Toby Daye is a private investigator. She's also a changeling -- daughter of a faerie creature of the Summerlands and a human. A loyal knight, she was investigating the disappearance of her liege's daughter. Her liege's EvilTwin busted her doing it, and the consequences of being caught cost her [[TimeSkip fourteen years of her life]] and everything that mattered to her.

As a result, Toby cut herself off from dealing with the fae world, and lived as a recluse and [[TheMasquerade hiding her fae appearance under spells and illusions]], until another fae, with her dying breath, geased a reluctant Toby [[TheCallLeftAMessage via answering machine]] to solve her murder.

This is where the adventure in ''Rosemary and Rue'' starts. Toby must return to the fae community to solve the case or literally die trying thanks to the geas. To her astonishment, the fae community is happy to have her back. And once she solves this case, she only finds more to do.

So far, the series, written by Hugo Award-winning author Creator/SeananMcGuire, comprises:
* ''Rosemary and Rue'' (September 2009)
* ''A Local Habitation'' (March 2010)
* ''An Artificial Night'' (September 2010)
* ''Late Eclipses'' (March 2011)
* ''One Salt Sea'' (September 2011)
* ''Ashes of Honor'' (September 2012)
* ''Chimes at Midnight'' (September 2013)
* ''The Winter Long'' (TBR September 2014)

'''Short stories:'''
* "Rat-Catcher", which focuses on the Tybalt's early history in Londinium, published in ''A Fantasy Medley 2''.
* "Through This House", which fills in a few gaps between ''Late Eclipses'' and ''One Salt Sea'', published in ''Home Improvement: Undead Edition.'' A few fragments have also found their way around.
* "In Sea-Salt Tears", a prequel to ''One Salt Sea'', published on [=McGuire=]'s website.
* "Never Shines The Sun", expanding on a story Toby only gets a glimpse of in ''Chimes At Midnight''. It is available ''only in the paperback edition'' of ''Chimes At Midnight''. Ebook versions do not (or are not supposed to) contain the short story.
* "Forbid the Sea", a sequel to "Rat-Catcher", published on [=McGuire=]'s website.

[=McGuire=] has sold the first ten Toby books. The upcoming ones are:
* ''The Winter Long''
* ''A Red-Rose Chain''
* ''Once Broken Faith''

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!! This series provides examples of:

* ActionGirl: Toby, though she probably would dispute this.
* ActionMom: Dianda Lorden of Undersea, who not only likes a good fight is pretty much ready for one on a moment's notice.
* AffectionateGestureToTheHead: In ''One Salt Sea'', the scary, unaffectionate Luidaeg gives Quentin's hair an affectionate ruffle.
* AfterActionHealingDrama: Tybalt collapses in ''Ashes of Honor'' and Toby has to race to get the healer to help him.
** In ''Chimes At Midnight''[[spoiler: Tybalt collapses again and Toby has to make a deal with the Night Haunts to find out how to save him before it's too late.]]
* AfterActionPatchup: After landing ALH through the gate in ''Ashes of Honor'', the first consideration is treating Tybalt's injuries; they talk as they go.
* AlienGeometries - Knowes tend to have these. [[spoiler: ALH's knowe in particular. Windows look out at different times of day. You can walk down a hall and be three floors higher at the other end than you started]].
* AnyoneCanDie
* ArrangedMarriage - Connor and Rayseline.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking - Toby's list of reasons why she can't be Quentin's knight starts with "I keep getting him shot" and ends with "I don't brush my teeth every night before bed."
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: Toby and Tybalt. They behave more like SlapSlapKiss but as the books progress, it becomes clearer that it's to mask genuine affection for each other.
* AxCrazy: Rayseline, and the BigBad of each book, to varying degrees.
** Inverted with Book 6's villain. Most of the warnings given to Toby are that the sanity of the character in question is why they are so dangerous.
* BadDreams: About being a fish.
* BadassFamily: Anyone who is Firstborn, because they're only one remove from Oberon/Titania, Oberon/Maeve, or Oberon/____.
* BelligerentSexualTension: October and Tybalt
* BigEater: Quentin. Any occasion for food will find him taking some. He often stashes snacks in his pockets.
* BloodMagic: The Daoine Sidhe (and any changelings descended from them) are particularly good at it. The Luidaeg and several other faerie are also as good at it.
** [[spoiler: Dochas Sidhe are even better.]]
* BreakTheCutie: What becoming part of Blind Michael's ride did to Quentin's human girlfriend, and several other children stolen for that purpose. Also, the reason why Rayseline is AxCrazy.
