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Announcement: Caledonia, by Amy Hoff

CaledoniaQSFer Amy Hoff has a new Fantasy book out:

D.I. Leah Bishop accepts a transfer to a Glasgow branch of Interpol. She soon discovers her fellow officers are monsters from folklore, and they have recruited her to help them solve what they have always considered a human crime – the first serial killing of faeries. Leah and her Victorian selkie partner, Dorian Grey, investigate supernatural crime in Scotland’s city of culture.


Excerpt

Yesterday, Leah Bishop didn’t believe in faeries.

***

“What the hell,” she croaked, because awake was definitely not what she wanted to be. She looked at the empty whisky bottle near the bed and smiled at it like an old friend, before the hangover hit her. Then she would hate the bottle and all that it stood for. In her heart, she knew that she would be forgiving and all would be forgotten by the evening, when she’d fall back into its arms. She loved whisky. It loved her back. They were destined to be star-crossed.

She wondered why she was awake. Then, she heard it again. A knock on the door. Leah grumbled, willed herself out of bed, and walked across the floor in bare feet. She pushed her front door open.

There was a very good-looking man standing on her doorstep.

Hell yeah, thought Leah. She started to grin, and then belatedly realised she hadn’t brushed her teeth.

“A message for you, miss,” said the man, handing her a packet. “Sign here.”

Leah did as she was told. The man bowed deeply, turned on his heel, and walked down her front drive. He turned left, and vanished behind a hedge. She closed the door and went to make tea in the kitchen. She yawned hugely, watching the milky water turn brown. After the tea had steeped, she carried the mug and the packet into the living room.

She ripped it open. Inside was a stack of paper, with a letter of invitation. CALEDONIA

INTERPOL was written across the top, in bright silver professional-looking letters.

Dear Miss Bishop,

We have heard many positive things about your unique knowledge and considerable skills.

We would like to invite you to work with us in Glasgow, at Caledonia Interpol. You would be given the title of Detective Inspector, and a generous pay rise. Enclosed are the forms and a manual to get you accustomed to your new life, should you take us up on our offer.

Please do not hesitate to call me upon receiving this. We do hope you will decide to join us here in Glasgow.

Yours sincerely,

Chief Inspector, Ben A. Donner, Caledonia Interpol

There was a telephone number at the bottom. Leah sipped her tea. She looked around at the emptiness of her flat, and the silence closed in on her like a tomb. She picked up the telephone and dialled.

“Hello?” she asked. “May I speak to the Chief Inspector?”

***

Leah took the job. She couldn’t stay in the same city, not anymore.

Six months it had been.

Six months and counting.

That long?

It felt like yesterday.

***

She walked out of her house for the last time, and looked out over the beauty of Edinburgh. The castle on the rock above Waverley train station. The Royal Mile, the countless tourists, the history, and the somewhat smug feeling that she was living in the most luxurious city in Scotland. She was leaving this beautiful place for the dark, gritty streets of working-class Glasgow. If Edinburgh was

Scotland’s Paris, then Glasgow was its Detroit. Detroit was cars, Glasgow was shipping, and both now existed in a disused, abandoned state, living off of the memories of better days.

Leah sighed. Nothing in Edinburgh spoke to her heart anymore. As she boarded the train to Glasgow, and the conductor came by for her ticket, she handed it over in quiet triumph. The train pulled out of the station, and she looked up at Castle Rock one last time. In departing, she felt nothing. Edinburgh was now a place of the past. She would not return.


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Author Bio

Amy Hoff spent years travelling across the United States, living out of cars and cheap motels. She was a weightlifter and streetfighter, collecting monster legends across the country. Eventually she left the USA and continued travelling across the world. She is now a folklorist and historian specialising in monsters. She has never owned more than what can fit into a backpack and a suitcase.

She is also a model, actress, writer, and director. She founded a theatre company in Glasgow, Scotland, where she directed various cult classics for five years. She adapted Man in the Iron Mask and Good Omens for the stage. Her web series, Caledonia, about a police station in Glasgow run by monsters, has been nominated by festivals around the world.

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