Only the flame from a curious candleholder illuminated the murdered corpse of Karl Knock on a bitterly cold Massachusetts night twenty years in the past. When the efforts of local, state and federal investigators failed to cast more light on the crime than the little candle did, the case gathered dust, unsolved and forgotten.
But when horror novelist Finn Ryan gets an invitation to dinner from a beautiful but eccentric and reclusive colleague, Tally Serzak, a web of danger sends its first, tentative filaments from that candlelit room. And nothing will ever be the same.
Because Finn has secrets. So does Tally. And so does Newton, MA, Police Detective Warren Yost, who found Knock’s body on that cold morning so long ago. Now, on the eve of retirement, Yost decides to solve the old murder and go out with a last hurrah.
As Finn’s involvement with the strange Tally reaches an intensity that has him running into walls, he begins to see similarities between himself and his own characters. He’s in a horror novel, except this one is real. There are no ghosts, no zombies or vampires. There is only Tally and an unfolding story Finn doesn’t want to see, but can’t ignore. As she knew he wouldn’t.
Warren Yost sees the story as well, but can’t assemble its puzzle until Finn provides a last piece that will lead to a final, and deadly, resolution.
By award-winning mystery author Abigail Padgett, The Paper Doll Museum stretches mystery one step further – into that spooky and sometimes hilarious world you always suspected was possible. Retired, divorced and addicted to eggplant, Taylor Blake is seeing things. That aren’t there. Determined to forestall the inevitable trip to a locked facility, she skillfully hides the fact that her life has become a B horror movie. But at a club dance, an octogenarian stalker in a cowboy costume leaves her an invitation to… The Paper Doll Museum.
There Taylor’s worst fears are subsumed in an exciting new reality. She learns that she isn’t crazy. She’s a Revenant, one of a new and curiously gifted group of people who have survived middle age only to regain the magical perceptions of childhood. But the magic is accompanied by a reappearance of childhood’s dark side as well, a ghoul now possessed of mature and horrific power. There really is something terrible hiding in the dark. There always was. Fortunately, Taylor Blake can kick ass!
It’s a good thing, because ancient tales, now unleashed, threaten the very scaffolding of human life. Only Revenants can see the threat. And only Revenants can fight it. Assuming they get their act together before it’s too late.
Danni Telfer, abandoned as a toddler, has no idea what the fading tattoo of a white rose on her left shoulder means. Nor does she want to remember the peculiar perceptions that disturbed her childhood. A talented historian, Danni’s focus is on the Louisiana research project she hopes will land her a job that doesn’t involve teaching bored college freshmen. But she’s walking into a confluence of events that will change her life forever.
His story preserved only in a threadbare quilt fashioned by a slave during the Civil War, the Vampire Grimaud has slept for a century and a half beneath the soil of a Louisiana plantation called Angola. The place is now a prison of over six thousand men locked in sweltering isolation. One of these, Antoine Dupre, is innocent of the decade-old murder for which he is imprisoned. Yet now he must kill or be killed, unless, impossibly, he can prove his innocence.
When a prisoner crew back-hoeing the warden’s latest project, a golf course, unearths the vampire’s grave, Stéphane Grimaud wakes to a future beyond his imagination. Without help he will be vulnerable. How fortunate that an adept, a mortal gifted with the ability to see beings who exist in shadows, is nearby. Yet how strange that she fears him!
These three – historian, prisoner and vampire – have only a moment in time in which to alter a future already written. And the cost to each will be immeasurable.