Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold have a new gay historical gaslamp fantasy out, Lynes & Mathey book 1: Death by Silver.
Mystery, Murder and Magic…
When his nemesis from schoolboy days hires metaphysician Ned Mathey to investigate his father’s murder, Ned turns to his friend and sometime lover, detective Julian Lynes, for help. Together, they must navigate a maze of deceit, danger, their painful past and, perhaps, a chance at a future together, in an Edwardian London as full of peril as it is with magic. Can they solve the mystery at the heart of the murder to forge a new kind of partnership or will the past and society’s disapproval send them off on separate paths?
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“Mr Lynes, it’s Mr Mathey.”
“Come in,” Julian called, and the door swung open, Ned looking at him with a faintly sheepish expression as he swept off his top hat.
“I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”
“Not at all,” Julian said. He gestured vaguely to the various chairs. “Make yourself at home. Oh, Harry.” He reached into his pocket. “Run down to the General and bring us back a pitcher of ale.”
“That’s the best offer I’ve had all day,” Ned said, and set his hat cautiously on top of the pile of newspapers.
Julian pushed the front window further open, bringing in the smell of the street, dust and horse droppings and half a dozen kitchen stoves, as well as a breeze that promised a cooler night. He opened his bedroom door as well, hoping for a cross-draught, and turned back to Ned.
“What would you think if someone said to you ‘Corinth five’?” he asked.
Ned blinked. “Well, Corinthian’s running in the fifth at Cheltenham. Why?”
“Oh.” Julian had hoped for something a bit more interesting than a message from a bookmaker. “Is he the favorite?”
Ned’s voice took on the note of patience that meant he’d failed to notice some important piece of the sporting life. “Yes. Three to two is about the best you can get on him right now.”
“Oh,” Julian said again, and shrugged. “I was working out a cipher in the agony column, but it’s probably just a bookmaker laying off some of his bets.”
“Or else it’s one of those sporting lads who purport to sell you a secret tip, and post it to the paper in cipher to make it seem more important,” Ned said. “And by the time the punters have deciphered it, the lad in question is long gone.” He paused. “You really hadn’t heard of Corinthian?”
Julian shook his head. “Why would I?”
“Most people have,” Ned answered. “Even Miss Frost.”
Julian sighed. “She’s probably secretly sporting-mad, you know. And—didn’t you say something about a match this afternoon?”
“I had a client instead,” Ned said.
And not a nice one, by the shift in tone. Julian glanced at the clock on his mantel—late enough that there was little chance of any clients of his own—and shrugged off his coat. “Make yourself at home,” he said, and Ned smiled.
“I don’t mind if I do.” He hung his frock coat carefully on the tree by the door, and loosened his collar. “Victor Nevett’s father hired me to inspect his silver for a curse today.”
Julian checked just for an instant at the name, then finished loosening his tie. He was pleased that his voice stayed light and controlled. “Don’t tell me Victor recommended you. He hated both of us.”
“Damned if I know,” Ned said. “Nevett mentioned that I was at school with him, so—I’ve no idea. The only thing I can tell you for certain is that there’s no curse on the family silver.”
“That surprises me,” Julian said. “I’d have thought people would be lining up to place curses on the Nevetts.”
Ned grinned at that. “I think he felt he was important enough to have one, certainly. Apparently no one else agreed.”
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, Water Horse, was published in June 2021. Her next solo novel, The Master of Samar, will be out in 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