by Louis McMaster Bujold
As you can tell from my having read three Penric titles in two days, these are quite short. This is the longest and the worst of them. Not that it's bad, but the declining quality and having already read and been unimpressed with the fourth, this is the end for me. I recommend the first, and the second is passable. See my review of the second for my commentary on the quality of the writing and the problems inherent in writing a long-running series about a pair of characters.
This book sees Penric sent on his first mission as a spy, to a country he's familiar with (including speaking the language) because his demon was once attached to a person from that country. But he's betrayed and thrown in prison immediately on arrival, and can't determine where the plan fell down. As well as being the longest Penric tale, it's also the grittiest. And to my mind, the least impressive so far.