Hello, all! Yes, it’s that time of year. Fast approaching is Halloween, and also fast approaching is the publication of the 9th Matthew Corbett volume, Seven Shades Of Evil.
But there are eight shades in the book, and I’ll explain in a bit.
Seven Shades is a departure for the series, in that it’s a collection of shorter stories drawn from earlier events in the careers of Matthew, Hudson, Katherine and Minx. A question you might have is, ‘Why did you want to do this when the end volume is really right upon us?’
Well, a good question and the answer is: The last book in the series—Leviathan—will complete Matthew’s story. It’s now or never for these shorter but I think no less involving tales to be told. As much as I’ve enjoyed writing the series, getting to know the characters and living vicariously in what I consider a fascinating period of history, after Leviathan it will be time for me to move on and do some other projects ahead.
I do promise that Leviathan will be everything you hope it will be. Promise made. My plan (and hope) is that Leviathan will be published in October of 2024, but I can’t promise that due to unforeseen circumstances of life and the publishing business. But I will say that around that time, again, is my plan and hope.
As for Seven Shades Of Evil, I had originally planned to do this after The River Of Souls but I felt it unfair to leave readers hanging for such a long stretch after that book. Therefore…now or never for these shorter pieces, but consider them as appetizers for Leviathan because one story holds a clue as to the identity of the final—and certainly worst—villains that Matthew has faced in his dangerous episodes.
The stories in Seven Shades Of Evil are:
‘The Four Lamplighters’: Matthew and Hudson sign on as bodyguards to a band of travelling musicians and wind up with mud on their faces.
‘Night Ride’: Matthew finds himself in the middle of an age-old war.
‘The House At The Edge Of The World’: Hudson learns that a cyclops is not only a creature of mythology.
‘The Scorpion’s Eye’: Minx is on the hunt for a stolen jewel with a fantastic and deadly power.
‘The Pale Pipesmoker’: Katherine and Minx come to the aid of a man who’s been challenged to a duel by a cunning killer.
‘Skeleton Crew’: Katherine helps an ex-slave being tormented by a band of marauding skeletons on horseback.
‘Wandering Mary’: A ghost trying to lure a wealthy man to his death takes Matthew to a haunted castle.
And, the eighth, because I couldn’t leave out another character who’s been through so much…
‘Incident On The Lady Barbara’: A disappearance at sea puts Berry in the position of being a problem-solver.
I’m very excited about this book and so glad to be able to show some of the other characters in action. I was particularly glad to be able to see what Katherine can do when she’s on her own. (She’s actually pretty good with a pistol!)
So, there you have it. That time of year. And speaking of the time of year, on the 28th of October I’ll be at the Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham where I’ll be reading from Seven Shades, signing books (whatever you’d like me to sign), and talking about Leviathan. I hope you can make it!
Do not despair of Matthew’s future! I can promise also that the ending of Leviathan will be a proper ‘beginning’ for Matthew…and more than that I cannot say…but I might say more on the 28th of October!
Thanks again for your readership and continued support, and I hope this time of year is one of your happiest.