December 2nd, 2020
Home | Log in!

On Top Shelf
THE WILD WILD RAKETHE WILD WILD RAKE
Fresh Pick
THE WIDOW'S CHRISTMAS SURPRISE
THE WIDOW'S CHRISTMAS SURPRISE

New Books This Week

Latest Articles

Holiday Giveaways

Reviewer Application


Close out December with great reads

Slideshow image


Since your web browser does not support JavaScript, here is a non-JavaScript version of the image slideshow:

slideshow image
Their fake relationship will end when the new year begins...or will it?


slideshow image
Lord Lucifer -- Lady Diana -- All or NOTHING


slideshow image
The Past Never Stays Buried


slideshow image
He’ll do anything to protect a baby in jeopardy…


slideshow image
She's an undercover angel


slideshow image
If you're on his list, you're as good as DEAD


Excerpt of Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell K. Hamilton

Purchase


Meredith Gentry #8
Ballantine
December 2009
On Sale: December 8, 2009
Featuring: Meredith Gentry
352 pages
ISBN: 0345495969
EAN: 9780345495969
Hardcover
Add to Wish List

Paranormal, Fantasy Urban

Also by Laurell K. Hamilton:

Rafael, February 2021
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
Sucker Punch, August 2020
Hardcover / e-Book
Fantastic Hope, April 2020
Trade Size / e-Book
Serpentine, August 2019
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Serpentine, August 2018
Hardcover / e-Book
Crimson Death, June 2017
Mass Market Paperback
Crimson Death, October 2016
Hardcover
Dead Ice, June 2015
Hardcover / e-Book
Jason, December 2014
Paperback / e-Book
A Shiver of Light, June 2014
Hardcover / e-Book
Affliction, July 2013
Hardcover
Kiss The Dead, June 2012
Hardcover / e-Book
Hit List, June 2011
Hardcover / e-Book
Flirt, March 2011
Paperback
Divine Misdemeanors, August 2010
Mass Market Paperback
Skin Trade, June 2010
Paperback
Bullet, June 2010
Hardcover
Ardeur, April 2010
Paperback
Flirt, February 2010
Hardcover
Swallowing Darkness, December 2009
Mass Market Paperback
Divine Misdemeanors, December 2009
Hardcover
Never After, November 2009
Paperback
Skin Trade, June 2009
Hardcover
Blue Moon, December 2008
Hardcover (reprint)
Swallowing Darkness, November 2008
Hardcover
A Lick of Frost, November 2008
Hardcover
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures, Vol. 1, August 2008
Paperback
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures Volume 2 HC (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter (Marvel Paper)), August 2008
Hardcover
Blood Noir, June 2008
Hardcover
Burnt Offerings, December 2007
Hardcover
Mistral's Kiss, November 2007
Mass Market Paperback
The Harlequin, June 2007
Hardcover / e-Book
Strange Candy, June 2007
Trade Size (reprint)
Circus of the Damned, January 2007
Trade Size (reprint)
Mistral's Kiss, December 2006
Hardcover
A Stroke of Midnight, November 2006
Paperback (reprint)
Strange Candy, October 2006
Hardcover
Danse Macabre, June 2006
Hardcover
Micah, March 2006
Paperback
Incubus Dreams, September 2005
Paperback (reprint)
Bite, December 2004
Paperback
Incubus Dreams, September 2004
Hardcover / e-Book
Cerulean Sins, August 2004
Paperback / e-Book
Cravings, July 2004
Paperback / e-Book
Seduced By Moonlight, February 2004
Hardcover
Guilty Pleasures, September 2002
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Burnt Offerings, September 2002
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Bloody Bones, September 2002
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
The Lunatic Cafe, September 2002
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Narcissus in Chains, September 2002
Paperback / e-Book
The Laughing Corpse, September 2002
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Blue Moon, September 2002
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Obsidian Butterfly, August 2002
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
A Caress of Twilight, March 2002
Hardcover / e-Book
Out of This World, August 2001
Paperback
A Kiss of Shadows, January 2001
Hardcover / e-Book
The Killing Dance, June 1997
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)
Guilty Pleasures, July 1995
Paperback / e-Book
Circus of the Damned, May 1995
Paperback / e-Book (reprint)

Excerpt of Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell K. Hamilton

Chapter One

The smell of Eucalyptus always made me think of Southern California, my home away from home; now it might forever be entwined with the scent of blood. I stood there with the strangely hot wind rustling through the high leaves. It blew my summer dress in a tangle around my legs, and spread my shoulder-length hair in a scarlet web across my face. I grabbed my hair in handfuls so I could see, though maybe not being able to see would have been better. The plastic gloves pulled at my hair. They were designed so I didn't contaminate evidence, not for comfort. We were surrounded by a nearly perfect circle of the tall, pale tree trunks. In the middle of that natural circle were the bodies.

