Mystery, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Suspense, Thriller & Suspense
The Mascherari: A Novel of Venice
In this late medieval tale of mystery and the supernatural, Laura Rahme evokes a Venice long forgotten. From the dark sottoporticos of the Arsenal, to the wealthy mansions of Castello, and deep within the secret passages of the Ducal Palace, The Mascherari is an occult tale rich with history. Venezia, 1422. Doge Tommaso Mocenigo is on his death bed. An evil has come to Venice. An evil that will set the course for the future of La Serenissima. On the eve of Carnivale, five wealthy Venetian merchants set upon a mask maker in the ancient district of Santa Croce. They are led by a patrician of ruthless means named Giacomo Contarini. The following day, the Venice Republic's security council, the most feared Council of Ten, summons the Florentine inquisitor, Antonio da Parma, to hold an inquest on a most baffling case. During a sumptuous banquet, four of the merchants, including Giacomo Contarini, have met a chilling death. Newly widowed and fresh from Florence, Antonio da Parma's reputation precedes him. He is known for his susceptibility to the occult and is sternly warned that The Council of Ten want none of that. Yet in the throes of this macabre investigation, Antonio da Parma soon finds himself lured by his dreams and visions and by the mysterious silver pendant that he discovers on one of the dead merchants. Enter the dashing Esteban dell Valle, a formidable Dardi-trained swordmaster of Nubian origins. Esteban grieves his stolen inheritance and the death of his Catalan adopted father. He survives, mysteriously, through the influence of high ranking patricians. He never removes his mask and has sworn to reclaim his wealth. Noble Catarina Contarini has a sad tale to tell. Her husband's death weighs upon her and so too, do the scandalous accusations that have been made against him. In her grief, she confides in Antonio da Parma and reveals her shocking secrets. But Catarina's darkest secret concerns a witch; a Napoletana named Magdalena. Despite himself, Antonio da Parma is drawn ever closer to the magnetic Magdalena. He unveils the truth behind the merchants' murders and comes face to face with a machination of monstrous evil. Through this fascinating Magdalena, an enchanter of admirals and merchants alike, Antonio begins to realize that his true quest is one he could never have imagined.
The Ming Storytellers
It is the 15th Century. At the dawn of the Ming Dynasty, three women's paths will cross and of their journey, a tale will be born. An imperial concubine, a Persian traveler and a mysterious storyteller. Three women, one story. This is BEIJING. A city seething with mystery and royal intrigue. Once a palace orphan, the wilful Min Li has only ever sought to please, even if that means pleasing Emperor Zhu Di. Now a powerful concubine, Min Li unearths a terrible secret concealed within the walls of Beijing's Imperial city. Driven to despair, she seeks help from her lover, Admiral Zheng He. But this will spark a chain of events that even sets Beijing's palace on fire. Min Li's fate is sealed but her true enemy is not who she thinks. The Ming Storytellers is a historical tale of 15th century China that sweeps across the palaces of Nanjing and Beijing into the mountainous villages of Yunnan, where a mysterious shaman holds the key to a woman's destiny. Across the oceans, from the bustling bazaars of Southern India to the lush shores of Zanzibar, nothing is quite what it seems. For the eyes and ears of the Ming Emperor are ever near. ---- A tale of the far East replete with dark secrets, The Ming Storytellers is set during the early Ming Dynasty, soon after the reconquest of The Middle Kingdom from the Mongols. The Ming Storytellers delves into the political and personal intrigues of the Zhu Imperial family. On the eve of the great Beijing Palace fire and the Ming fleet's sixth expedition, an imperial concubine is swept up by dark forces of obsession and revenge. The Ming Storytellers is a must journey for historical travelers and for those who believe in the bridging between worlds.
In this chilling psychological tale set in revolutionary France, a young couple confront their darkest fears. Looming above them, between healing and oblivion, lies the French Republic's most shocking secret. FRANCE, 1794 - The Reign of Terror Julien d'Aureville, a young boy from a broken home in Paris, meets a fugitive aristocrat who changes his life. As the Terror subsides and Napoleon rises to power, Julien's fortunes improve. Then he meets the mysterious Marguerite. Upon her marriage to Julien, Marguerite Lafolye has all a Parisian woman could ever wish. Yet something is not quite right. Is Marguerite hiding a dark secret? When she attempts to see into Marguerite, even the celebrated fortuneteller, Marie Anne Lenormand, cannot read her cards. From bourgeois Paris to the canals of Napoleon's Venice, Marguerite seems to be living a lie. Who is she really? What drives her obsession with the late Dauphin, Louis-Charles, son of Marie-Antoinette? Could the answer lie in a memory - in Nantes' orphanage, or in the hidden undergound caves of war-torn Vendée, or else in the secret refuge of Gralas Forest, deep in Western France? Or could the answer be right here, in Paris, within the forbidding walls of the Temple Prison that Napoleon threatens to destroy, and where the Dauphin tragically perished. **** From the author of THE MING STORYTELLERS and THE MASCHERARI comes an historical psychological thriller that will defy all you knew of France's revolution. In this confronting new novel, Laura Rahme paints the tragedies and triumphs of love in tumultuous and deadly times. JULIEN'S TERROR is a suspenseful mystery where folklore and superstition meet with the horrors of the past.