A Festival of Skeletons

When Kamphor’s west end sees a series of young women murdered, its citizens are fearful that a serial killer known as the Knife has returned. But the mortician Sink, owner of Kamphor’s finest morgue, doesn’t believe that the Knife has resumed killing — and he’d prove it, if his former student and current hateful rival Damien Torvault wasn’t getting in the way.

Sink and his two apprentices, handsome-if-loony Joshua Finkle and merkind Vona Urgarth, investigate the murders on their own. Sink’s ability to tell exactly when and how a person will die just by touching them earns him no friends, but it does yield some interesting clues — as does Sink’s other gift. The one which incites him to wear women’s clothing. The investigation is further complicated when Joshua’s time is taken up running a 15-Step program, and Vona becomes intrigued by a repugnant yet strangely irresistible cook. Even Sink’s next-door neighbor, Policewoman Arifia Fowles, seems hell-bent on not just hindering Sink but arresting him, regardless of a crime.

But Sink presses urgently on, because he senses a strangeness in the air: the magic-smell of necromancy, a magic that has long been illegal in Kamphorナ for it requires human sacrifice.

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