Stoker And Bash: The Death Under the Dark Arches

by Selina Kray

The Death Under the Dark Arches - Selina Kray - Stoker and Bash
Part of the Stoker & Bash series:
Editions:ePub - First Edition: $ 5.99
ISBN: 978-0-9959925-7-3
Pages: 325
Kindle - First Edition: $ 5.99
ISBN: B08LDSY61T
Pages: 325

Sing a song of sixpence

A stage full of fright

One two-faced blackbird

Won't last the night

 

When a phantom presence lures Hieronymus Bash into a deadly game, threatening to kill one of the players at his beloved Gaiety Theater each day until famed actor Horace Beastly returns to the stage, London's premier consulting detective is on the case. The trouble? Horace Beastly is Hiero's alter ego and the true object of this murderous obsession. When the current star of the show is struck down, Hiero has to risk everything by stealing back the spotlight.

After a golden summer together, DI Tim Stoker would do everything in his power to protect the man he loves. But a specter from his own past proves an unexpected, and perhaps fatal, distraction.

Scheming prima donnas, grudge-fuelled critics, and an axe-wielding theater ghost are all out for blood. Will Hiero and Tim unmask this menace before the final curtain call, or are they past the point of no return?

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Pairings: M-F, M-M
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay, Straight
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Class Differences, (Hits) Close to Home, Criminals & Outlaws, Cultural Differences, Interracial Relationship, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Mind Games, Slow Burning Love, Trickster Hero, True Love
Word Count: 114,000
Setting: London, England
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
Excerpt:
September 1st, 1874 – Day 1
ONE WILL FALL EVERY DAY
HORACE BEASTLY STAYS AWAY
The note burned a hole in DI Timothy Kipling Stoker's pocket as he surveyed the scene before him. A gang of constables shouted a noisy crowd back behind the wooden barrier erected at the end of the alley that led to The Adelphi Theater’s stage door. Pub patrons with windowside stools had front-row seats to the drama unfolding in Bull Inn Court. A detective sergeant Tim didn’t recognize argued with a red-faced man he did: Mr. Gerry Tumnus, newly appointed manager of The Gaiety Theater and the man responsible for his lover Hieronymus Bash’s early retirement from the stage. As for the sheet-covered body lying in the center of the court, Tim couldn’t identify him by the make of his shoes, but he dreaded the knowledge all the same.
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>Tim shared a wary look with his colleague Han Tak Hai as they wormed their way through the crowd. A flash of his warrant card got them through the barricade, but Tim waited on the perimeter as a professional courtesy. Bad form to intrude upon another officer’s crime scene. As he followed a trail of blood from the body to the entrance of a building, Tim prayed the murder and the note were unrelated.

Two familiar figures wrenched the front door open and stepped gingerly around the blood spatter as they exited. Comically mismatched in height and build but sporting twin sourpuss expressions, Superintendant Julian Quayle—knuckle-dragging barbarian—and DS John Littlejohn—bulldog with a schnauzer’s yap—deepened their scowls when they spotted him.
“Stoker,” Littlejohn sneered. “Nosing about where you’re not wanted as usual, eh? Well, you can piss off back to your sickbed. This here’s real detective work.”
“I rather think this case begs for someone with more than half a brain,” Tim shot back. “You’d best see to the crowd. Your constables are struggling.”
“My constables, nothing. Ain’t you heard? I’m an inspector now.”
All too aware of their superintendent’s beady, assessing eyes on them, Tim grunt out, “Then congratulations are in order.” He turned to Quayle. “Best of luck to you, sir.”
“We’ll need more than luck for this mess,” Quayle sighed. “What’s your game, Stoker? That cat’s anus Tumnus call you in?”
“Happened by, saw the commotion. Who’s the victim?”
“Randolph Terriss.” Tim didn’t school his features quick enough to avoid Quayle’s notice. “Know him?”
“Only by reputation.” One of the most beloved music hall stars of the day, Randolph Terriss’s celebrity was eclipsed only by the royal family. Tim marveled that the crowd wasn’t treble the size. When word got out, there would be weeks of public mourning.
COLLAPSE

About the Author

Selina Kray is the nom de plume of an author and English editor. Professionally she has covered all the artsy-fartsy bases, having worked in a bookstore, at a cinema, in children’s television, and in television distribution, up to her latest incarnation as a subtitle editor and grammar nerd (though she may have always been a grammar nerd). A self-proclaimed geek and pop culture junkie who sometimes manages to pry herself away from the review sites and gossip blogs to write fiction of her own, she is a voracious consumer of art with both a capital and lowercase A.

Selina’s aim is to write genre-spanning romances with intricate plots, complex characters, and lots of heart. Whether she has achieved this goal is for you, gentle readers, to decide. At present she is hard at work on future novels at home in Montreal, Quebec, with her wee corgi serving as both foot warmer and in-house critic.

If you’re interested in receiving Selina’s newsletter and being the first to know when new books are released, plus getting sneak peeks at upcoming novels, please sign up at her website: www.selinakray.net


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