Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Escape from Yokai Land [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Charles Stross, related to the Laundry Files series. (For some reason there’s covers images for this floating around that say the title is “Escape from Puroland”.)
I only got around to reading this novella in 2023, despite my usual promptness in reading new installations in Stross’ Laundry Files series. It was published in 2021, and concerned events set in 2014, prior to The Delirium Brief. It was a sort of nostalgic reading experience for me to go back before the New Management and read one of Bob Howard’s adventures from those halcyon days when Case NIGHTMARE GREEN was merely terrifyingly imminent. This one hews far closer than most to the Ghostbusters paradigm of horror-comedy, even admitting as much in so many words (61).
In this tale, secret agent Bob is newly acceded to the responsibilities and powers of his recently-deceased mentor. He is dispatched to Japan to tie up some loose ends, and the results are typical: computational demonology meets eschatological kawaii-cum-kaiju, with a side order of scarily competent para-human local contact whom Bob is not attracted to because he is conscientiously married (though separated).
There was a little more general exposition on the Laundryverse than I needed, but considering that I basically read the whole book in two sittings, I can’t complain.