Next up, we have the second story in The Strange Cases of Beaumont and Beasley—The Hound of Duville.
“I'm sorry, Miss Blenkinsop, but I'm afraid this dog is your fiancé.”
Wealthy man-about-town Gregory Duville has fallen victim to a baffling (and embarrassing) curse, and Beaumont and Beasley are on the case.
Except, they're not. Because Lady Cordelia Beaumont has gone missing, leaving only detective-turned-monster Nick Beasley and his brother Crispin to tackle the mystery. To make matters worse, the curse afflicting Mr. Duville is targeting all other men in the city of Talesend as well.
An ancient witch may hold the key to stopping the spell in its tracks, but is she everything she seems? Can Nick solve this case without the aid of Cordelia's magic? Or will the secrets he's keeping from Crispin doom Talesend forever?
This installment of Strange Cases is pretty much pure comedy. It's been a while since I've written a story like that, and man, was it fun. It's also unique in that the only members of the main cast who play significant roles in the story are Nick and Crispin. I've stripped the narrative down to the relationship between the two brothers, in a deliberate callback to where it all started in Chapter One of The Beast of Talesend. But of course, Nick and Crispin have changed quite a bit since then, in so many ways–and this story gave me the chance to examine those changes in a little more detail. Also, there are a LOT of Easter eggs in here for various things. Have fun picking them all out.
Tune in tomorrow to find out more about the third story! Also, I'll be making a change to the “final” cover of Strange Cases once I've finished with these individual reveals. I'm still using that initial design as the cover of the sixth story in the collection, but I decided to go in a different direction with the cover of the entire book. So I'll release that the same day I release the cover for the last story, Schism.