CRIMEA, 1914 When the Tzar's head of security is assassinated, Erast Fandorin is called to investigate: the killer has been overheard mentioning a 'black city' so Fandorin and his trusty companion, Masa, head to Baku, the burgeoning Russian capital of oil.
But from the moment they arrive in the city - a hotbed of corruption and greed by the Caspian Sea - they realise someone is watching their every move, and they will stop at nothing to derail their investigation.
Having suffered a brutal attack and with Masa's life hanging by a thread, Fandorin is forced to rely on the help of an unexpected new ally, and he begins to suspect the plot might be part of something larger - and much more sinister.
With war brewing in the Balkans and Europe's empires struggling to contain the threat of revolution, Fandorin must try and solve his most difficult case yet - before time runs out.
Edinburgh, 1847. Will Raven is a medical student, apprenticing for the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson. Sarah Fisher is Simpson's housemaid, and has all of Raven's intelligence but none of his privileges.
As bodies begin to appear across the Old Town, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh's underworld. And if either of them are to make it out alive, they will have to work together to find out who's responsible for the gruesome deaths.
Treason sleeps for no man ...
London, 1591. Nicholas Shelby, physician and reluctant spy, returns to his old haunts on London's lawless Bankside. But, when the queen's spymaster Robert Cecil asks him to investigate the dubious practices of a mysterious doctor from Switzerland, Nicholas is soon embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not just the life of an innocent young patient, but the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth herself.
With fellow healer and mistress of the Jackdaw tavern, Bianca Merton, again at his side, Nicholas is drawn into a sinister world of zealots, charlatans and dangerous fanatics ...
It is Autumn, 1282. Edward I, more often hammering the Scots, is at war with Wales and it is not going as well as he wished. Everyone is edgy on both sides of the loosely defined border between England and Wales. Crucial battles have been lost. Raids are common. Death is a constant threat.
Prioress Eleanor is escorting her younger brother, Robert, and his wife, who is in labour, from their Marcher lands to greater safety at a Wynethorpe manor in a village just inside the English border. With her are Brother Thomas and Sister Anne, the sub-infirmarian and a good woman to have at a difficult birth. The baby arrives, a girl.
Mother and child may be healthy, but Death never wanders far from this beloved Prioress - whether she's home at Tyndal in Norfolk or traveling the realm. The local abbot begs her help - the village priest has been found dead and standing over him is, a reliable witness says, the ghost of Hywel, the village stonemason yet a Welshman, and recently hanged for slaying some sleeping English soldiers. The abbot has failed to exorcise this malign spirit - surely the saintly visitors from Tyndal Priory in far away Norfolk, can do the job.
Bone tired, Eleanor questions the village hangman, who assures the religious party that Hywel was hanged once and then, when the weight of the fat felon strung up alongside him broke the beam, was hanged again. The experienced executioner checked all the bodily signs - Hywel was dead. But where is his grave? And why is the hangman quite soon found hanged? And what manner of secrets are so many of the locals - the sheriff and his household, the spice merchant, Maud the Bawd - keeping?
'Prioress Eleanor returns in another of Royal's historically detailed and expertly executed medieval whodunits. This fifteenth entry featuring Eleanor and Brother Thomas once again features a main mystery as well as intriguing subplots involving the series' recurring characters' - Booklist
It is the year 1890. Sherlock Holmes' fame has spread even to the colonies as he and his stalwart chronicler, Dr John Watson, are swept up in an array of mysteries 'down under'. They find themselves summoned from location to location, traversing all corners of the strange island continent of Australia, challenged with mysteries and a geographical and cultural landscape with which they are unfamiliar. From eerie shadows on cave walls, to an actor's most grisly curtain call, an abduction by a demon, and an inexplicable drowning, to the odd affair of the reputed biggest man in Australia, a purloined bunyip, and to sinister, bearded bushrangers, the tales within this collection provide fresh perspective to the Holmes phenomena and will intrigue, delight and entertain readers. The stories are written in Conan Doyle's classic Watson persona by a range of Sherlockians, historians, established writers and some exciting emerging talents: Kerry Greenwood and Lindy Cameron, Meg Keneally, Kaaron Warren, Lucy Sussex, L.J.M. Owen, T.S.P. Sweeney, J. Scherpenhuizen, Will Schaefer, Robert Veld, Doug Elliott, Philip Cornell, Raymond Gates, Jason Franks, Narrelle M. Harris, Steve Cameron, and editor Christopher Sequeira himself, and with an introduction by Baker Street Irregular Bill Barnes, and illustrations by Philip Cornell, J. Scherpenhuizen and Marcelo Baez.
Singapore 1910-Desperate for a fresh start and to distance herself from her tragic past, Harriet Gordon finds herself in Singapore at the height of colonial rule. Hoping to gain some financial independence, she advertises her services as a personal secretary. It is unfortunate that she should discover her first client, Sir Oswald Newbold-explorer, mine magnate and president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers' Club--dead with a knife in his throat.
When Inspector Robert Curran is put on the case, he realizes that he has an unusual witness in Harriet. Harriet's keen eye for detail and strong sense of duty interests him, as does her distrust of the police and her traumatic past, which she is at pains to keep secret from the gossips of Singapore society.
When a second body is dragged from the canal, Harriet feels compelled to help with the case. She and Curran are soon drawn into a complex web of stolen gemstones and a mysterious gang of thieves who have no qualms about killing again to protect their secrets.