Harriet Truman is looking forward to creating happy Christmas memories with her husband James and their new foster son Luke. She and the rest of the Loose Threads are also delighted to see their special quilts displayed throughout the downtown in festive store windows.
But a shocking murder disrupts the joy of the season, and when another body turns up, and then Harriet and Luke only just manage to escape a black-clad attacker, it’s clear all isn’t holly-jolly in Foggy Point.
Make quilts for foster kids getting close to aging out of the system and teach them some useful skills as well. Granted, the foster parents aren’t the most pleasant people, but Luke and Sincere and the others have already had tough lives and say they can handle it.
Things get complicated, though, when a reality-TV show gets permission to film the kids and track down their relatives. Foster parent Paul Holloway is murdered, and the “relatives” the TV crew introduces are more than odd. Then, when the producer’s assistant is killed, too, it’s clear there’s some deadly going on—and the kids are the targets.
Halvar the Hireling, now the Captain of the Town Guard, must deal with the deaths of a messenger boy and a respected professor of mathematics, both of which may be linked to a shipment of arms being smuggled into Manatas. To make matters worse, a cougar has been spotted in the hills north of the town. Sectarian disputes and personal rivalries make for a not-so-happy holiday for this ex-mercenary and reluctant detective.
When fate sends Red and his crewmates to the coveted port of Syrras, it is an opportunity he plans to take full advantage of. Unfortunately, his search for a little adventure hands him a lot more than he ever bargained for.
Changed by unknown magics into something other than himself, he’s told a terrible secret. One he must now help protect, even as he is tasked to find those responsible. Failure will cost him his body, his way of life, everything that makes him who he is.
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If people would only stop trying to kill him, Halvar the Dane might finally manage to do what he was sent to the island of Manatas to do—get the fugitive Leon di Vicenza on a boat back to Al-Andalus.
And he didn’t intend to kill two people before breakfast in the process.
However, once again murder and intrigue immerse the calif’s Hireling in more trouble than he ever wanted; and before he learns who murdered the pawnbroker, the mystery will take enough twists and turns to make a good man dizzy.