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THE DANCER WORE OPERA ROSE: MYSTERIOUS DEVICES 2
Magnificent Devices Book 15
BY SHELLEY ADINA
Book two of the Mysterious Devices series of clockwork cozies set in the Magnificent Devices world!
Daisy Linden and her sister Frederica arrive by airship in Santa Fe, capital of the Texican Territories, determined to search for their missing father. But two surprises await them—the authorities’ baffling refusal to help, and a not-so-chance meeting with snake-oil salesman William Barnicott.
To their joy, the Lindens find that their father has indeed been seen in Santa Fe. To their horror, it was an assignation with a cancan dancer. Now the dancer is missing—and their father could be a suspect. Daisy and Freddie must find the girl before the authorities do, for only she can tell them where he might be now.
But there are forces arrayed against them in Santa Fe … men in the shadows who have bet too much on a dancer’s disappearance to let two young ladies interfere and raise the stakes.
“I loved The Bride Wore Constant White. Shelley Adina has brilliantly combined steampunk with the ‘clockwork cozy’ in this series in which a young painter solves mysteries. Best of all, the novels feature familiar characters I love from her bestselling Magnificent Devices series. I can’t wait for the next book!” —Nancy Warren, USA Today bestselling author
Copyright 2018 by Shelley Adina
Wedesday, August 21, 1895 at 12:21 p.m.
Within ten minutes of their airship’s being moored to its mast at the Santa Fe airfield, Daisy Linden became convinced that there was no other city quite like this one. Not only in the Texican Territories, mind you. But in the entire world.
The colors. Oh goodness, the colors!
She had in her travel paintbox Burnt Sienna—Mars Orange—Vermilion—Aurora Yellow. But these could hardly do justice to the rocks and mesas, the spires and even the buildings, for they were all those and more. And the shadows! Indigo, Olive Green, Payne’s Gray—even a blue that went straight past India Ink to something the midnight sky might make all its own.
“But we have been here before, Daisy.” Her sister Frederica picked up her valise in one hand and grasped the handle of the late Emma Makepeace’s traveling trunk in the other. “It is not as though these marvels are new to you.”
“I know, dearest. But while I remember that the colors enchanted me, all the wonder of our arrival was blotted out by the horror of our return.”
“I hope our visit this time will be a better one.”
Daisy hoped so, too. Desperately.
For there was no longer any more time to lose in the search for Papa, who had gone missing nearly two years before—abducted by the Californios. Granted, they had learned from Captain and Lady Hollys a few weeks ago that Papa had been alive and well back in April, when the couple had left him in Reno, the crossroads city of the Royal Kingdom of Spain and the Californias. According to their information, he had set off to look for his family.
What were the odds that their searches for each other might come to a happy conclusion right here?
Even had she been a betting woman, Daisy would not have laid money on the odds. Ladies did not indulge themselves in such worldly pursuits. But she was rich in hope, and she dealt that out to Fate with a liberal hand.
They boarded a steam conveyance with slatted benches and open sides that the conductor assured them would take them into the center of the city. Freddie held on to her hat as the steambus picked up its pace to quite an alarming speed, for there was nothing to hinder its way but peculiar rolling bushes and scented squatty pines and the ubiquitous Burnt Sienna rocks of this part of the world.
“Ought we to have made inquiries at the airfield? Of the ticketing office, the taverns, and a few of the inter-territory ships?” Freddie asked Daisy above the racket of their going.
They were not the only passengers; most of the people aboard the short-haul packet from Denver were riding the vehicle, too. One hated to raise one’s voice with one’s private concerns, but Daisy could not see how to avoid it.
“We shall certainly do so as soon as we may,” she replied. “But for now, I feel we must wait upon the man in charge of the detachment of Texican Rangers here. I wrote to him from Bath some weeks ago, and I am ashamed to say we are two weeks past the day I told him I would be here. But it was unavoidable, of course.”
“And I am not sorry we are late. Not one bit.”
Neither was Daisy. For if they had not stayed in Georgetown and made the attempt to discover the murderer of their friend Emma Makepeace, then an innocent man would have gone to the gallows and a horrible villain would be walking the streets unscathed.
That the two situations had been utterly reversed thanks to their efforts and those of one or two friends was cause for some satisfaction. If Daisy went to her eternal reward tomorrow, if nothing else she would have justice on the positive side of the ledger.
Shelley Adina is the author of 24 novels published by Harlequin, Warner, and Hachette, and more than a dozen more published by Moonshell Books, Inc., her own independent press. She writes steampunk and contemporary romance as Shelley Adina, and as Adina Senft, writes Amish women’s fiction. She holds an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, and is currently working on her PhD in Creative Writing at Lancaster University in the UK. She won RWA’s RITA Award® in 2005, and was a finalist in 2006. When she’s not writing, Shelley is usually quilting, sewing historical costumes, or enjoying the garden with her flock of rescued chickens.
Links to Shelley’s website, blog, books, etc.
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Shelley is giving away a print copy (U.S. & Canada only) of THE DANCER WORE OPERA ROSE to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.
Thanks, Shelley, for sharing your book with us!
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