Pratchett's new Discworld (Unseen Academicals, 2009, etc.) novel—the umpteenth, but who's counting?—features the Duke of Ankh, otherwise known as Commander Sir Samuel Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, whose estimable wife, Lady Sybil, decrees that they shall take a vacation at her ancestral estate in the country.
Sam meets the local aristocracy and receives invitations to a lot of balls. He introduces six-year old Sam Junior to the author of young Sam's favorite book, The World of Poo. He faces down the irascible, aristocracy-hating local blacksmith and dines on Bung Ming Suck Dog. And, canny copper that he is, Vines, though out of his jurisdiction and out of his depth in a most alarming environment, senses wrongdoing. Sure enough, he's soon contemplating the slaughtered corpse of a goblin girl. Problem is, the law doesn't recognize the killing of goblins as murder. Still, there's smuggling going on, much of it involving substances far less innocent than tobacco. Crime or no crime, Sam determines to investigate, even to the rank, fetid caves where the last few goblins, starving, hunted and miserable, live. Sam doesn't fear the underground, being the Blackboard Monitor of the Dwarves. And tattooed on his wrist is a dreadful yet illuminating demon called the Summoning Dark, an entity that's as determined as Sam to bring justice to the poor goblins, despite the law and those who have decided to make their own rules. Funny, of course, but with plenty of hard edges; and, along with the excellent lessons in practical police work, genuine sympathy for the ordinary copper's lot.
A treat no fan of Discworld—and there are boatloads of them—will want to miss.