adventure, and she's supposed to begin training in the proper use of her magic with a member of the Authority, Maeve. She also has a date with Zayvion Jones, which one would think would just pass quietly, normally, but it just isn't in the cards for anything to go smoothly where Allie is concerned. Allie is also haunted throughout this novel by the ghost of her father, and she's not quite sure whether his spirit is trapped in her brain somewhere, or if she's merely delusional.
On the way to the restaurant with Zayvion, they get sidetracked when Allie hears someone or something being attacked in an alley. As a result, Allie draws the attention of a sorceror who has been transformed somehow into a monstrous beast, which not only eats flesh, but likes to slurp up magic, too. Dinner at the restaurant goes fairly smoothly, except that as they are leaving Allie can't resist fiddling with the magical chains that bind one of the stone gargoyles out front, and the gargoyle goes missing...for the moment.
Once again, there are multiple plot threads here as Allie juggles responsibilities. She needs to work out her relationship with her father's company and ex-wife. Her friend from Magic to the Bone, Nola, shows up in town to try to take custody of a mentally damaged magic user who was involved in Allie's father's death. She must learn to control her magic so as to pass the Authority's test. Detective Stott needs her to Hound the source of some nasty blood magic. One of the Hounds, Danny, needs her help to rescue his girlfriend, a fellow Hound, from her involvement with some nasty bad guys, and the rest of the Hounds have become her responsibility with the death of Pike.
We begin to see Allie grow up a bit in this book. She has to learn to trust her friends more, take advice from people who care about her, and absorb a lot of information about the true history of magic, and her place in its community, in a big hurry. Plenty of action here, and once again as Allie solves some of her problems, she gets a whole new bag to deal with.