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In The Muse and Other Stories of History, Mystery, and Myth, Lillian Stewart Carl conducts a tour through the mystery, the magic, and the myth of history.

Thirteen short stories take place at the end of the British colonization of America and the beginning of the British colonization of India, in medieval England and revolutionary Scotland, in Shakespeare’s timeless Illyria and the very real twenty-first century.

From St. Thomas Becket to Thomas Jefferson, from Charles Dickens to Bonnie Prince Charlie, from Elizabeth I at her height to Ann Boleyn, her mother, at her depth, from slaves to soldiers to sorcerers to sinners—and even to a striped cat or two—the characters are often detectives and are always good company.

Greed, love and hate, and the rights of man—and woman—provide motives for murder and more. The odd touch of fantasy illuminates several lives. And along that shore between the present and the past, nothing is certain.

The Muse and Other Stories includes twelve short stories especially commissioned for print theme anthologies (three of which were reprinted in “Best Of” anthologies) and a story published in a magazine, plus new Author’s Notes and an essay on writing short historical mystery.

"Inspired contributions include...Lillian Stewart Carl's "The Necromancer's Apprentice," which presents an interesting solution to the actual mystery surrounding the death of Amy Robsart, wife of Elizabeth I's favorite lord, balancing wizardry with astute deductions about the political motives of those who stood to benefit." Publishers Weekly on Murder by Magic

"Topnotch entries include...Lillian Stewart Carl's "Way Down in Egypt's Land," a marvelous tale about 19th-century slavery..." Publishers Weekly on Thou Shalt Not Kill

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    A deft & authentic historical imagination

    Really enjoyed this collection. LSC has a notable talent for vivid characterisation even in the shorter story format and clearly does her writer's homework - her tales are set in a range of historical times and locales, but always feature authentic-to-the-period dialogue and a writing style which is deftly adapted to the ambiance of each period she chooses. My favourite in this collection is still "Sardines for Tea", a hilarious and clever homage to Wodehouse featuring the feline equivalents of Jeeves and Bertie Wooster.


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