Emperor Domitian has been awarded (or rather has demanded) yet another Triumph to celebrate two so-called victories. Preparations are going smoothly until one of the men overseeing arrangements for the celebration accidentally falls to his death from a cliff on the symbolic Capitoline Hill.
But Flavia Albia suspects there's more to the incident than meets the eye, as there are plenty of people who would have been delighted to be rid of the overseer. He was an abusive swine who couldn't organise a booze-up in a winery and was caught up in a number of scams, including one surrounding the supply of imperial purple dye and a family of shellfish-boilers.
As Flavia finds herself drawn into a theatrical world of carnival floats, musicians, incense and sacrificial beasts, can she see to the heart of the matter and catch those responsible for the unpopular man's untimely death?
Having been inveigled into standing for the local curia, responsible for the submission of all local tax, Libertus discovers that any shortfall must be made good by the councillors themselves. So when news arrives that a tax-collector from a nearby outpost has committed suicide, having gambled everything away, Libertus is despatched to make enquiries, in the hope of recovering at least some of the missing revenue. He has also been asked to attend a wedding, in place of his patron, who is expecting a visit from an Imperial Legate.
But the assignment which should have seen Libertus for once treated as an honoured guest begins to take grisly and unexpected turns. As he pieces together the unlikely truth, Libertus finds himself in mortal danger. Freedom, in all forms, is only relative - but there is a high price for it, sometimes paid in blood .
Ray Celestin heads to New York City, for the third book in his award-winning City Blues quartet, The Mobster's Lament.
Fall, 1947. New York City.
Private Investigator Ida Davis has been called to New York by her old partner, Michael Talbot, to investigate a brutal killing spree in a Harlem flophouse that has left four people dead. But as they delve deeper into the case, Ida and Michael realize the murders are part of a larger conspiracy that stretches further than they ever could have imagined.
Meanwhile, Ida's childhood friend, Louis Armstrong, is at his lowest ebb. His big band is bankrupt, he's playing to empty venues, and he's in danger of becoming a has-been, until a promoter approaches him with a strange offer to reignite his career . . .
And across the city, nightclub manager and mob fixer Gabriel Leveson's plans to flee New York are upset when he's called in for a meeting with the 'boss of all bosses', Frank Costello. Tasked with tracking down stolen mob money, Gabriel must embark on a journey through New York's seedy underbelly, forcing him to confront demons from his own past, all while the clock is ticking on his evermore precarious escape plans.
Ray Celestin's third instalment in his multi-award winning City Blues Quartet is both a gripping neo-noir crime novel and a vivid, panoramic portrait of New York - from its tenements to its luxury hotels, from its bebop clubs to the bustling wharves of the Brooklyn waterfront - all set as the mob is rising to the height of its powers . . .
London, 1812. At a fashionable address in leafy Mayfair, a far cry from Detective Stephen Lavender's usual haunts, a man is found dead in his room. He has been brutally stabbed, but the door is locked from the inside and the weapon is missing.
The deceased is David MacAdam, an Essex businessman with expensive tastes. As Lavender and Constable Ned Woods travel between London and Chelmsford seeking to understand MacAdam's final hours and unearth the grisly truth, they uncover a tangled web of deceit behind his stylish facade. The unusual circumstances of MacAdam's death are nothing compared to the shady nature of his life and it seems the house on Park Lane is at the heart of a dark conspiracy.
But when a second body turns up, everything they think they've learned is thrown into doubt. Can Lavender and Woods find out who's behind these shocking murders before more lives are ruined?
Apprentice healer Lassair heads on a perilous journey north in the absorbing new Aelf Fen medieval mystery. October, 1093. Two young men have been brutally beaten to death; a third viciously attacked. All three men are of similar appearance. But could there be another connection?
