Bram Stoker, business manager for London's Lyceum Theatre, always expects the supernatural to be lurking around the corner. But investigating the murder of a cast member might be enough to make even him lose his head... 1881. When the star and owner of the Lyceum, Mr. Henry Irving, is poisoned on Hamlet 's opening night, it's up to stage manager Harry Rivers to make sure the show goes on. Fortunately for Harry, Mr. Irving is able to pull through and walk the boards as planned. But when his understudy is killed the very next day, Harry's boss, Bram Stoker, becomes convinced that foul play is afoot. Mr. Irving has a list of enemies longer than a Shakespearean soliloquy, any of whom would have been happy for the curtain never to rise. It soon becomes clear that nefarious, possibly magical, methods are being employed to shut the play down. With more cast and crew members falling victim to the increasingly dangerous accidents on set, it's up to Harry and Stoker to figure out which of Irving's critics has a voodoo vendetta...
The Darke Chronicles introduces the aristocratic and flamboyant Victorian detective Luther Darke, who tackles mysteries that have baffled Scotland Yard and are seemingly unexplained. The cases featured here take Darke into a world of deception, murderous sleights of hand, spiritualism, vampires, curses and phantoms in fin de siecle London. This volume, a treat for all fans of vintage crime fiction, features seven of Darke's most challenging and chilling investigations. If you like Sherlock Holmes, then you will love Luther Darke.
As Chaucer's pilgrims shelter for the night, it's the physician's turn to enthral his fellow travellers with a terrifying tale. When Brother Anselm and his novice Stephen are summoned to the Church of St Michael's, Candlewick, to perform an exorcism, the demons that plague the church appear to have been summoned by an infamous sorcerer known as the Midnight Man. But what has he unwittingly unleashed - and why? Is there any link to the disappearance of young women in the area? Before Anselm can get to the truth, he must first uncover the identity of the mysterious Midnight Man.
A stolen treasure may hold the secret to a ghastly crime . . .
Ensconced in the comfort of their elegant home in London's Berkeley Square, Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch are no longer subject to the perilous life of intrigue they led during the Napoleonic Wars. Once an Intelligence Agent, Malcolm is now a Member of Parliament, and Suzanne is one of the city's most sought-after hostesses. But a late-night visit from a friend who's been robbed may lure them back into the dangerous world they thought they'd left behind . . .
Playwright Simon Tanner had in his possession what may be a lost version of Hamlet, and the thieves were prepared to kill for it. But the Rannochs suspect there's more at stake than a literary gem - for the play may conceal the identity of a Bonapartist spy - along with secrets that could force Malcolm and Suzanne to abandon their newfound peace and confront their own dark past . . .
1923. Mary Russell Holmes and her husband, the retired Sherlock Holmes, are enjoying the summer together on their Sussex estate when they are visited by an old friend, Miss Dorothy Ruskin, an archeologist just returned from Palestine. She leaves in their protection an ancient manuscript which seems to hint at the possibility that Mary Magdalene was an apostle--an artifact certain to stir up a storm of biblical proportions in the Christian establishment. When Ruskin is suddenly killed in a tragic accident, Russell and Holmes find themselves on the trail of a fiendishly clever murderer. This next installment is brimming with political intrigue, theological arcana, and brilliant Holmesian deductions.
1666. London is recovering from the Great Plague and mourning it's dead - The city is free at last, like a great old bear, beaten to its knees, bloody but unbowed. But the disease slithered out of London to wreak its evil upon other towns and cities. The worst was over, the Pestilence gone, in search of new feeding grounds, bounteous and plentiful in the villages outside of the London. Harry Lytle, who works for Lord Arlington's intelligence service, is sent to Essex where the plague is breeding to track down a traitor and bring him back alive. But things get tricky when Lord Arlington's lastest recruit for the mission is a man Lytle left dead. Having learnt first hand of Lord Arlington's barbaric cruelty, Lytle knows he can't refuse the job. Travelling into a disease-ridden village with a murderer seems like a better option.
