In A Murder of Mages, Satrine Rainey is a newly minted inspector in the Maradaine Constabulary. With her family’s security resting on her salary, Satrine is going to fight like hell to prove she deserves the posting. So when a suspect makes a break for it, Satrine is the first one to tear after him…
The bastard was running now, out in the open street. The lampmen had been useless in stopping him, so all he had to do was get out of sight and he’d be free as a lark.
Satrine would be damned if she let that happen.
She pounded after the man. He had a strong lead, but she would close that distance once she got her feet under her. He stumbled as he ran. Drops of blood on the ground. He must have been the one she hit with her crossbow. Despite that, he had good speed—but not good enough to beat her.
Only a few feet separated them when he crossed around a shopkeeper table, kicking its leg out as he passed it. Brass trinkets and glass careened onto the ground, forcing Satrine to jump out of the way, losing her stride. By the time she found her footing, he was down the next alley.
She turned the corner. The alley was a dead end, but he was beating on a door, his only possible escape. He looked back at her. Despite the bleeding wound in his shoulder, he grinned at her.
“I thought the Jinx was chasing me,” he said. “Not the skirt.”
Satrine didn’t bother with a response, other than charging at him. For a moment, his grin was about to become laughter, and then his face froze, melting into fear.
She had him.
He kicked at the door again. This time some fool opened it to yell at whoever was hitting the door. The bastard knocked him down and ran into the building.
Satrine tried to go right after him, but the fool who had let him in grabbed at her legs, dragging her down to the ground with him.
“How dare you!” the man shouted.
“Constabulary!” was all Satrine responded with, wrenching herself away from his hands. She reined in the urge to kick the man in the face.
She pulled away and got back on her feet. Where was she? Looked like the backroom of a tailor. She ran through the separating curtain to the shop floor. Drops of blood led to the front door. Satrine followed, to see her quarry chasing after a tickwagon.
“Hold fast!” she shouted, running after the man. She knew that wouldn’t stop him, but it might stop the wagon driver. If she still had her crossbow on her, she could take him down now.
He ran away from the wagon, and she went right after him, shouting again and again for him to hold fast. The street opened up, people clearing out her way.
She closed the distance, drawing out her handstick. Once she caught him, she’d have no choice but to drop him hard. She wasn’t carrying irons. She had her whistle, but she’d be damned if she could remember the page call.
He tried to dodge behind a pedalcart, but his coat caught on a handle, tripping him up. That was all Satrine needed to catch him. She grabbed his shoulder with her left hand, and slammed the handstick into his back with her right. He dropped to the ground.
Satrine didn’t give him a chance to strike back, wailing on his arms and head before dropping one knee onto his back. She locked her handstick against the back of his neck, pressing his face into the ground.
“Stupid skirt, do you have any idea who I am?” he snapped.
“Not a clue,” Satrine said. “You’re bound by law, though. You will be held and ironed, and brought to trial for your crimes.”
“I’ll see you burned for this!”
Satrine dug her knee deeper into his back. He screamed out, but offered no further comments. She glanced up at the small crowd that had gathered around them. “Could one of you call for a page? I seem to be lacking a set of irons.”
A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca
The Maradaine Constabulary #1
Published July 7th 2015 by DAW
A Murder of Mages marks the debut of Marshall Ryan Maresca’s novels of The Maradaine Constabulary, his second series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine. A Murder of Mages introduces us to this spellbinding port city as seen through the eyes of the people who strive to maintain law and order, the hardworking men and women of the Maradaine Constabulary.
Satrine Rainey—former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty—has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family.
Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector and an Uncircled mage—almost a crime in itself. Nicknamed “the jinx” because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them.
Their first case together—the ritual murder of a Circled mage— sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics he’s desperate to avoid. As the body count rises, Satrine and Minox must race to catch the killer before their own secrets are exposed and they, too, become targets.