* TheCallLeftAMessage: Countess Evening Winterrose's phone message.
* CatsAreMagic: Faerie superstition goes that, so long as a cat exists, the memory of the fae will go on.
* CatsAreMean: This is a truism for the entire Cait Sidhe population. Their rites of ascension are all barbarous and bloody -- a royal kitten is not considered worthy for ascension if they can't hold their own in a fight.
* CatsAreSuperior: The ''entire Cait Sidhe'' population have smugness as a racial trait, at least this is what Toby thinks when she meets Raj. It ''might'' have something to do with them being specifically outside of the political structure that strangles Faerie. There is nothing the royals can actually do to the Cait Sidhe and they are well aware of this detail.
* CatsHaveNineLives: One of the boons of being the local King or Queen of cats is more than one life, but not as many as nine. Tybalt doesn't share the ''exact'' number.
* CelestialDeadline: A number of spells dissipate at sunrise.
* CharacterWitness: The cab driver who befriends Toby tells her that her money is no good here due to Toby's having helped his sister. But he also stands as a literal character witness when one of the royals tries to set Toby up in a slanted trial.
* ChekhovsGunman: In ''Rosemary and Rue'':
---> [[spoiler: '''The Luidaeg:''' You never did give me my receipt, ''honey''.]]
* CommonalityConnection: Tybalt and May, or so May assures Toby.
* CompellingVoice: The part-Banshee, part-Siren Queen, whose voice can cause mind control or harm even when she's just speaking. If she ''sings''...
* CrushBlush: Toby, when Tybalt compliments her looks.
* CueTheSun: Played straight and inverted. Fae magic burns away at dawn and spells must be replenished. And certain fae races have things that happen for them at sunset.
* DancesAndBalls: This can last longer than fourteen years, for the fae.
* DayHurtsDarkAdjustedEyes: The Luidaeg doesn't give enought warning before the lights.
* DealWithTheDevil: Toby's deal with the Luidaeg seemed like one at first, but eventually the Luidaeg asked for a favor in return that left them square.
* DeceptiveLegacy: Played with:
** Amandine is deceptive to Toby and pretty much most of the rest of the faerie about [[spoiler:Toby's true bloodlines.]]
** in ''Ashes of Honor''. Bridget is a folklore professor and knows that the father of her child isn't human, but because all she has is folklore, she gets a lot wrong about what he really is. Of course, she passes the wrong info to her child, with the best of intentions and desire to protect.
* DisappearedDad: Mainly because he was unaware of the child's existence, [[spoiler: Sir Etienne of Shadowed Hills]].
* DoctorsOrders: Jin tries this in ''Ashes of Honor''
* {{Doppelganger}}: Used in ''Rosemary and Rue'': [[spoiler: an assassin takes the shape of Toby's now-teenage and very estranged daughter Gillian.]]
** In the third book, Toby [[spoiler:meets her fetch, a perfect copy of herself that is supposed to guide her to her death.]]
* DyingDeclarationOfLove: [[spoiler: Tybalt, after just barely surviving an attack on his life, finally tells Toby how he feels about her]]. But it turns out not to really be a dying declaration as medical attention gets administered shortly thereafter.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Samson
* TheFairFolk: In modern times, with changelings; some handle this well, some don't.
* FantasticDrug: Goblin fruit. Cultivated by purebloods for pleasant dreams and a nice distraction from mortals encroaching on the world. But for changelings and humans, instantly and unbreakably addictive.
* FantasticRacism: Changelings are thought of as less by the pureblood fae, and some of them are very nasty about it. Since October herself is not only a Changeling but the first one to ever be granted the rank of knight this comes up a lot.
* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler: Arguably, what happens to everyone who dies at ALH, because their memories aren't preserved by the nighthaunts. January doesn't even get digitized into the computer, so she's the first truly gone fairy in a long time.]]
* {{Fingore}}: Kidnapper sends the finger of the victim to the victim's family in ''One Salt Sea''.
* FisherKing: The knowes reflect the styles of their owners/rulers, and mourn if their owner/ruler is killed.
** Subverted with Goldengreen: As of ''One Salt Sea'', Toby regards the pixies and bogeys as the owners of the knowe because the ''knowe'' does... and possibly because Toby is a changeling rather than a pureblood. [[spoiler: This changes when Dean becomes Count of Goldengreen]].
* FlowerMotifs: Luna gives Connor a basket of love-lies-a-bleeding and love-in-idleness.
* FriendshipMoment: the Luidaeg has lots of these in book 3, but the ending in particular is a nice one. Ditto book 5.
