Return to Harmony-where nothing is as it seems. Life is complicated for Lydia Smith. She's working at a tacky, third-rate museum, Shrimpton's House of Ancient Horrors, trying to salvage her career in para-archaeology-and dating the most dangerous man in town. Just when she thinks she might be getting things under control, she stumbles over a dead body and discovers that her lover has a secret past that could get him killed. Just to top it off, there's trouble brewing underground in the eerie, glowing green passageways of the Dead City. Descending into these twisting catacombs, Lydia will learn just what it's like to put her heart-and life-on the line… Includes a preview of Jayne Castle's Rainshadow Novel DECEPTION COVE
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February 24, 2004
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Excerpt from After Glow by Jayne Castle
THE TINY BURNER and the little bowl next to the body told the sad story. Professor Lawrence Maltby had finally managed to kill himself. Judging by the dark residue and the lingering scent of exotic spices, he had done himself in with a common street drug known as Chartreuse.
Lydia Smith left the doorway of the shabby bedroom that Maltby had converted into a study and crouched beside the professor's scrawny, crumpled form. She did not expect to find a pulse, and when she put her fingertips to the throat beneath the scraggly white beard, she proved herself right.
She shivered, rose quickly, stepped back, and reached into her shoulder bag for her personal phone. Her fingers trembled when she punched out the emergency number.
"Yes, that's right," she said to the overstressed operator. "Number Thirteen, Hidden Lane. First floor, apartment A. It's in the Old Quarter near the Wall."
"I'm sorry, ma'am, but that street isn't coming up on my city grid," the operator said brusquely. "Are you sure about the address?"
"Yes, I'm sure. Hidden Lane isn't on most city maps." Lydia took another step from the body. "Probably why they named it Hidden Lane. Look, just tell the medics to take Dead City Way to South Wall Street and turn left at the tavern on the corner. Once they're in the neighborhood, anyone can give them directions."
"All right." There was a short silence before the woman came back on the line. "They're on the way. I'm also sending a police car since you say there's a body."
The operator sounded as if she wasn't at all certain that Lydia could tell the difference between a dead body and the other sort.