A Murder Of Mages
Marshall Ryan Maresca
DAW, Jul 7 2015, $7.99
Injured on the job, Maradaine Constabulary at Inemar Inspector First Class Loren Rainey lies near death. Needing to feed and shelter their two children, his wife Satrine arrives at the Inemar Constabulary with forged references to enhance her credentials as a former street rat and ex spy to Captain Cinellan. Reluctantly he introduces her to her partner, Third Class Inspector Minox Welling on a one week trial basis.
No one voluntarily teams with Welling the “Jinx” as horrid occurrences happen to anyone partnering with this Uncircled mage cop, but Satrine has no choice. They investigate the shocking homicide of a Circled mage whose heart was removed and extremities nailed into the ground by spikes containing magic in the neighborhood where Satrine was once a rat. Meanwhile the Circles refuse to cooperate as the mages insist they police their own. A second corpse as hideously murdered as the first is found, but the Circles remain adamantly silent and civilians rejoice with the deaths of each mage even as an internal war of magic threatens to ignite.
The fabulous first Maradaine Constabulary police procedural fantasy occurs in the same realm as the Thorn of Dentonhill. The excellent cast makes for a wonderful whodunit; as Satrine faces sexism for being the first female inspector; while Minox deals with mage-ism prejudice of being the first Uncircled inspector. The people residing in the seedy Maradaine neighborhoods and the Circles reject helping law enforcement as both diverse groups share in common (an extremely rare event) a hatred and distrust of police. With a nod to M.R. Sellars’ exciting Rowan Gant paranormal mysteries (see Harm None), Marshall Ryan Maresca authors an exceptional serial killer case.