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Authors: Anton Strout

Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy, #Contemporary

Deader Still

BOOK: Deader Still
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THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

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) Inc.
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand,
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

 

DEADER STILL

 

An Ace Book / published by arrangement with the author

 

printing HISTORY

Ace mass-market edition / March 2009

 

Copyright © 2009 by Anton Strout.

 

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

 

eISBN : 978-1-101-01180-5

 

ACE

Ace Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,

375 Hudson Street
,
New York
,
New York
10014
.
ACE and the “A” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

 

 

Praise for

DEAD TO ME

“Simon Canderous is a reformed thief and a psychometrist. By turns despondent over his luck with the ladies (not always living) and his struggle with the hierarchy of his mysterious department (not always truthful), Simon’s life veers from crisis to crisis. Following Simon’s adventures is like being the pinball in an especially antic game, but it’s well worth the wear and tear.”


Charlaine Harris
,
New York
Times
bestselling author of
From Dead to Worse

 

“Part
Ghostbusters
, part
Men in Black
, Strout’s debut is both dark and funny, with quirky characters, an eminently likable protagonist, and the comfortable, familiar voice of a close friend. His mix of (mostly) secret bureaucratic bickering and offbeat action shows
New York
like we’ve never seen it before. Make room on the shelf, ’cause you’re going to want to keep this one!”


Rachel Vincent, author of
Stray
and
Rogue

 

“Urban fantasy with a wink and a nod. Anton Strout has written a good-hearted send-up of the urban-fantasy genre.
Dead to Me
is a genuinely fun book with a fresh and firmly tongue-in-cheek take on the idea of paranormal police. The laughs are frequent, as are the wry smiles. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next.”


Kelly McCullough, author of
CodeSpell

 

“Written with equal parts humor and horror. Strout creates an engaging character … clever, fast paced, and a refreshing change in the genre of urban fantasy.”

—SFRevu

 

“In much the same vein as Mark Del Franco’s
Unquiet Dreams
or John Levitt’s
Dog Days
, Strout’s urban-fantasy debut features plenty of self-deprecating humor, problematic special powers, and a quick pace, with the added twist of overwhelming government bureaucracy. Strout’s inventive story line raises the genre’s bar with his collection of oddly mismatched, entertaining characters and not-so-secret organizations.”

—Monsters and Critics

 

“Imagine if Harry Dresden or Angel had to work in a poorly run office dealing with office politics and red tape. It’s a great debut.”

—Cameron Hughes,
CHUD.com

 

“A wickedly weird debut from a writer who makes being dead sexier than it’s ever been before. And who doesn’t love a debonair divination-having, ghost-seducing, cultist-abusing detective in
New York
? Imagine
Law & Order
but with hot ghostly chicks, rampaging bookcases, and a laugh track.”

—Carolyn Turgeon, author of
Rain
Village

 

“A strong debut … Seeing the world through Simon’s eyes is a funny, quirky, and occasionally scary experience. Strout’s world will be well worth revisiting.”

—Romantic Times

Ace Books by Anton Strout

DEAD TO ME
deader still

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

First and foremost, this book is to you, my readerly little friends. Perhaps you’ve just picked me up for the first time. Maybe you are part of the Undead Approved, who have already read
Dead to Me
. Whatever way you came to this book, thanks for being here. The adventures of Simon Canderous are nothing without you, and for that you have my sincere and deepest appreciation. Welcome aboard; thanks for joining us. Tell your friends. Say hi to your mother for me.

 

As for the rest of my hive of scum and villainy? It’s time to thank them. Hold your applause to the end, please. My personal kudos are extended to: my wife, Orly, whose patience and love are infinite; my family—those by blood and those by association; Jessica Wade, the editor whose verbosity makes my inanity palatable; superagent Kristine Dahl and Laura Neely at ICM, who put up with my authorly neuroses; copy editor Jessica McDonnell; Annette Fiore DeFex, Judith Murello, and Don Sipley, for another amazing cover; Michelle Kasper; the Dorks of the Round Table—authors Jeanine Cummins and Carolyn Turgeon—for taking time to bruise their eyes on the first draft of this book (support their books, too!); beta reader and cheer-leader Missy Sawmiller; beta reader and glamazon Lisa Trevethan; Patrick Rothfuss, my arch nemesis and author of
The Name of the Wind
, who graciously took the time to read a wee baby draft of the manuscript; and the fans, whose snowball effect keeps people coming to the series.

And finally, a special shout-out to all of the various departments at Penguin Group (USA) Inc. that make this book look as pretty as it does, especially my friends and colleagues in the paperback sales department who keep me humble and—more importantly—on bookshelves everywhere. Your names are legion, for you are many.

 

Revenge is a dish best served … erk!

—Anonymous quote found in the Gauntlet archives
attributed to a long-deceased member of
the Fraternal Order of Goodness

 

 

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