A Murder of Mages - The Maradaine Constabulary Book 1
The Constabulary is my personal favorite among Maresca's interconnected Maradaine series. There's law, disorder, magic, politics, spies, and a dash of sarcasm. Satrine Rainey is a former Druth Intelligence agent who needs a decent job to support her family after her husband, a detective inspector, is nearly killed and left comatose. She appealed to the chief of the Constabulary for help and he offered her the poorly paying position of clerk because they don't hire women as Inspectors. So she calls upon her former training and forges a new letter offering her the position she wants in her old neighborhood of Inemar. Minox Welling is a young inspector with a highly analytical mind whose dogged pursuit of the truth annoys his fellow Inspectors leaving him free to partner with Rainey. Welling is also an untrained mage because his gift developed too late to be accepted to either of the mage schools. Nor do any mages work for the Constabulary. Which proves to be a problem on their first case together, investigating what appears to be the ritual sacrifice of a mage.
Maradaine is the largest city and captitol of the Kingdom of Druth. Maresca now has four loosely connected series set there. Each series focuses on a different set of characters although they occasionally cross over. Its a well developed setting with a little magic and no guns. The Constabulary are armed with cross-bows. Both Rainey and Welling have strong personal story lines. For Rainey there is her past as an intelligence agent and the investigation that nearly killed her husband. Although neither has much impact on the plot of this first book, enough is revealed to indicate that both will become important in further books. Welling's magic is increasingly difficult to control and there are concerns that he may fall to the same insanity that took his father and now one of his cousins. Then there is the small matter of a serial killer targetting mages....and Welling is a mage.
A Murder of Mages is now available as an audio book. I'm going to guess that the male narrator does Welling's pov and the woman does Rainey's. At this time Audible doesn't have a rating for it. And no, I have no clue why the audio book cover has them in modern business clothes.
I've read all of Maresca's books so far and his vision is really starting to come together. A city the size of Maradaine has many different neighborhoods and smaller stories that are all effected by a few really explosive events. So far I haven't spotted any inconsistencies between the series. A Murder of Mages is one of the two books that can be used to enter the Maradaine world. The other being The Thorn of Dentonhill since there are two books in each series before the two storylines actively connect. See my next review...The Thorn of Dentonhill.