* GenreSavvy: Quentin, who knows better than to believe Toby saying "I'll be right back" after May gets him watching horror movies.
* GiveMeASword: Sylvester loans his to Toby.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Toby's scars from the bullets with which she was shot during her first adventure are significant in the second, as she draws attention to them to advise her {{Sidekick}} that it isn't all fun and games.
* GroinAttack: Etienne does this to [[spoiler: Dugan the Daoine Sidhe since the latter was holding an iron knife and that meant that all bets were off regarding a fair fight]].
* HalfHumanHybrid: And various other fractions, which also affect how well they pass for human.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Connor the Selkie]] jumped in front of a projectile meant for [[spoiler: October's daughter Gillian]].
* HesDeadJim: The fae don't handle death well. But they can tell when someone's died: "She was cold and didn't respond to us calling her name!"
* HonoraryUncle: Toby to "Auntie Birdie"
%% Also Sylvester to Gillian, apparently.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: All the book titles come from [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare Shakespeare]]:
** ''Rosemary and Rue'' from ''Theatre/TheWintersTale''
** ''A Local Habitation'' from ''AMidsummerNightsDream''
** ''An Artificial Night'' from ''RomeoAndJuliet''
** ''Late Eclipses'' from ''Theatre/KingLear''
** ''One Salt Sea'' from ''HenryV''
** ''Ashes of Honor'' from ''HenryVIII''
** ''The Chimes at Midnight'' from ''HenryIVPart2''
** ''The Winter Long'' from ''Theatre/TheWintersTale''
** ''A Red-Rose Chain'' from ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_and_Adonis_%28Shakespeare_poem%29 Venus and Adonis]]''
** ''Once Broken Faith'' from ''HenryVIPart3''
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Toby has a wide variety of these, given the nature of the fae.
* InterspeciesRomance: most romances in this series. Extra points go to the Lordens for having a land fae marrying a sea fae.
* InvoluntaryShapeshifting: Toby spent fourteen years as a fish in a koi pond.
* IShallTauntYou: Toby does this in ''One Salt Sea'' to throw the kidnapper off balance.
* IWantGrandkids: Toby guesses this for Luna and quickly realizes it's implausible.
* ItWasAGift: Quentin is given hippocampi.
* KillItWithFire: one of humanity's reactions to the truth of the Fae, the other being TheyWouldCutYouUp.
** Also a Fae punishment for lawbreakers. They get tied to a tree and burn to death.
* LongLostRelative: [[spoiler: The Luidaeg is Toby's aunt!]]
** In ''Ashes of Honor'', [[spoiler: Etienne]]'s daughter, who has been hidden from him for her entire life, is revealed to him.
** In ''Chimes At Midnight'', long lost relatives of [[spoiler: King Gilead]] are discovered.
* MacGuffin:
** In ''Rosemary and Rue'' it's the chest Toby entrusts to Tybalt.
** In ''Ashes of Honor'', there are two: [[spoiler: Chelsea is one; Riordan's necklace the other]].
* MadScientist: The staff of ALH. Mad coders, maybe.
* TheMagicVersusTechnologyWar: Subverted as ALH uses both together in ''A Local Habitation''.
* MakeUpIsEvil: It can look like a downtown whore if overdone.
* MamaBear: Toby. Although Stacy is a mother whose kids are still present, she falls apart when they're endangered. Toby, on the other hand rushes to the rescue of other people's children (and her own), and Oberon help anything that gets in her way.
** The trait runs in the family. In ''Late Eclipses'', we see that Amandine will ''mess you up'' if you threaten her child.
** Dianda Lorden, who also is an ActionMom, and loves a good fight.
* TheMasquerade: Fairies do not go out in public without illusions.
* MatterOfLifeAndDeath: For this, a favor costs
* MissingMom: Toby's missing 14 years caused her to be one without her consent.
** Amandine is counted among the missing as well, though she does show up when the chips are down.
* {{Muggles}}: The humans who wander the world unaware that the faerie are real. Toby worked among them in ''Rosemary and Rue'' and stayed in a hotel full of them in ''A Local Habitation''.
* NeverSayDie: [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]]; the fae, left unmolested, are pretty much immortal. Not so much the changelings. When murder happens, though, among the nobility, there are explicit and elaborate forms full of flowery euphemisms for announcing when someone has died. Usually shortened to "(Person) has stopped their dancing."
* NeverSplitTheParty: GenreSavvy Toby knows this, and so does her young assistant. Too bad people refuse to stay together...
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by May in ''Ashes of Honor'' who flat out asks why Toby is splitting the party ''ScoobyDoo'' style.
* NoBisexuals: Averted- Liz has at least had relationships with both sexes.
