The Emperor's Hound

Lords shouldn't do magic. They're not supposed to be scholars of any kind. But they don't usually investigate murders either...

Alyn knows her duties as a page - to serve her lord at dinner and attend him at Court functions. She hadn't realised that included murder investigations. She'd never even met Lord Miervaldis before they are both sent to Fifth Star Court, where one Lord Cassian is suspected of murder.

Upon arrival, Miervaldis begins his investigation and Alyn works hard in following up the leads available. But in the midst of the tangle of suspects and their motives, it becomes clear to her that there is far more going on behind the scenes. Lord Miervaldis has secrets of his own - he may not be the harmless eccentric she thought at first. Where should her loyalties lie? How exactly is the Sun Emperor involved? What is really going on?

Alyn will find her loyalty tested to the limit as Miervaldis' investigation turns up more trouble than he bargained for.

Content note: The plot of this book involves a murder, which is by nature unpleasant, as are the circumstances leading up to and around it. The investigations reveal, among other things, a history of sexual abuse perpetrated by one of the side characters. I did not want that to come as a nasty surprise to readers. Please note that there are no explicit details given, and nothing of that nature takes place during the narrative. The challenges faced by Alyn and Miervaldis are of a different kind entirely.

Chapter 1 In which Alyn meets Lord Miervaldis for the first time, is warned to keep an eye on him by a person unknown, and accompanies him to Fifth Star Court at the command of the Sun Emperor himself.

Chapter 2 In which Alyn and Lord Miervaldis discuss a murder, examine a body, talk to witnesses and suspects, and form opinions.

Chapter 3 In which Alyn begins lessons at Fifth Star Court, fails to get on with the other pages, and makes discoveries related to inheritance.

Chapter 4 In which Alyn makes a friend - maybe - attends Jaquan's funeral, and tails her lord when he goes to town in disguise.

Chapter 5 In which thoughts are marshalled, leads are followed up, suggestions are made and clues are obtained.

Chapter 6 In which Alyn attends Miervaldis at a formal dinner and a casual trip to town. Many things are overheard at both events.

Chapter 7 In which a letter from Alyn's brother prompts the multiplication of suspicions and suspects alike, much to Alyn's discomfort.

Chapter 8 In which Miervaldis and Alyn visit Cathecassa, meet Lord Cassian's wife and daughter, and return with more questions than answers.

Chapter 9 In which Miervaldis stirs up trouble while Alyn watches and worries.

Chapter 10 In which entirely the wrong people are arrested.

Chapter 11 In which Alyn discovers what Miervaldis has been accused of, and makes a decision.

Chapter 12 In which Alyn gives evidence, much to Miervaldis' dismay.

Chapter 13 In which significant progress is made following a return to Fifth Star Court and a visit to Cathecassa.

Chapter 14 In which research is carried out into the census records and the local cuisine, after which an accusation is made and answered.

Chapter 15 In which a second trial is held, Alyn claims a favour from the Sun Emperor, and matters are brought to a close. is copyright Sergei and Morag Lewis