The tale of a family dealing with the death of their father, of a son who goes to law for his inheritance, a son who agonizes over his father’s deathbed confession, a daughter who falls in love, a daughter who becomes involved in the abolition movement, and a daughter sacrificing herself for her husband.
Except that everyone in the story is a dragon, red in tooth and claw.
Here is a world of politics and train stations, of churchmen and family retainers, of courtship and country houses…in which, on the death of an elder, family members gather to eat the body of the deceased. In which society’s high-and-mighty members avail themselves of the privilege of killing and eating the weaker children, which they do with ceremony and relish, growing stronger thereby.
Sabina Carpenter and John Quinncannon are no stranger to mysteries. In the five years since they opened Carpenter and Quinncannon, Professional Detective Services, they have solved dozens, but one has eluded even them: Sherlock Holmes or, rather, the madman claiming his identity, who keeps showing up with a frustrating (though admittedly useful) knack for solving difficult cases.
But while John is certain he can catch his quarry, Sabina is less certain she wants to catch hers. Holmes has been frustrating, but useful, even kind. She is quite certain he is mad, and quite uncertain what will happen when he is confronted with the truth. Does every mystery need to be solved?
We hope you enjoy this excerpt from Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini’s latest Carpenter and Quincannon mystery, The Plague of Thieves Affair.
Chapter 1: Quincannon
There were few more undesirable places for a detective and committed temperance man to be plying his trade, John Quincannon reflected sourly, not for the first time in the past few days, than the bowels of a blasted brewery.
In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born.
But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.
Sixteen years later, a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history.
2095. After long months of travel, the gigantic colony ship Goddard has at last made orbit around Saturn, carrying a population of more than of 10,000 dissidents, rebels, extremists, and visionaries seeking a new life. Among Goddard’s missions is the study of Titan, which offers the tantalizing possibility that life may exist amid its windswept islands and chill black seas.
But when the exploration vessel Titan Alpha mysteriously fails after reaching the moon’s surface, long buried tensions surface among the colonists. Torn by intrigue, sabotage, and an awesome discovery that could threaten human space exploration, a handful of courageous men and women must fight for the survival of their colony, and for the destiny of the human race.
About Etruscans: Bestselling historical novelist Morgan Llywelyn teams up with Irish fantasy writer Michael Scott to write an epic fantasy based on the mythology of ancient Rome.
As the Romans expand their rule from their newly founded capital city, the civilization of their elegant forerunners, the Etruscans, is waning. Into this era of flux and change strides a young figure destined to become one of the classical world’s greatest mythic heroes.
When Vesi, a young Etruscan noblewoman, is raped by a supernatural being who was once human, a child is conceived. Outcast from Etruria, Vesi bears a son she calls Horatrim: a child who is dangerous both to the Etruscans and to his own father, he is gifted with arcane knowledge and supernatural abilities, but has a human heart. Separated from his mother, he travels to Rome and is adopted by a businessman who changes his name to Horatius–a name that will ring down the ages. More than glory awaits the young man, however: his demon sire is pursuing Horatrim to kill him.
Larsa, a dhampir-half vampire and half human, is an agent for the royal spymaster in Bloodbound by Pathfinder co-creator F. Wesley Schneider. Yet when a noblewoman’s house is massacred by vampiric invaders, Larsa is drawn into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that will reveal more about her own heritage than she ever wanted to know. We hope you enjoy this excerpt.
Chapter 1: Deserving Victims
Both were victims.
She ground against him, forcing hips away from the soot-smeared stone of the alley wall, hands grasping, mouth gnawing.
His breath came as a gasp but left as a growl. Hands struggled with her dress’s collar. Hairy fingers dug in her skin.
Had I been a passerby, glimpsing them sidelong from the street, I might have been envious. Even knowing what they were, some voyeuristic urge stopped me on the slick shingle overlook. The appeal of hard and soft flesh aside, I wondered which of the pair was more the monster.
The Shards of Heavengoes on sale today! We’re celebrating by offering the chance to win a copy of the book. Plus, we’ll include a copy of the author’s map of Alexandria and the Mediterranean Sea, to help you picture the ancient world of Michael Livingston’s imagination.
Julius Caesar is dead, assassinated on the senate floor, and the glory that is Rome has been torn in two. Octavian, Caesar’s ambitious great-nephew and adopted son, vies with Marc Antony and Cleopatra for control of Caesar’s legacy. As civil war rages from Rome to Alexandria, and vast armies and navies battle for supremacy, a secret conflict may shape the course of history.
Michael Livingston’s The Shards of Heaven reveals the hidden magic behind the history we know, and commences a war greater than any mere mortal battle.
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