Hi folks, sorry for the interruption, I was busy releasing Warbound: The Shield Maiden, my third novel and also the third Domains of the Chosen book. Buy it!
Once again, however, it is time for some Shadow Wolf!
I was missing something. Sapphire’s lover didn’t kill her, nor did Lily Gemarkand, her sister. I was missing some vital insight that would help me catch wind of the killer.
While a prostitute, even an elite lady of the evening like Sapphire, could never claim to lead a safe life, it took extraordinary effort to silently break into her rooms, drug both her and Bjorn Magnison, and kill them by inches. It limited the suspects by both means and motive. It took skill to see the plot through, and of those those with the skill only a few would bother.
One angle I had not covered was that Sapphire’s murder might be part of an elaborate plot to discredit the Assassin, the man I knew only by the, likely false, name of Sildus. If the Guild of Assassins got word that one of their number killed a woman in a protected establishment, in a vicious crime of passion, then it would go very badly for Sildus and perhaps even reflect poorly on his superiors. I did not understand enough of the politics of the nine masters of the Guild to presume, but Sildus seemed to think it was a real enough possibility that he was looking into it.
Another possibility was that one of Lily Gemarkand’s enemies had done in her sister. In my discussion with the head of the Gemarkand house, before she’d forced me to fight a warrior of the Devout for her enjoyment, she had let slip that she kept in contact with Sapphire. Lily was a ruthless, slightly deranged woman who had eliminated her rivals to become the head of one of the seven families before she was thirty. Miss Gemarkand didn’t seem like the type to waste time on Sapphire purely out of sisterly affection.
What were they plotting? was it enough to get Sapphire killed?
The idea that first leapt to mind was that Lily was maneuvering to have Sapphire replace madame Glorianna as head of the Doxy’s Union. Madame Glorianna’s power rivaled that of a merchant family, and would certainly make Sapphire a useful ally for her sister. I mulled it over. The idea was intriguing, but I could not think of a way to have Sapphire replace Madame Glorianna. I knew enough about the Doxy’s Guild from the twins, my bedmates, to understand just how popular Madame Glorianna was among her charges. Besides the viciousness of the crime was too extravagant to her.
I did not want to go back and ask Lily what she had been sticking their noses into. After her little pit fight, I felt that the less time spent in her company, the better.
I decided to revisit the Pink Pearl and look again at the records kept by Sapphire’s boss, Chloe. Perhaps I could puzzle out Lily’s intent by the pattern of her visits or through Sapphire’s clientele. Even if such information proved to be a dead end in finding the killer, learning more about Lily Gemarkand could prove to be useful, especially if I ever wanted to repay her for the fight that she’d forced upon me.
I decided that perhaps it was time to call on some help as well. Watch Sargent Murith was very good with records, you see.