** Tybalt as well, as per Forbid the Sea.
*** WordOfGod is that every character except for Toby (who had a 1950's upbringing) should be considered bisexual. Fae are flexible like that.
* NonLinearCharacter: Mary the Roane appears to be this.
* NoPeriodsPeriod: Played with. Toby implies "female troubles" to get a male to quit trying to ask her questions.
* TheNoseKnows: Tybalt, though he's not a bloodhound.
** Madden is not a bloodhound either but at least he's a Cu Sidhe.
* TheOathbreaker: Changelings have a reputation for this.
* OfferedTheCrown: [[spoiler: Toby gets AnOfferYouCantRefuse]] to become Countess of Goldengreen. Sounds awesome, but it puts her life way at risk. [[spoiler: She passes it off to Dean in "One Salt Sea."]]
* OhCrap: Toby gets hit with an evil pie in ''Chimes at Midnight''. Not such an "oh crap" moment by itself, except the filling is instantly and unbreakably addictive; requiring her to eat more or starve to death in withdrawal.
* OpenSesame: actually opens one door.
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent
* OutOfCharacterAlert: If Toby is cheerful in the daytime, be wary and beware.
* PapaWolf: There are several males in the series whose kids you just really do not want to mess with under any circumstances.
** Sylvester Torquill, toward Toby and his own daughter Rayseline.
** Sir Etienne, toward [[spoiler: his own daughter, Chelsea]].
** Tybalt, toward Raj.
* ThePardon: At the end of ''Late Eclipses''
* ParentalSubstitute: Sylvester toward Toby.
* PettingZooPeople: The Cait Sidhe and Kitsune look like people but have cat and fox ears (and tails) respectively.
* PhoneCallFromTheDead: October Daye gets her CallToAdventure in ''Rosemary and Rue'' by receiving a phone call from the murder victim, [[spoiler: who happens to be a fae, and who ''geases'' Toby into solving the case]].
* PinkElephants: Toby hopes that a shrieking mermaid in a wheelchair will be taken for this.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: Subverted. [[spoiler: April ''is'' ALH's intercom system. She was a dryad who lost her tree, so they worked her into the circuitry of a server to save her.]]
** The endangered child in ''Ashes of Honor'' is pretty much used as a [[spoiler: generator for teleportation magic]] to the point of being used ''up''.
* PowerNullifier: Mixed up by Walther for Toby in Book 6 in case it worked on the child Toby was hired to find. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, due to extreme injury, Toby didn't get to tell anyone that there was a [[ForgottenPhlebotinum counteragent]] to it that could be used within a certain time limit for anyone who got the nullifier on them besides the target.]] Whoops.
* ThePromise: Part and parcel of faerie magic. Extremely SeriousBusiness.
* RagsToRoyalty: Luna ''looks'' like this
* ReleasingFromThePromise: Toby would never ask for this, though she knows she could have it.
* ReluctantRuler: According to some of the fae history unearthed in Toby's adventures, because of ascension through assassination, many of the Kings and Queens of the fae were unwilling to rise to the positions of power they ended up in. Most recently this is true for the [[spoiler: true heir to the Kingdom of the Mists, who has been terrorized all her life by the pretender to the throne]].
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Sylvester and Luna Torquill, the Lordens, [[spoiler: Toby as well, after she gets a title.]]. The Torquills in particular have a HundredPercentAdorationRating.
* RuleOfSeven: How long it takes for humans to be declared dead.
* RuleOfThree: Threes are very important to the fae.
* SanitySlippage: During Toby's missing 14 years, Sylvester had a back-and-forth case stemming from the grief of missing his wife, his child, and one of his most beloved knights.
* SarcasmMode: Toby and Tybalt frequently have entire conversations this way.
* SecondLove: [[spoiler:Tybalt]] confesses that his love is this.
* SelfMadeOrphan: [[spoiler: Rayseline attempts this.]]
* SelkiesAndWereseals: Dear God, their OriginStory...
* ShapeshiftingLover: Pureblooded [[HornyDevils Gean-Cannah.]]
* ShoutOut:
** ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'': see YouMeddlingKids below.
** Toby references Franchise/SpiderMan directly.
** Toby also apparently reads ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'' in her spare time.
--> '''Toby:''' The First Rule of Tautology Club is the first rule of Tautology Club.
** Toby, being more long-lived than a human, has also had time to read Comicbook/{{X-Men}}. She tells Tybalt to pop his claws -- a turn of phrase usually reserved to describe Wolverine.
