Urban fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction, Thieves’ Quarry is the second novel in the well-received Thieftaker Chronicles, set in pre-Revolutionary Boston, Massachusetts. Ethan Kaille has survived an unfortunate background to become a thieftaker, something like a bounty-hunter. He searches for thieves in order to confiscate and return what they have stolen. Ethan is also a conjurer – a wizard – and uses his magical skills to help capture his prey. Politically, he is a loyalist in a city simmering with revolution, and this, as well as rival magicians and an enticing female foe, puts him and others into peril.
When the Boston sheriff enlists Ethan to discover who murdered almost one hundred British seamen, the thieftaker finds himself facing a powerful magical enemy as well as several other opponents. It will take all his magical skills and street-smart instincts to avert a catastrophe. This story is hard to summarize without giving away the mystery, which is a page-turning roller-coaster ride that kept this reviewer up far too late into the night. Besides the compelling plot, the characters are multifaceted and evoke the reader’s concern. The colonial Boston setting is almost a character in itself. It is sketched in skillfully, making the backdrop atmospheric without being overdone. A detail here and there puts the reader into a world where spermaceti candles have a bitter smell and someone’s wig might be found lying on a side table. Historical figures occasionally appear but blend seamlessly into the plot without jarring. Highly recommended.
D.B. Jackson is the pseudonym of an established, award-winning author who holds a Ph.D in history.