About the Book
Title: In The Snows of Haz
Author: Maxine Janerka
When a wealthy stranger from the capital is murdered in the isolated, snowbound town of Haz Gate, suspicion falls on a local boy. When she jumps to his rescue, schoolteacher Linna Nyx has to dig through deceptions thicker than the snow in midwinter to piece together the truth, and comes face to face with a killer who would destroy not only her own peaceful existence, but the very order of the Empire itself.
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Maxine Janerka is a writer and a freelance journalist currently based in Penobscot, Maine, though she has lived in New York, New Jersey, and Oklahoma. She is the author of In the Snows of Haz and Academy of Disaster, and has three more manuscripts that are currently being torn to shreds by her editors. A lifelong lover of mystery who graduated from the University of Oklahoma with degrees in political science and international studies, she always aims to include both mystery and political schemes in her work.
Linna couldn't bring herself to understand murder. It was a waste of life, of the lives of both the victim and the killer, and there were no problems that wouldn't be best resolved through conversation or a court of Imperial civil law. Across the table, Esmine sipped his tea thoughtfully. Bel was curled in the chair next to him, his gaze flickering about the room as usual.
“Professor Nyx?” Esmine asked.
“Hm?” She fixed her attention on him. Bel's vacant lilac eyes focussed on his chin for a split second. Progress.
“If you killed someone, why would you do it?” She couldn't think of a reason.
“I suppose, if the other option was that I or someone precious to me would die, I would kill someone.” That answer didn't seem to satisfy her student. “Historically, people kill for money, or power, or love...”
“For love...?” Esmine's eyebrows arched. Bel almost nodded his glasses off of his face again.
“When someone takes your precious person.” Esmine frowned slightly.
“So, revenge then? To get back what is taken? Or to acquire something that is otherwise impossible?”
“That sounds too clinical. People often kill because of passions, Esmine.”
“... Do you think that that is how he was killed? With a passion?”
“Do you?” She felt like she was leading a discussion on a reading. Bel was twisting his hands again. Esmine frowned into his teacup.
“No. He was killed for a real reason.”!
“Precious things are real,” mumbled Bel, “Precious people...”
“Bel is right. Crimes of passion are as real as premeditated ones.” Bel smiled twitchily at the ground when she said that. Progress. “What do you think happened here?”
“... Getting back what was taken. The man was a thief, and someone killed him to take back their property. If the Peacekeeper isn't a fool, he will find the stolen good soon.”
“Peacekeeper is not a fool,” echoed Bel softly. Esmine shook his head.
“He probably is, though,” he muttered. Linna rather didn't want to think so.