The city of Astreiant has gone crazy with enthusiasm for a new play, The Drowned Island, a lurid farrago of melodrama and innuendo. Pointsman Nicolas Rathe is not amused, however, at a real dead body on stage and must investigate. A string of murders follow, perhaps related to the politically important masque that is to play on that same stage. Rathe must once again recruit the help of his lover, former soldier Philip Eslingen, whose knowledge of actors and the stage, and of the depths of human perversity and violence, blends well with Rathe's own hard-won experience with human greed and magical mayhem.
Their task is complicated by the season, for it is the time of year when the spirits of the dead haunt the city and influence everyone, and also by the change in their relationship when the loss of Philip's job forces him to move in with Nicolas. Mystery, political intrigue, floral magic, astrology, and romance - both theatrical and personal - combine to make this a compelling listen.
A winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBT Speculative Fiction! Show Less.
©2001 Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett (P)2014 Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett
From what I understand this is only one of many books written by the authors that follow the same two protagonists and exist in the same universe. This book stands alone just fine I had not read the first and was able to follow the plot and characters just fine. After reading this book I am very interested in seeing what other mystery’s/debacles these two found themselves in (and these prior cases are occasionally referenced).
I don't want to spoil the story for anyone, but there was a confrontation between the main characters and the villain towards the end that was particularly exciting to listen to and experience. It's a mystery, after all...I don't want to give it away!!
It made the story more exciting to hear it told in the different voices of many characters; I counted more than 40 characters in this book and it felt like each of them had a unique voice and personality.
I loved the dry humor in the story and I found myself chuckling while listening to certain parts. The subtlety of this book, though, is really one of its strong points.
The book is basically one part classic full-of-detail murder mystery, one part character driven, and one small part steampunk/sci-fi.
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