Provost's Dog, or The Hunt Records, is a trilogy set in the Tortallan Universe by Tamora Pierce. It is a prequel to Pierce's other series in that universe, and is set two hundred years before the events of The Song of the Lioness, Pierce's first quartet. The books are written in epistolary format, and are presented as the diaries and journals of Beka Cooper, who served in the Provost's Guard (the police force) of Corus and Tortall at large. Terrier, the first book, was published in 2006, Bloodhound was published in 2009, and Mastiff in 2011. The entire trilogy was first published by Random House.
A larger cover gallery for this series can be found here.
The first installment, published in October of 2006, describes Beka's first adventures as a trainee guard. Beka has just entered her year as a trainee and is assigned as "Puppy" to one of the most famous Dog pairs of the whole Lower City, Corus' roughest district. One of her partners makes it clear that she doesn't want a Puppy. Besides this Beka has also cause to worry considering the new lodgers in her house, three members of the Court of the Rogue. To top it all she is pursuing two difficult cases at once.
The second book of the series, published in April of 2009, continues Beka's story more than a year later. By now Beka has become a full member of the Provost's Guard, although she is still a first-year Dog. Her bad luck with her partners causes her to be repeatedly temporarily reassigned to Tunstall and Goodwin. Together they find hints towards a counterfeiter. Beka and Goodwin pursue this hint to Port Caynn, where they have to be on their guard. Not only the city's Rogue, but also the Deputy Provost disapproves of their being in Port Caynn, complicating their work. Their friendship to gamblers proves helpful, although they can't rule them out as the actual counterfeiters.
This last volume was published on October 25, 2011. The book was originally titled "Elkhound", but Tamora Pierce didn't find it fitting to the content anymore, so the title was changed around the time Bloodhound was published. In this book Beka is partnered with Tunstall. Along with Lady Sabine, Pounce and Achoo they have to find the young prince, who has been kidnapped.
- Rebakah Cooper (also called Beka) is the protagonist of the trilogy. She is the ancestress of George Cooper, the spouse of Alanna the Lioness. Her journals are given to George by Eleni Cooper, his mother, when she heard that he was joining the Court of the Rogue and becoming a thief. She wanted to point out that there were members of the Cooper family who were honorable and true. Beka is a very determined character; while at first idealistic and naive about what she could do for the world, she transforms into a woman who knows her limits, but will stop at nothing to help people in need. She never gives up that ideology, even in the harshest circumstances. In Terrier, she is instrumental in stopping the Shadow Snake; in Bloodhound, she tracks down a group of counterfeiters; and in Mastiff, she helps save Prince Gareth from kidnappers. She has three main love interests throughout the books, Rosto the Piper, Dale Rowan, and Farmer Cape.
- Pounce, also called Faithful or The Cat, is a seemingly ordinary (at first) black cat with large purple eyes. He helps Beka throughout her journeys in the trilogy. His divine powers are also handled differently than in prior books, as this time the main characters knows and recognizes that her cat is a bit different.
- Clara Goodwin is one of the two Guards who are assigned to train a young Beka in Terrier. At first displeased with the idea, Clary grows accustomed to Beka and to really admire her as a Guardswoman. After finishing the training period, Beka stays with them for a bit and they become an excellent and unstoppable team of three. Clary accompanies Beka to Port Caynn in Bloodhound in order to sniff out some counterfeiters, and shows Beka what she knows about undercover work.
- Matthias Tunstall is the other Guard whom Beka is assigned to. Like Clary, Tunstall grows to respect Beka as a person and as a Guardswoman. He begins a romantic relationship with Sabine of Macayhill. In Mastiff, he helps aid Beka, Sabine, and Farmer Cape in finding Prince Gareth and stopping the rebellion.
- Sabine of Macayhill is a lady knight. She becomes a friend of Beka's during the girl's hunt for the Shadow Snake. She also begins a romantic liaison with Tunstall. Lady Sabine plays an important role in Terrier, a minor role in Bloodhound, and an extremely significant role in Mastiff.
- Achoo Curlypaws becomes Beka's scent hound after she rescues Achoo from an abusive handler. Achoo has a very large role in Bloodhound and Mastiff.
- Gershom of Haryse is the Lord Provost of the Guard and Beka's mentor. He is her inspiration for becoming a Guardswoman.
- Rosto the Piper is one of Beka's love interests despite never actually having a romantic liaison with Beka (even though he was the fan favorite). Rosto is abrasive and used as comic relief in the darkest of times, but he is also willing to help Beka when she needs him. He becomes a bit jealous of other men in her life, like Dale Rowan. Rosto's involvement in the trilogy lessens drastically over the course of the three books. He plays a large part in Terrier, a minor part in Bloodhound, and almost no part at all in Mastiff. According to Tamora Pierce from what she's said on online interviews and in conventions and panels, Rosto is based on Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Birdie – Provost's Guard nickname for informants
- Bugnob – a person with little brains
- Cages – holding cells for prisoners of the kennel
- Cityman – a person who is noble
- Cove – male
- Cracknob – a madman
- Cuddy – slob
- Dog – member of Provost's Guard
- Douse – to murder
- Doxie – female prostitute
- Ducknob – a person with little intelligence
- Filcher – small-time criminal
- Foist – master pickpocket
- Gixie – girl
- Hobble – to tie up or arrest
- Kennel – prison/police station
- Mot – female
- Puppy – trainee of Provost's Guard, not yet a full Dog
- Rat – Provost's Guard nickname for criminals
- Spintry – male prostitute
- They are documents like letters, journal entries, etc.