In concept, Iorich is the perfect Vlad Taltos book for someone like me with a legal/military/libertarian background. It's tacked around the philosophy and activities of the House of Iorich, that faction of the Dragaeran Empire concerned with justice and usually employed as lawyers, judges, and prison guards. The seed of the plot is caused by the massacre of civilians during a counter-insurgency campaign/rebellion being put down by the empire. And the primary motivation of the bad guys is an attempt to outlaw or heavily regulate mind-altering drugs to earn profits selling them on the blackmarket.
Unfortunately, beyond the setting there's little here we haven't seen before, so I can't give it five stars. There are no important new characters, yet less interaction with the old favorites than you might expect. The actual operation of the plot is the usual slightly implausible motives and actions of shadowy factions that Vlad stumbles around for most of the book before unravelling it in a flash, followed by a quick planning session with supporting friends and (literal) execution that wraps everything up neatly at the end.
It's nothing you haven't seen before, and while it's just as much fun as it was the last five times, it's not more.
I will give special appreciation to the chapter intros, which here consist of depositions, memos, and minutes of an investigation into the civilian massacre. Almost all of them are interesting, a few are amusing, and one (Aliera's) is hilarious. Brust also continues to impress in how he's handled the huge Plot Device of Invincibility introduced at the end of Issola to avoid making Vlad boringly immune to real danger or difficulty.
I'd like to say that the events of this book and the especially the state of play at the end sets us up for a big change of story arc or at least gut punching development ala Phoenix or Issola, but we've been suckered by that before. I do have hope the next book will continue the chronological arc forward; the recent pattern is two steps forward, one step jumping back. Jhegaala was the most recent flashback, and Iorich only gave us a few hints at what happened the last four years since Dzur, so I think we'll get one more forward push of the story line before Brust jumps back to cover the Dzur-Iorich interval.