The Charm of Magpies series reading order is as follows:
Stephen Day and Lord Crane
The Magpie Lord
Interlude with Tattoos (free read)
A Case of Possession
A Case of Spirits (free read)
Flight of Magpies
Feast of Stephen (free read)
The new editions of these books all include the companion stories, because I’m nice like that.
There is also a free read about Crane and Merrick’s life in China, The Smuggler and the Warlord, which is chronologically first but probably more enjoyable once you know the characters.
Ben Spenser and Jonah Pastern
Jackdaw (takes place after Flight of Magpies)
Ned Hall and Crispin Tredarloe
A Queer Trade (takes place at the same time as A Case of Possession)
Rag and Bone (takes place at the same time as Jackdaw)
All my free reads are available here.
All books are available in electronic form through the usual retailers, and as paperbacks through Amazon or Createspace. Or you can request them through your library!
The Magpie Lord
A Charm of Magpies, Book 1
Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn’t expect it to turn up angry.
Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude…and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.
Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn’t the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.
This is a new edition of the book previously published by Samhain. The text has been lightly edited but there are no significant changes.
“Charles begins a new gay Victoria fantasy series with this short but colorful novel […] Sexual tension between the men is sizzling…”
– Publishers Weekly
“This combination of magic, mystery, and mayhem will have crossover appeal for fans of several genres; an exciting new voice in the paranormal world.”
– Library Journal, Highly Recommended
“The dialogue between the heroes is fun and intense… The building steam combusts into heat that sizzles right off the pages.”
– Romantic Times (Top Pick for September 2014)
“The Magpie Lord has everything I could possibly want from a m/m romance. It has a historical Victorian setting, it involves magic, one of the two heroes is short, skinny, and booksmart, and above all the main characters are presented as real, multi-layered people in a real relationship.”
–Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
A Case of Possession
A Charm of Magpies, Book 2
Lord Crane has never had a lover quite as elusive as Stephen Day. He knows Stephen’s job as justiciar requires secrecy, but the magician is doing his disappearing act more than seems reasonable—especially since Crane will soon return to his home in China. When a blackmailer threatens to expose their illicit relationship, there’s only one thing stopping Crane from leaving the country he loathes: Stephen.
Stephen has problems of his own. As he investigates a plague of giant rats sweeping London, his sudden increase in power, boosted by his blood-and-sex bond with Crane, is rousing suspicion that he’s turned warlock. With all eyes on him, the threat of exposure grows. Stephen could lose his friends, his job and his liberty over his relationship with Crane. He’s not sure if he can take that risk much longer. Crane isn’t sure if he can ask him to.
The rats are closing in, and something has to give…
Previously published by Samhain
Joint winner, Best Gay Fantasy Romance, 2014 Rainbow Awards.
“This is a fantastic series … A treat for readers.”
Romantic Times (RT Top Pick for Jan 15)
Flight of Magpies
With the justiciary understaffed, a series of horrifying occult murders to be investigated, and a young student flying off the rails, magical law enforcer Stephen Day is under increasing stress. And the strain is starting to show in his relationship with his aristocratic lover, Lord Crane.
Crane chafes at the restrictions of England’s laws, and there’s a worrying development in the blood-and-sex bond he shares with Stephen. A development that makes a sensible man question if they should be together at all.
Then a devastating loss brings the people he most loves into bitter conflict. Old enemies, new enemies, and unexpected enemies are painting Stephen and Crane into a corner, and the pressure threatens to tear them apart…
Previously published by Samhain.
“it had everything…great plot, excitement, suspense, superb characters, great chemistry, hot love scenes, grin inducing witty banter and humour, nicely placed conflict and angst, edge of your seat moments, just the right balance of romance and action and last but not least a fabulous conclusion that couldn’t have ended these ‘Magpie’ stories more perfectly!” Sinfully Sexy, 5*
Goodreads M/M Readers Choice Awards 2014, Best Paranormal, 1st Place
Voted one of ten Best of 2014 by Prism Book Alliance.
This story is linked to the Charm of Magpies series, coming after Flight of Magpies, but can be read as a standalone if you must.
Jonah Pastern is a magician, a liar, a windwalker, a professional thief…and for six months, he was the love of police constable Ben Spenser’s life. Until his betrayal left Ben jailed, ruined, alone, and looking for revenge.
Ben is determined to make Jonah pay. But he can’t seem to forget what they once shared, and Jonah refuses to let him. Soon Ben is entangled in Jonah’s chaotic existence all over again, and they’re running together—from the police, the justiciary, and some dangerous people with a lethal grudge against them.
Threatened on all sides by betrayals, secrets, and the laws of the land, can they find a way to live and love before the past catches up with them?
Runner-up, Rainbow Awards 2015, Gay Fantasy Romance
A Queer Trade
Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe returns to London to find his master dead, and his papers sold. Papers with secrets that could spell death. Crispin needs to get them back before anyone finds out what he’s been doing, or what his magic can do.
Crispin tracks his quarry down to waste paper dealer Ned Hall. He needs help, and Ned can’t resist Crispin’s pleading—and appealing—looks. But can the waste-man and the magician prevent a disaster and save Crispin’s skin?
A 16,000 word story set in the Charm of Magpies world, and a prequel to the novel Rag and Bone (1 March 2016). This story was first published as part of the Charmed & Dangerous anthology.
Rag and Bone
Rag and Bone is a story set in the Charm of Magpies universe, featuring the characters who first appear in ‘A Queer Trade’.
Crispin Tredarloe never meant to become a warlock. Freed from his treacherous master, he’s learning how to use his magical powers the right way. But it’s brutally hard work. Not everyone believes he’s a reformed character, and the strain is putting unbearable pressure on his secret relationship with waste-man Ned Hall.
Ned’s sick of magic. Sick of the trouble it brings, sick of its dangerous grip on Crispin and the miserable look it puts in his eyes, and sick of being afraid that a gentleman magician won’t want a street paper-seller forever—or even for much longer.
But something is stirring among London’s forgotten discards. An ancient evil is waking up and seeking its freedom. And when wild magic hits the rag-and-bottle shop where Ned lives, a panicking Crispin falls back onto bad habits. The embattled lovers must find a way to work together—or London could go up in flames.
“Lovely writing and a loving relationship with some hot scenes that don’t overpower the other compelling elements of the story.”—BookRiot