This latest in the Discworld series is a tale of what happens when you put a barely reformed con artist in charge of all the money. Marked by Pratchett's trademark wit, this volume should please longtime series fans. But he treads familiar ground, combining absurd circumstances and ludicrous characters with keen observations and acute social commentary.

Moist von Lipwing, erstwhile scoundrel turned postmaster general, has, against his will, been placed in charge of the city of Ankh-Morpork's mint and will be overseeing the printing of its first paper currency. Surrounded by enemies - within and without - Moist must scramble not only to make paper money a success but also to stay alive.

Fortunately for Moist, he'd been getting a bit bored working at the post office, so while the challenge of reforming the bank system may have been unwelcome at first, he just might be able to rise to it. (Harper, Sep., 400 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs