Poisoned Pearls


Someone murders Cassie’s best friend in the alley behind the sex toy shop she manages.

To make her day even better, the pre-cog working the case declares that Cassie saw the event. Which would put her in two places at the same time.

Impossible. Cassie has no special abilities. Not unless you consider sarcasm a superpower.

Poisoned Pearls—the first novel in a fast-paced urban fantasy series—follows our irreverent heroine on her journey through an alternate (though just as wintery cold) Minneapolis. Be sure to read the second and third novels in this series as well, Tainted Waters and Spoiled Harvest.

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Background for Poisoned Pearls

This novel is, in many ways, an amalgamation of a bunch of ideas.

Some of the scenes, for example, the first scene with Cassie and the prostitute Angela, were written a really long time ago. I wrote the first version of that particular scene back in 1987. Possibly earlier – it’s tough to tell. But I have a print out of it that came from a dot matrix printer, on paper that had holes along the edges.

Chinaman Joe also came to life way back then. There’s always been a Chinaman Joe, since the very first incarnation of this story. That’s always been his name. And he’s always been this shadowy, behind the scenes character who nonetheless influences everything.

Cassie, in that original incarnation, worked at a video store that sold dirty videos. Because that’s what was really available at that point.

That story was straight SF. Cassie smoked in that incarnation, but not cigarettes. I invented a type of cigarette that wouldn’t produce any second-hand smoke.

Sometime in 1998, the concept of the novel, and the title, came into being. That’s when Hunter was born. The pearls and much of that plot line, arrived. As did the very first scene, with Kyle. The first line of chapter one. The scene with Loki doing magic in that garden-level apartment. The whole Ragnarok plot line.

So I’ve been living with many parts of this story for decades.

This novel is, in some ways, a strange amalgamation of genres as well.

It’s undeniably urban fiction, as it’s set in Minneapolis, and that city (as well as the winter) is a character. It’s a mystery, because Cassie has to figure out who is killing her friends. It’s fantasy because, hello, Odin, Loki, magic, etc. It’s also science fiction, with the pre- and post-cogs, as well as the pearls.

I’ve wanted to write this novel for a long, long, long time.

I can’t tell you how happy I am that I was finally able to write it. That I’m able to publish it, and let other people read it as well.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it.

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