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Publisher's Summary

Johannes Cabal, necromancer of some little infamy, returns in this riotously clever and terrifically twisted tale of murder and international intrigue.
In this genre-twisting novel, infamous necromancer Johannes Cabal, after beating the Devil and being reunited with his soul, leads us on another raucous journey in a little-known corner of the world. This time he’s on the run from the local government.
Stealing the identity of a minor bureaucrat, Cabal takes passage on the Princess Hortense, a passenger aeroship that is leaving the country. The deception seems perfect, and Cabal looks forward to a quiet trip and a clean escape, until he comes face-to-face with Leonie Barrow, an enemy from the old days who could blow his cover. But when a fellow passenger throws himself to his death, or at least that is how it appears, Cabal begins to investigate out of curiosity. His minor efforts result in a vicious attempt on his own life—and then the gloves come off.
Cabal and Leonie—the only woman to ever match wits with him—reluctantly team up to discover the murderer. Before they are done, there will be more narrow escapes, involving sword fighting and newfangled flying machines. There will be massive destruction, not to mention resurrected dead.
Steampunk meets the classic Sherlockian mystery in this rip-roaring adventure where anything could happen - and does.
©2010 Jonathan L. Howard (P)2010 Random House
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Critic Reviews

“For anyone whose taste edges towards the intelligent and macabre, this book is a gift...a Lemony Snicket for adults.” ( Fangoria)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By J. Barger on 09-10-10

I enjoyed this listen.

While I did miss a little of the Dark Carnival of Necromancer, Cabal's foray (mostly) out of the arcane and into international intrigue was just as entertaining.

The quality of writing has improved greatly. Although I enjoyed Necromancer, I found it a bit episodic. The storytelling in Detective is much tighter and the author does just a great job ending this book. The epilogue alone is nearly worth the price of admission.

If you read the first and liked it, enjoy anti-heroes (consider a sociopathic Allan Quatermain), or have an appreciation for a dry sense of humor, I absolutely recommend this book.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Ambrose on 10-08-12

A Decent Successor to the First

Do not be deceived by the title--it is actually mostly a detective story. :) Okay, I jest a bit, but after Book 1, I expected I suppose more supernatural twists.. more fantastical stuff. As it was, we were treated to a bit in the beginning and a bit at the end, but most of the book was a steampunk detective story.

Parts of the book were slow, but Howard keeps it going with interesting turns here and there. What's interesting is that while my wife doesn't really appreciate a book along the lines of the first one, I was able to recommend this one to her (she loves detective stories). She's in the midst of it now, just getting to the detective bits.

Anyways, in terms of characters, Cabal is Cabal--the 'bad' guy you've come to know and.. enjoy reading about. I like the mild interweaving of some of the story from the first book; but it's not enough so that you have to read it first (hence my wife can listen w/o doing so).

By far, for me, the most enjoyable part of the book was the last bit. Was it the prologue? I don't remember how it was framed, but it was fun--more Cabal style. That's what I look for in Cabal books.

Sachs is a different reader than the first book, but he manages a close enough continuity in voice that Cabal is still Cabal. He does the various accents quite well; I think I detected some intentional hiding and showing of a mild German accent for Cabal, which was masterful. Very well done; I look forward to more books read by Sachs. I think he is a reader on par with/comparable Guidall and Dale, which I think are masters.

Overall, I did enjoy it and if you like either detective stories or steampunk or antiheroes, you might enjoy it, too.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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