London 1664. Harry Lytle has just discovered he has a young cousin, Anne Giles. But he's had the pleasure of meeting her for the first time as a corpse. With some robust assistance from David Dowling, a resourceful, impressively well-built, but hygiene-deficient, butcher, Harry sets out to track down Anne's killer. Together they follow a trail of blood, conspiracy and corruption that takes them to the dark and murky corners of Restoration London, featuring a great cast of ne'er-do-wells, cheeky wenches, harmless witches, likeable villains, and not a few unsavoury fellows keen on sending Lytle and his companion to an early grave.
AD 848. Bernwyn of Lythe, the young daughter of an ealdorman, spurns marriage and chooses to remain a virgin dedicated to Christ. When she is found murdered in the chapel where she kept her nightly vigils, it is thought that she has fallen victim to the Viking raiders who are ravaging the country and the butterflies found resting on her body are taken to be a sign from God. But what if Bernwyn was not all she seemed? Could the saintly deeds attributed to her have been carried out by someone else and the people have set up a shrine to a false virgin? Throughout the ages, St Bernwyn comes to be regarded as the patron saint of those suffering from skin diseases, and many are drawn on pilgrimage to her shrines. But from a priory in Wales to the Greek island of Sifnos, it seems that anywhere that St Bernwyn is venerated, bitter rivalry breaks out. So when a famous poet is inspired to tell the story of the saint, perhaps it is little wonder that he finds himself writing a satirical piece on the credulity of man.
April, 1914. Against his better judgement, Detective Inspector Silas Quinn is attending the premiere of the new motion picture by notorious Austrian film-maker Konrad Waechter. But the glamorous event is interrupted by the piercing screams of a young woman in the street outside. She has been viciously mutilated in a horrific attack which eerily echoes a macabre act of violence in Waechter's film. As he questions those who attended the premiere, Quinn's jaundiced view of the fledgling film industry as a business based on illusion and pretence, where no one is what they seem, appears to be justified. But when members of London's Establishment start to receive bizarre hand-delivered parcels containing the strangest of contents, the investigation takes a disturbing twist.
Perfect for fans of C.J. Sansom and The Name of the Rose, the fourth historical thriller featuring Giordano Bruno, heretic, philosopher and spy. August, 1583. Giordano Bruno, a heretic fleeing the Inquisition, finds a new life working as a spy for Sir Francis Walsingham. Along with his friend, Sir Philip Sidney, Bruno travels to Plymouth on the Queen's behalf. There, they meet Sir Francis Drake, who is preparing to launch a daring expedition against the Spanish, which could turn the tide of war. Unbeknownst to Bruno, however, Sidney plans to stowaway with Drake's fleet and return a hero - dragging Bruno with him to the New World. But when a murder occurs aboard Drake's own ship, fear and suspicion grip the fleet and threaten to abort the expedition before it begins. Navigating the jealousies and loyalties of the crew, Bruno learns that someone with a deadly grudge is shadowing his investigation. Tracking the killer through Plymouth's menacing backstreets, he uncovers some of the darkest secrets the city is harbouring. Failure will come at the highest cost - not just for Bruno, but all of England...
When a mysterious gypsy places a cruel curse on the guests at a ball and a series of terrible misfortunes begin to affect those who attended that night, Mr. Donald Wheelwight engages Sherlock Holmes to find out what really happened that fateful evening. With the help of his cousin Dr. Henry Vernier and his wife Michelle, Holmes endeavors to save Wheelwright and his beautiful wife Violet from the devastating curse. As the threats to the captivating Violet mount, Holmes is drawn in deeper and deeper, finding himself entangled in a vast dark web involving prostitution, perversion, theft, and blackmail.
'If a black dog appears along the old corpse way, the route a funeral procession takes to the churchyard, it is thought to be escorting the dead soul to the afterlife. A black dog sighting without a funeral procession, however, is supposed to foreshadow death.' For Doctor Dody McCleland, the unearthing of an ancient skeleton in a dry riverbed is a welcome break from the monotony of chaperoning her younger sister at a country house near the isolated hamlet of Piltdown. But when she begins her analysis of the bones, Britain's first female autopsy surgeon discovers they are much more recent - and they are the result of murder. With Chief Inspector Matthew Pike's help Dody begins to investigate. Soon she finds herself pitted against ugly traditionalism, exploitation, spectral dogs, a ghostly hunt and a series of events that not only threaten her belief in scientific rationalism, but threaten her life itself.