Havok Publishing

S8 - Vice & Virtue

Hard Baked Detective and the Sot Sibling

Most people are skeptical when they hear a sentient cake has a PI’s license, but get your picture in the paper enough, and you begin to gain credibility with a capital C. That, and the delicious smell of my chocolate ganache, is how Agatha Vanderbruin Von Marnestein found her way to my office.

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Unending Knowledge

Some people never come out of there,” Jabril said.
Daniel gave him a flat look. “Do you really believe that rumor?”
They stood in front of a neglected library sandwiched between a bank and a corner boutique. Cracks and water stains spread across the faded yellow facade.
Jabril secured his long black dreads

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Thanksgiving

If you had watched me in the kitchen, you would have thought me ordinary, just another wife preparing dinner.
I made everything the way Bob liked it. I roasted the turkey for three hours at 325 degrees, then took it out of the oven and let it rest for fifteen minutes before carving.

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The Cake Thief

“This is all your fault,” a robotic voice growled.
Mark glanced in the rearview mirror at the cream-colored Himalayan. Though Zeus looked pitiful splayed across the backseat, eyes droopy and tummy bulging, Mark felt little sympathy. “How is this my fault?”
“You left that cake on the counter,” Zeus whined. His translation collar blinked

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Revenge is Icing on the Cake

“Contestants moving to the final round of Galactic Best Bakers are…!”
The host, a green strellcat, paused dramatically.
Spotlights swirled then froze on the contestants, glaring right in Jareth’s eyes.
Jareth had watched every episode of the last three seasons of this, the most popular show in the civilized universe. Research was…

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Demon Eggs

Saturday night in the World Capital Hospital’s Emergency Department is often full of surprises. Maybe the biggest came when Earth’s President, Derek Percy, was wheeled in strapped to a gurney after trying to claw his own face off. As the chief resident of the Emergency Department, it fell to me to investigate.

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The Vice of Drinking to Excess

“Bert! Another.”
I throw my empty tankard against the wall, where it clangs and rolls under a table. The customers there give me a look of wariness and move to hide in a shadowed corner. They are the fortuitous ones. Shadows no longer hide me.
Bert gives me a look of disgust as he slams the fresh

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Until the Next

The confectioner’s window is a mouthwatering sight.
A miniature garden complete with caramel truffle walls, a spun-sugar pagoda, marzipan birds, a rock-candy fountain, and a couple carved from chocolate that kiss one another within the shade of a sprawling bon-bon tree. The whole scene is shaded by an awning to keep the sweets

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The Scaterpillars

Matt Caterpillar raised his guitar, looked out across the crowd at the Garbage Bowl, and heard crickets. And ants. And roaches, beetles, and myriad other insects—all cheering for him and his band.
As he strummed the opening chords of their new ear-worm hit, “Gimme Some Leaves,” he marveled at their

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Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz

It smelled like apricot. Actually, more like an apricot that had been left on the counter for a month, and then shoved in the corner of the fruit drawer, where ethylene gas had rotted a month’s worth of produce.
Dr. Daniel Leslie stood in the science building at Blaylock University after receiving…

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A Feast of Rats

The rats are disappearing.
Hart Street had the biggest infestation in London. We knew that before we moved in—it’s why the house came at such a low price. But we needed somewhere to lay low, so I assured the Professor we could deal with it. I’ve dealt with worse.
Still, my skin still crawled

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Sweets and Soured

For young Margery Jones, The Candy Shoppe was more than a store to buy sweets. It was a place of opportunity.
When she walked through the gilded doors, sugar and color assailed her senses. Rows of
rainbow lollipops, orange taffy, grass green gumdrops, and striped pickleberries lined the shelves. Tiny planes zipped

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