QSFers Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold has a new MM paranormal historical book out, Lynes & Mathey book 2: A Death at the Dionysus Club.
Secrets, Magic and Murder…
The gentleman’s clubs of Scott and Griswold’s gaslamp fantastical London are full of secrets and the ones that Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey and their circles frequent are even more hidden than most. Beneath their respectable, or less respectable, façades, they are a haven…or a torment for men who desire each other’s company.
Now someone is leaving a trail of murder victims, each one found without a heart. Each one somehow connected to Lynes, Mathey, their friends, their enemies and the communities that they belong to. Finding the murderer could reveal everything, leading to certain ruin for some, and the loss of all they hold dear for Julian and Ned.
How far will they go to solve the mystery and stop a killer?
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Excerpt from Chapter 1
“We’ll take it in the library,” Ned said to the waiter, who bowed and hurried away. Julian pushed himself to his feet and followed his friend down the dark-paneled hall. As he anticipated, the library was empty, though the clatter and voices from the billiards room next door suggested that was fully occupied. Ned waved vaguely toward a pair of armchairs by the enormous fireplace. Julian settled himself opposite, stretching his feet out to the fire crackling nicely on the hearth, and another waiter appeared with a tray and two enormous brandies. He scurried away again as soon as they had taken their drinks.
Julian lifted his glass in a not-entirely-ironic toast. “I’m impressed by the service.”
“It’s a good part of what we pay for. For most of us—most of the membership, I mean—the idea is to have a place where you can get a decent meal and not have to put on airs.”
Ned winced just a little, as though he wished he could take the words back, and Julian looked down at his drink. They had been lovers for a few months now, ever since the end of the Nevett murder case, but they had been friends since their unhappy school days at Sts Thomas’s. They had gone up to Oxford together fully expecting the friendship to continue, and instead had grown apart over just that question of airs and tastes and friendships. Ned had gravitated to the sportsmen while Julian had found men who shared his tastes among the literary and theatrical sets; the two groups had never mixed, and the two friends had singularly failed to find a way to remain close in the face of general disapproval. Julian was far from sorry that Ned had made the effort to rekindle the friendship, and their affair, and if it meant a night or two at the hearties’ club, he was prepared to make the sacrifice. To be fair, it had hardly been difficult.
“The food’s quite good,” he said.
“The salmon’s been better,” Ned said, judiciously. “But the chops were good, I thought.”
“And you keep a good cellar.”
“Our steward’s very good. We’re hardly the most wealthy club about, but the claret’s always excellent.”
Julian let his gaze range over the shelves that ran from floor to ceiling: a proper library, certainly, the sort of place every club had, with its tables for writing the occasional letters, but most of the books seemed to be bound volumes of magazines, and there were more than a few shilling shockers drooping at the ends of rows, or tucked in among the more solid bindings. That didn’t surprise him—it was what he would have expected of the club’s membership—but the frank acknowledgement of their tastes was rather charming. “You seem well-supplied.”
Ned paused as though he wasn’t sure what to make of the comment, and Julian looked at his brandy again, scowling. He certainly hadn’t meant it badly. Ned knew how many copies of the Police Gazette decorated his rooms, but if he chose to take it that way—
There was a sudden rise of voices from the billiards room, a sharp note of alarm, and they both looked up as a figure darted past the library’s open door, then stopped and turned back.
“Mathey! Thank God! Come quick, we need you—”
Melissa Scott is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and studied history at Harvard College and Brandeis University, where she earned her PhD in the Comparative History program. She is the author of more than thirty original science fiction and fantasy novels, most with queer themes and characters, as well as authorized tie-ins for Star Trek: DS9, Star Trek: Voyager, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Star Wars Rebels. She won Lambda Literary Awards for Trouble and Her Friends, Shadow Man, Point of Dreams (written with her late partner, Lisa A. Barnett), and Death By Silver, with Amy Griswold. She also won Spectrum Awards for Shadow Man, Fairs’ Point, Death By Silver, and for the short story “The Rocky Side of the Sky” (Periphery, Lethe Press) as well as the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She was also shortlisted for the Otherwise (Tiptree) Award. Her latest short story, “Sirens,” appeared in the collection Retellings of the Inland Seas, and her text-based game for Choice of Games, A Player’s Heart, came out in 2020. Her most recent solo novel, The Master of Samar, was published in June, 2023, and her next solo novel, Fallen, will be out in December, 2023.
Amy Griswold writes speculative fiction books, stories, and games, and enjoys exploring themes of queer community and resilience. In addition to the Mathey and Lynes books, she has written six licensed tie-in novels for the Stargate series and three interactive fiction games. Her most recent game, The Play’s The Thing (written with Jo Graham), is a text-based fantasy adventure about the power of art to change the world. Amy’s work has won the Lambda Literary and Gaylactic Spectrum awards and has been featured on the Otherwise Awards Honor List. She lives in North Carolina, and can be found online at @amygris and amygriswold.wordpress.com.