Cover art by Richard Stroud
How did the deceased owner of the old house know so much about Ali Trent, the antique dealer hired to appraise her hoarded treasures? And can she stay alive long enough to solve the mysteries of murder and magic before becoming the next victim?
I don’t know how long I’d been asleep when something woke me. Trying to hear the noise again and figure out where it had come from, I lay quietly and listened. A moment later someone turned the doorknob to my room. That was the sound I’d heard. It flashed through my mind there were only a couple of choices available. I could open the door in the hope of confronting whoever was attempting to enter or I could open the window and call for Dan. My thoughts were interrupted by a glow in the room coming from the bottle. Wild patterns were swirling inside and they were all very black. I wasn’t really frightened before, but when I saw this swirling black mass, it scared me more than the thought of an intruder. There was no way to be sure Dan was completely trustworthy, but I opened the window and shouted his name several times. Immediately all activity in the bottle ceased. In a minute or two, a loud pounding began at my door and Dan hollered, “Ali, Ali, answer me! Are you all right? What’s happening?”