Puzzling though the case may be, there was one secret source of satisfaction to Konrad: the involvement of poison gave him an excuse to visit Irinanda. But the circumstances of his double life meant that Nanda was his only real friend, and that damaged his pride. It always soothed to have a reason to visit.
He found her in her apothecary shop, as usual. She lived above the shop, and hardly left the premises except to scour the Bone Forest for some of the materials she sold. She was sitting on the little chair at the back of the room, reading a book — something about herbalism or poison-craft, he had no doubt.
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She looked up as he entered and gave him a distracted smile. Konrad waited, content to watch her read. Just looking at her made him feel better.
But there was also a vitality to her that attracted him. She did nothing half-heartedly; she cared deeply about everything she did, and it showed. He found it inspiring. A small monkey with gold fur ran along the counter towards him, tail raised in greeting. She was almost as secretive as he was. He was engaged in feeding bits of dried fruit to Weveroth when Nanda shut her book and put it away. She stood up and advanced, eyeing his clothing with displeasure.
Most people fawned over him for his fine clothes and his apparent wealth, but to Nanda these things were meaningless. She liked his other identity better: the Konrad who spent hours or days out in the Bones as she did, collecting plants and poisons. He grimaced. Blunt, even.
To that she merely nodded. On the plus side, that meant that his involvement with all the worst murder cases neither alarmed nor surprised her. She shot him a narrow-eyed look. The poison may have been ingested or inhaled, or administered through the ear. As for the substance… I can think of only one likely candidate. But you know what I am going to say. Konrad nodded. Ceruleaf was his own guess, but it was a difficult poison to trace. She disappeared into the back room for a few seconds, then emerged carrying a small phial containing a fine, rich blue powder.
Would you be willing to ask around?
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Somebody must have sold some — or perhaps been robbed. He had been, but he paused, feeling pleased. Nuritov was a mid-level officer who was frequently assigned to cases of homicide. He knew Konrad as an amateur detective; he thought him eccentric, perhaps, but he had no objection to sharing information provided he was compensated. Nuritov shook his head. It was more or less the truth. Nuritov had just returned to his office. He spent a moment struggling out of his coat and tossed his hat onto a chair before he replied.
Konrad told him almost everything, naturally excepting the part about his serpents. Konrad shook his head. Nuritov sat back in his chair and surveyed Konrad with scepticism.
But Orlov had the appearance of being a strong, healthy man. Why would he suddenly expire? Konrad smiled faintly. It was true that he had enjoyed some weeks of liberty since his last case, but he had plenty to occupy him and rarely suffered from boredom. Nor am I seeking a miracle from you, Alex. His family, too. The inspector agreed affably enough. And tonight, his other companion was a corpse. Serpents, Konrad said in the silent way.
One more attempt, please. Bind him for me. It is as we said before, Eetapi said after a few moments. Nothing lingers. Why did you bring me here? The Malykt sent us, Ootapi replied.
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For now, though, he simply called the serpents to his side and quietly left the house. I… have to investigate. No discolourations, contortions? With time running out, he must find the perpetrator and exact his vengeance - before a still worse crime is committed. Create Widget. About Charlotte E.
Death's Detective : The Malykant Mysteries, Volume 1 - srineserluothrow.ml
Learn more about Charlotte E. About the Series: Malykant Mysteries. In this collection, Konrad and his closest friend Irinanda solve four mysterious murders in and around the cold, dark city of Ekamet. Also in Series: Malykant Mysteries.
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