Small Favor by Jim Butcher
After reviewing the other nine novels of The Dresden Files, I've decided to take a cue from Pinky McLadybits and her approach to the Sookie Stackhouse novels by saying there is no way to really discuss this novel without spoiling the rest of the series. So if you're interested in the reading the series and haven't finished the first nine, it's time to turn away.
Winter has come early to Chicago and since this is Harry's world, that means there is probably an unbalance in the supernatural world. Soon Mab, Faerie Queen of Winter, shows up and asks him to complete one of the two remaining favors he owes her, and find the missing mobster Marcone.
While being targeted by agents of Summer, Harry soon discovers that Marcone was kidnapped by the Denarians, possibly because they resent his involvement in the supernatural world since joining the Accords, or because they hope to seduce him into picking up a coin and joining their ranks. Since the Denarians are fallen angels, the Knights of the Cross quickly become involved in the struggle as well, and Harry contacts Ivy, the Archive, in order to have a neutral power help him negotiate with the Denarians. Having Ivy around, of course, means Kincaid, Murphy's occasional lover and mercenary hellhound also makes an appearance.
As can be expected, Harry spends a lot of time in the dark, being manipulated by higher beings. While in the first few novels, this happened to Harry a lot as well, he has in the last few years realized that the plans are never as simple as they seem and always expects to find hidden motivations and designs that aren't obvious upon first look. I definitely enjoyed this one, and I definitely was surprised by some of the occurences at the end. I love the large cast of characters and friends that Harry has in his support system and who make appearances throughout the novels - of course, some of them are more like frenemies (okay, I'm sorry for making a Sex and the City reference on a Pajiba sponsored reading challenge). Even the recurring villains are always a joy to see. Especially Marcone - then again I don't think of him as a villain, that's just Harry's view.