Lassair meanwhile has agreed to accompany her former lover Rollo on a perilous journey north in search of King William. On their trail is a skilled, relentless and ruthless assassin. Who is he ? and why has he targeted Rollo? If they are to survive, the hunted must become the hunters: Rollo and Lassair must lure their pursuer to the treacherous fenland terrain Lassair knows so well and turn the tables on their would-be killer.
November 1831. After fleeing London in infamy more than two years prior, Lady Kiera Darby's return to the city is anything but mundane, though not for the reasons she expected. A gang of body snatchers is arrested on suspicion of imitating the notorious misdeeds of Edinburgh criminals, Burke and Hare-killing people from the streets and selling their bodies to medical schools. Then Kiera's past-a past she thought she'd finally made peace with - rises up to haunt her.
All of London is horrified by the evidence that 'burkers' are, indeed, at work in their city. The terrified populace hovers on a knife's edge, ready to take their enmity out on any likely suspect. And when Kiera receives a letter of blackmail, threatening to divulge details about her late anatomist husband's involvement with the body snatchers and wrongfully implicate her, she begins to apprehend just how precarious her situation is. Not only for herself, but also her new husband and investigative partner, Sebastian Gage, and their unborn child.
Meanwhile, the young scion of a noble family has been found murdered a block from his home, and the man's family wants Kiera and Gage to investigate. Is it a failed attempt by the London burkers, having left the body behind, or the crime of someone much closer to home? Someone who stalks the privileged, using the uproar over the burkers to cover his own dark deeds?
With the power and intrigue of Jessie Burton's The Silent Companions and Sarah Schmidt's See What I Have Done, Carolyn Kirby's stunning debut takes the reader on a heart-breaking journey through Victorian Birmingham and questions where we first learn violence: from our scars or from our hearts.
Birmingham 1885. Born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse, Cora Burns has always struggled to control the violence inside her.
Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of scientist Thomas Jerwood.
Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora...?
1817. Clemency van Emden receives an anonymous terse message informing her that her estranged father is dead and buried. A chance encounter on a busy London street leads her to twin detectives Peter and Paul Skillen, who agree to help her unravel the mystery of her father's last days. However, Paul's attention is diverted away from London to Bath, as he seeks to thwart a daring band of highwaymen, one of whom appears to have more than just jewels on his mind. When the body of Clemency's father is discovered to be missing from its casket, the twins embark on a chase of graverobbers, funerary agents and Good Samaritans to unearth the truth.
Everyone has a secret... Only some lead to murder. Introducing Leo Stanhope: a Victorian transgender coroner's assistant who must uncover a killer without risking his own future.
When the body of a young woman is wheeled into the hospital where Leo Stanhope works, his life is thrown into chaos. Maria, the woman he loves, has been murdered and it is not long before the finger of suspicion is turned on him, threatening to expose his lifelong secret.
For Leo Stanhope was born Charlotte, the daughter of a respectable reverend. Knowing he was meant to be a man - despite the evidence of his body - and unable to cope with living a lie any longer, he fled his family home at just fifteen and has been living as Leo ever since: his secret known to only a few trusted people.
Desperate to find Maria's killer and thrown into gaol, he stands to lose not just his freedom, but ultimately his life.
From the No.1 bestselling author of The Ashes of London and The Fire Court comes the next book in the phenomenally successful series following James Marwood.
A royal scandal that could change the face of England forever...
London 1667. In the Court of Charles II, it's a dangerous time to be alive - a wrong move may lead to disgrace, exile or death. The discovery of a body at Clarendon House, the palatial home of one of the highest courtiers in the land, could therefore have catastrophic consequences.
James Marwood, a traitor's son, is ordered to cover up the murder. But the dead man is Edward Alderley, the cousin of one of Marwood's acquaintances. Cat Lovett had every reason to want her cousin dead. Since his murder, she has vanished, and all the evidence points to her as the killer.
Marwood is determined to clear Cat's name and discover who really killed Alderley. But time is running out for everyone. If he makes a mistake, it could threaten not only the government but the King himself...