In their debut adventure, London is in the grip of an unstoppable assassin known only as the Spider, and consulting detectives James Wainwright and Alton Bartleby have been commissioned to catch her.
Can the surly inventor and savvy gentleman track her down and stop her string of murders, or will Queen Victoria be her next victim?
A streak of red and black fell from the bell tower above before I could climb into the room, breaking my grip on the ladder and sending me crashing down to the chapel below. Sharp knees dug into my abdomen as a rain of powerful fists fell upon my brow, each blow knocking my skull back against the chapel's wooden floor. I managed to get a forearm up to guard my face in time to see a girl--- the Spider, a slight thing dressed in a red and black Jester's motley--- spring back from her kneeling position atop my torso. My face felt raw and numb from her vicious attack, and my lower back screamed as I scrambled back into a half-standing crouch.
The girl's leap away took her towards the wall beyond the ladder. Her legs folded again as she hit the wall, whatever purchase she managed there sufficing to spring off and away at an angle that carried her past the shocked Bartleby and towards the narrow window. It was thin-- too thin for even the slender girl that had attacked me-- but somehow she slipped through it effortlessly, and was gone into the night.
Bartleby ran to my side. "Oh god, James, are you alright?"
"Don't worry about me, go after her!" The fingers I put to my face came away red and sticky. She'd split my lip at the very least, and it felt as though one of my eyes was swelling shut.
About the Author
Even before he could write Michael Coorlim was filling up spiral notebooks with stories, picture books presented to his grandparents as gifts, and performing small plays with his younger cousins for relatives during holiday gatherings. This love of storytelling stayed with him as he grew older, slumbering like an unawakened beast, sending him strange and terrifying dreams during his adolescence.
Even when not writing he feasted on the words of authors like Kurt Vonnegut, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, and Ray Bradbury, spending so much time reading from hidden books in the middle of his middle school classes that his grades began to suffer. He’d sneak home with books that his teachers never assigned, and gorge on their contents overnight, and return them stealthily the next day only to take another.
Though a prolific writer he found the prospect and process of traditional publication daunting, often preparing query letters and researching markets only to never get around to submitting any of his work. It wasn’t until he reached his thirties that he took the steps to write professionally, and by then the self-publishing revolution had already begun.
Michael currently lives in the city of Chicago with his girlfriend and their cat, living his childhood dream of supporting himself as an author of fast-paced character-driven fiction about authentic people in fantastic situations.