An eccentric detective and her long-suffering assistant untangle a web of magic, deceit, and murder in this sparkling fantasy reimagining of the classic crime novel—from the bestselling author of The Founders Trilogy.
In Daretana’s greatest mansion, a high Imperial officer lies dead—killed, to all appearances, when a tree spontaneously erupted from his body. Even here at the Empire’s borders, where contagions abound and the blood of the Leviathans works strange magical changes, it’s a death both terrifying and impossible.
Assigned to investigate is Ana Dolabra, a detective whose reputation for brilliance is matched only by her eccentricities. Rumor has it that she wears a blindfold at all times—and that she can solve impossible cases without even stepping outside the walls of her home.
At her side is her new assistant, Dinios Kol. Din is an engraver, magically altered in ways that make him the perfect aide to Ana’s brilliance.
Din finds himself at turns scandalized, perplexed, and utterly infuriated by his new superior—but as the case unfolds and Ana’s mind leaps from one startling deduction to the next, he must grudgingly admit that she is, indeed, the Empire’s greatest detective.
As the two close in on a mastermind and uncover a scheme that threatens the safety of the Empire itself, Din realizes he’s barely begun to assemble the puzzle that is Ana Dolabra—and wonders how long he’ll be able to keep his own secrets safe from her piercing intellect.
Featuring an unforgettable Holmes-and-Watson style pairing, a gloriously labyrinthine plot, and a haunting and wholly original fantasy world, The Tainted Cup brilliantly reinvents the classic mystery tale.