A vengeful ghost in only the first suspect when the body of Grodoveth, the king's envoy, is found separated from its head. It seems that everyone in town had either motive of opportunity to commit the murder.
The wizard Benelaius wanted only to find a nice quiet place to retire with his cats. The village of Ghars, close to the Vast Swamp, had little to recommend it except seclusion. Even the legends of a vengeful ghost who haunts the moors don't bother the aged wizard. The corpulent, sedentary mage is content to let his servant, Jasper, do all the legwork.
Benelaius's studies are rudely interrupted when the ghost begins to make nightly appearances. frightening the townspeople out of their wits. Heads begin to roll when the local blacksmith is murdered...but that corpse is barely cold when the decapitated body of the envoy Grodoveth is found in the ghosts tomb. As the most learned person in Ghars, how can Benelaius refuse to help his adopted town?
Axe-wielding ghosts give way to treachery and deceit as Benelaius, along with Jasper and the wizards former apprentice, Lindavar, discover that even a sleepy, quiet village has many hidden secrets.
Chet Williamson (born 1948) is an American author of books and over a hundred short stories published in The New Yorker, Playboy, Esquire, and many other magazines and anthologies.
Williamson was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, receiving a B.S. in 1970, and went on to be a teacher at public schools in Cleveland, Ohio, then he became a professional actor before becoming a freelance writer in 1986.
Figures in Rain: Weird And Ghostly Tales (2002), a collection of Williamson's short stories, won the International Horror Guild Award. He has been shortlisted twice for the World Fantasy Award, six times for the Horror Writers Association's Bram Stoker Award, and once for the ... (more)