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Truly the Devil's Work

After the rigors of the Great War and Spanish Flu pandemic, Miss Rose Ivy is eager to leave tragedy behind and enjoy a new career as Circus Salmagundi’s tattooed lady.

But their engagement in the quiet town of Esquimalt is cut short when a housekeeper is bludgeoned to death, a nightmarish devil mask is stolen from a private art collection, and Rose is accused of both murder and theft.

To clear her name, Rose must root out the real killer. Her investigation unravels a seedy history of stolen artifacts, forgotten folklore, and hidden identities. Where did the devil mask come from and who would kill to get it back? Is the murderer a stranger, a villager… or one of her troupe? Her new circus family has welcomed her with open arms but Rose wonders, who can she really trust?

Set against the vibrant backdrop of sideshow performers, carnival prodigies and fortune tellers, Truly the Devil’s Work explores the sinister nature of imperialism, vengeance, and family secrets. Can Rose uncover the killer’s identity, or will she take the fall for their crimes? In a world left scarred by war and tragedy, Rose Ivy must use the skills of her violent past to protect any hope for her future.

Truly the Devil's Work is the first book in the Circus Salmagundi Mysteries.
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The Vengeful Dead

When the Circus Salmagundi sails into Union Bay, Miss Rose Ivy looks forward to a week of nightly shows, entertaining the families who live in a sleepy seaside village.
Instead, the tattooed lady discovers a community divided by bitter rivalries, lies and deceit, which have culminated in a woman left dead on the beach.

But the victim was an ill-tempered spinster, of little importance to anyone, and nobody seems eager to find her murderer. Local fishermen are embroiled in fierce disputes as they struggle to put food on the table, and the town’s new constable is in over his head. Rose realizes, if there’s going to be any justice for the murdered woman, she’ll just have to solve the crime herself.

Peppered with pickled punks, freak shows and ghost stories, The Vengeful Dead examines the aftermath of war on the BC Coast. What terrible secret followed the soldiers when they came home from the Front? And how has the impact of shell shock and desertion rippled out to ruin the lives of those who stayed behind?

The Vengeful Dead is the second book in the Circus Salmagundi Mysteries.
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The Sea Will Have

When disaster strikes the Circus Salmagundi on their way to Nanaimo, Miss Rose Ivy finds herself stuck on a listless ship with a most unlikely crew. They must wait for help to arrive, but they’re safely moored by an uninhabited island. What could go wrong?

Then a strange, half-starved stowaway climbs aboard, raving that his missing wife has been kidnapped by a cult of fanatics. He insists: they need to flee!

But the engines are dead and there’s no way to escape. Rose needs to use her cunning to buy time, but where has the missing woman gone? Is she a prisoner? Is she hiding on the island, desperate to be rescued?

Or does she even exist at all?

Using the lens of mysticism and early twentieth-century philosophies, The Sea Will Have journeys through a world divided. People desperate for stability after the Great War are willing to follow charming charlatans, but a bright sun casts dark shadows, and paradise may not be as perfect as it seems. As Rose learned long ago, a handsome smile can hide a cruel heart.

The Sea Will Have is the third book in the Circus Salmagundi Mysteries.
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If you need to contact me, the best way to do it is send an email to kim (at) kbannerman (dot) com.
If email isn’t your gig, then you can (sometimes) find me on Twitter at @kimbannerman, but my visits there are sporadic (at best) and silly (at worst).
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