A novella set into the same world as “Dragon’s Tooth” but before it.

Publication year: 2010
Format: ebook, pdf
Page count: 29
Publisher: WMG Publishing, Smashwords edition

Tara Miller is the best magical troubleshooter the Abracadabra Inc. has. She has a strong work ethic and is overworked because of it. When the manager of Le Petit Chatêau calls her and tells her he might have an Assassin’s Dagger on his hands, Tara has no choice but to get on the first train, abandoning her first good night’s sleep in three weeks. The dangerous dagger had been left to the magic shop with a refund demand – for a purchase which had been apparently made 150 years ago.

The dagger could be real or a fake, and it if it’s real it could be one of three different daggers. Tara has to find out just what she’s dealing with without triggering the item’s lethal powers and that’s a challenge by itself. However, when she gets to town, she finds out that the store’s manager is strangely reluctant to help her and hasn’t been following Abracadabra’s guidelines. Abracadabra owns the store and wants it to be aboveboard and accessible even to people who don’t believe in magic.

Tara is the same, efficient and competent character as in the “Dragon’s Tooth”, and I really enjoyed seeing her in action. She’s careful with magical things she doesn’t know much about and even though she’s very good at her job, she doesn’t allow it to make her arrogant or overconfident.

The story has a very limited cast of characters: mostly just Tara and Chartier, the store’s manager. However, Tara has a large network of people whose expertize she can rely on when needed. This was a good way to show a glimpse of the magical world around the characters and it also fits her profession.

The world is our modern world but with working magic which seems to be hidden from the mundane folk. Unlike in many other fantasy stories set in the modern day, the magic and the technology aren’t struggling against each other, and Tara uses laptops and smartphones as easily as anyone else.

Another great, tightly plotted short story which has a dash of humor, too.

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