The spicy smell of the Eucalyptus could almost hide the scent of blood. If it had been this many adult human- sized bodies the Eucalyptus wouldn't have had a chance, but they weren't adult-sized. They were tiny by human standards, so tiny, the size of dolls; none of the corpses were even a foot tall, and some were less than five inches. They lay on the ground with their bright butterfly and moth wings frozen as if in mid-movement. Their dead hands were wrapped around wilted flowers like a cheerful game gone horribly wrong. They looked like so many broken Barbie dolls, except that Barbie dolls never lay so lifelike, or so perfectly poised. No matter how hard I'd tried as a little girl, their limbs remained stiff and unyielding. The bodies on the ground were stiff with rigor mortis, but they'd been laid out carefully, so they had stiffened in strangely graceful, almost dancing poses.

Detective Lucy Tate came to stand beside me. She was wearing a pants suit completewith jacket and a white button-up shirt that strained a little across the front because Lucy, like me, had too much figure for most button-up shirts. But I wasn't a police detective so I didn't have to pretend I was a man to try to fit in. I worked at a private detective agency that used the fact that I was Princess Meredith, the only American-born fey royal, and back working for the Grey Detective Agency: Supernatural Problems; Magical Solutions. People loved paying money to see the princess, and have her hear their problems; I'd begun to feel a little like a freak show until today. Today I would have loved to be back in the office listening to some mundane matter that didn't really need my special brand of help, but was just a human rich enough to pay for my time. I'd have rather been doing a lot of things than standing here staring down at a dozen dead fey.

"What do you think?" she asked.

What I really thought was that I was glad the bodies were small so that the trees covered most of the smell, but that would be admitting weakness, and you didn't do that on the rare occasions you got to work with the police. You had to be professional and tough or they thought less of you, even the female cops, maybe especially them.

"They're laid out like something from a children's storybook down to the dancing poses and the flowers in their hands."

Lucy nodded. "It's not just like, it is."

"Is what?" I asked, looking at her. Her dark brunette hair was cut shorter than mine, and held back by a thick band so that nothing obscured her vision, as I still fought with my own hair. She looked cool and professional.

She used one plastic-gloved hand to hold out a plastic-wrapped page. She held it out to me, though I knew not to touch it even with the gloves. I was a civilian, and I had been very aware of that as I walked through all the police on the way to the center of all this activity. The police were never that fond of the private detective, no matter what you see on television, and I wasn't even human. Of course, if I'd been human they wouldn't have called me down to the murder scene in the first place. I was here because I was a trained detective and a faerie princess. One without the other wouldn't have gotten me under the police tape.

I stared at the page. The wind tried to snatch it from her hand, and she used both hands to hold it steady for me. It was an illustration from a children's book. It was dancing faeries with flowers in their hands. I stared at it for a second more, then looked down at the bodies on the ground. I forced myself to study their dead forms, then looked at the illustration.

"They're identical," I said.

"I believe so, though we'll have to have some kind of flower expert tell us if the flowers match up bloom for bloom, but except for that our killer has duplicated the scene."

I stared from one to the other again, those laughing happy faces in the picture and the very still, very dead ones on the ground. Their skin had begun to change color already, turning that bluish-purple cast of the dead.

"He, or she, had to dress them," I pointed out. "No matter how many illustrations you see with these little blousy dresses and loincloth things, most demi-fey outside of faerie don't dress like this. I've seen them in three- piece suits and formal evening wear."

"You're sure they didn't wear the clothes here?" she asked.

I shook my head. "They wouldn't have matched perfectly without planning it this way."

"We were thinking he lured them down here with a promise of an acting part, a short film," she said.

I thought about it, then shrugged. "Maybe, but they'd have come to the circle anyway."

"Why?"

"The demi-fey, the small winged fey, have a particular fondness for natural circles."

"Explain."

"The stories only tell humans not to step into a ring of toadstools, or a ring of actual dancing fey, but it can be any natural circle. Flowers, stones, hills, or trees, like this circle. They come to dance in the circle."

"So they came down here to dance and he brought the clothes?" She frowned at me.

"You think that it works better if he lured them down here to film them," I said.

"Yes."

"Either that or he watched them," I said, "so he knew they came down here on certain nights to dance."

"That would mean he or she was stalking them," Lucy said.

"It would."

"If I go after the film angle, I can find the costume rental and the advertisement for actors for his short film." She made little quote marks in the air for the word film.

"If he's just a stalker and he made the costumes, then you have fewer leads to follow."

"Don't say he. You don't know that the killer is a he."

"You're right, I don't. Are you assuming that the killer isn't human?"

"Should we be?" she asked, her voice neutral.

"I don't know. I can't imagine a human strong enough or fast enough to grab six demi-fey and slit their throats before the others could escape or attack him."

"Are they as delicate as they look?" she asked.

I almost smiled, and then didn't feel like finishing it. "No, Detective, they aren't. They're much stronger than they look, and incredibly fast."

"So we aren't looking for a human?"

"I didn't say that. I said that physically humans couldn't do this, but there is some magic that might help them do it."

"What kind of magic?"

"I don't have a spell in mind. I'm not human. I don't need spells to use against other fey, but I know there are stories of magic that can make us weak, catchable, and hurtable."

"Yeah, aren't these kind of fey supposed to be immortal?"

Excerpt from Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell K. Hamilton
All rights reserved by publisher and author

© 2003-2020 off-the-edge.net  all rights reserved Privacy Policy