** Quentin, being from Canada, is a fan of GreatBigSea, and quotes their songs to cast some of his spells.
* SoProudOfYou: Toby refers to this to Quentin in ''Ashes of Honor''
* StarCrossedLovers: Pureblood and human relationships are almost always star-crossed.
* SupernaturalPhone: The landlines and cellphones owned by the faerie are all magicked for privacy and to work under odd magical conditions where technology ordinarily would not function.
* TalkAboutTheWeather: Toby tries this on Tybalt in ''Ashes of Honor''
* TalkingInYourDreams: An oneiromancer power
* {{Teleportation}}: The province of the Tuatha De Danaan, and several other fae.
* TemporalThemeNaming: So far, in addition to October, we've seen a January, an April, a May, and a June. January and April are related by adoption. [[spoiler: May was originally October's Fetch.]] In the third book, Lily comments, "Whatever will we do when the months of the year are used entirely?" WordOfGod says that in Faerie, it's rude to name someone directly after someone else, but honoring somebody by using a name with a related meaning is acceptable. October's name is somehow connected with September Torquill, January's mother.
** Gillian means "July". WordOfGod says this is deliberate.
** Let's not forget Evening Winterrose.
*** Who had a sister named Dawn.
* TheOlderImmortal
* ThinkNothingOfIt: Anything that even smacks of gratitude gets this from the fae; except for fealty.
* TimeSkip: A few months have passed between ''Rosemary and Rue'' and ''A Local Habitation''. And ''An Artificial Night'' takes place in 2010. WordOfGod says [[http://seanan-mcguire.livejournal.com/273504.html?thread=9118304#t9118304 the 2014 date is a mistake that somehow escaped all proofreading.]]
* TouchedByVorlons: [[spoiler: Toby]] gets a massive powerup and finds out that [[spoiler: she's not Daoine Sidhe]] when [[spoiler:Amandine saves her from dying by elfshot. She becomes less human and starts to resemble her mother more.]]
* TrailOfBreadcrumbs: Toby wishes for this on one of her adventures into deeper Faerie.
* TransformationTrauma: Toby in Book 1 after the events at the Gardens.
** All the children Blind Michael warped into riders and ridden, [[spoiler: particularly Katie, who remained aware as he slowly turned her into a horse]].
* TriangRelations: Type 7, with Connor, Rayseline, and Toby. [[spoiler: Not so much anymore, now that Raysel is out of the picture.]]
** And then there's the Connor-Toby-Tybalt triangle, [[spoiler: though Connor's death removes one side of it]].
* UnableToCry: Once Toby realized how long she had been gone.
* UndyingLoyalty
* UnusualEuphemism: Fae swear by their own gods, and they swear on the things that are sacred to them. They don't completely fail to use human profanity, it just mingles in.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Connor and Toby, both, to each other.
* UnwantedSpouse: Connor to Rayseline, and vice versa.
* UrbanFantasy
* WarIsHell: A major part of ''One Salt Sea'', [[spoiler: even though Toby succeeds in stopping the war in time.]]
* WhamLine: In ''Late Eclipses'':
---> ...if he'd said "By the way, [[spoiler: you're not Daoine Sidhe]]...", I would have laughed him out of the room.
* WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong: TemptingFate is pretty much at its worst when the faerie do it.
* WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys: Toby likens the Luidaeg to her own personal Q from James Bond, since she provides Toby with needed transformation spells, information, etc.
* TheWildHunt: ''An Artificial Night.''
* WithDueRespect: "Not to be rude or anything."
* VillainsOutShopping: [[spoiler: Treasa Riordan]] has an active World of Warcraft account and schedules court business around raids.
* AYearAndADay: Walther's anti-magic potion lasts this long.
* YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious: Evening, who only ever called Toby 'October', resorts to calling her Toby in her last answering machine message.
** Tybalt has a number of nicknames for Toby, several of which she hates, but only calls her October when he's very worried about her.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Played with. Overdramatic Etienne, wracked with guilt over a slip of discretion during Toby's missing years makes him feel this way, although Sylvester Torquill is one of the kindest, nicest, and most forgiving of the fae -- and that's saying a ''lot'' given how nasty most of the powerful ones are.
* YouMeddlingKids: [[InvokedTrope Invoked by]] Toby herself, when the BigBad of ''One Salt Sea'' got called out as such. She really ''does'' have meddling kids, too: Quentin and Raj.
* YouMustBeCold: Six pages into ''A Local Habitation'', Tybalt lends Toby his leather jacket because "You look cold." As of the end of ''Late Eclipses'', three books later, she still has it. Tybalt goes off with it and then returns it via May in ''One Salt Sea.''

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