Nora Simeon hates demons.
Mirror World Publishing and Sapphyria's Book Promotions present the 1-week book tour for The Demons of Chiyoda (Nora Simeon Investigations #3) by Laurence Raphael Brothers.
About The Demons of Chiyoda:
Occult private eye, Nora Simeon, and Eyre, her uncannily pretty boyfriend, are on another case on behalf of the Commission, the secret organization that controls financial sorcery in the Americas. This time they're hunting down an investment-bank sorcerer who cracked when passed over for promotion and used a summoned demon to commit murder. Finding the murderer is easy, but he's already dead, assassinated in a locked room.
The case's ramifications quickly reach far beyond New York. From a murder scene in Queens, Nora and Eyre discover a tangled web of international corruption and sorcery linking crimes in Japan and the US. Traveling to Tokyo at the behest of the mysterious Onmyōdō Group, they run afoul of the even more deadly Ministry of Shadows. In the rural reaches of Fukushima province, Nora and Eyre discover a fateful secret that could shake the foundations of financial sorcery all around the world and come up against an old enemy whose malice poses a greater danger than any they've faced before.
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing; 1st edition (March 17, 2022)
Publication Date: March 17, 2022
Print Length: 199 pages
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Despite his awesome martial skills, Eyre was far more deeply affected by violence and death than me, so I gave him a glance, but he seemed okay. He was focused on the situation, prepared to defend himself if necessary.
The demon tensed for a moment, reared back as if about to spring, but then they brought their two arms up, crossed them like a violinist, and ran one long chrome limb up and down the other while bowing it back and forth. An unearthly ringing tone played, a little like the sound when you rub your finger on the edge of a wine glass, not at all unpleasant. As the sound rose and fell, sliding smoothly up and down the scale, I realized there was something in the overtones...oh. They were speaking, an ethereal, shimmering voice arising from around and behind the varying note they were playing on their arms.
“—come to destroy me?”
“Not unless you make it necessary,” I told them. “Did you kill him?”
“No! Not my master. Only his enemies.”
Eyre advanced cautiously, kneeling beside the decapitated head on the floor. The demon made as if to protect it, but then subsided. They extended their long gripper limb and placed it beside the head, caressing its cheek before withdrawing.
“That’s him,” Eyre said, “I think. Carson. Our subject.”
“If you didn’t kill him,” I asked the demon, “who did?”
“I don’t know!” Throbbing through the overtones of the demon’s metallic voice, the creature’s agony and sorrow were unmistakable. “I was here, he was sleeping in the bedroom. He was going to take me with him. He said we would go to Maru— Maruno— to a place where the Commission could not follow. It was the morning, time to go, to take the train, he didn’t come out, I waited, I waited, and then, and then I went in to see, to wake him up. And then...”
The demon collapsed. They just fell to the floor in a heap, looking once again like a mess of chrome rods haphazardly thrown together, only stirring a little, making feeble clinking noises to show they were still alive. Struck down by grief, I guess.
“We’d better check the bedroom.” I nodded at the creature. “What about the demon?”
I wanted to argue the point—the poor thing had killed two Morgan Stanley vice presidents and an executive VP to boot—but this wasn’t the time or the place, so I led Eyre down the hallway to the closed doors.
The bedroom was mostly bare too, a bunch of fancy suitcases stacked against the wall, and on a bed made out of a single mattress, a headless corpse in yellow silk pajamas. The mattress and bedclothes were drenched in blood, and a sigil was painted on the wall in blood.
“Whoa,” I said, and Eyre swayed, looking gray all of a sudden. I grabbed him and helped him down to the floor before he could faint, crouching between him and the gory sight. I held his hands in mine for a minute till he came back to himself.
“You think that demon was telling the truth?” I regretted asking as soon as the words were out of my mouth. It was a weak attempt to distract him with a question, but one that couldn’t help but bring the scene back to mind.
“Yes,” he said, “I do. First of all, you could hear how much they must have loved their master. They would have to be way more adapted to humanity to lie about a thing like that than I make them out to be. Anyway, they admitted killing the others, and the bankers were killed by stab wounds, like the demon could make with their— their arms and legs. But the head here was cut off with a blade of some kind. No way that demon could have done it themself.”
“Someone else was after Carson. Maybe in revenge for the murders?”
“Maybe,” he said. “Can’t be sure yet. Look, can you...check out the scene here? Get some photos? I’ll go back and talk to the demon.”
“Okay.” I wasn’t sure why the body should be more upsetting than the head. Maybe the blood? But whatever. I used my phone to grab shots of everything including a good image of the sigil on the wall— but wait, it wasn’t a demon sigil like I thought at first. The smears and trickles of blood obscured the figure, but when I looked at it carefully it seemed more like two Chinese characters to me, or maybe Japanese. I tried Google Lens on it, but the app said, “Blood smear?” instead of giving me a translation. So much for Artificial Intelligence.
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Meet the Author:
Meet the Author:
Laurence Raphael Brothers is a writer and a technologist. He has published over 25 short stories in such magazines as Nature, the New Haven Review, PodCastle, and Galaxy's Edge. His WWI-era historical fantasy novel Twilight Patrol was just released by Alban Lake. For more of his stories, visit https://laurencebrothers.com/bibliography, or follow him on twitter: @lbrothers.
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