The ruthless killing of a foreign nobleman plunges Kasper Stark, an enigmatic young officer, into a perilous maze of treacherous intrigue and two-faced diplomacy.
Vienna, 1814. As the powers of Europe gather to negotiate peace, there’s little to be found for Kasper Stark, working for the chief of Austria’s secret police. In a city rife with schemes and double dealing, every prince and every lady’s maid is spying or party to some plot.
When a Prussian count is found dead on the eve of the peace conference, Kasper falls into into a deadly game of revenge and conspiracy. Faced with virtuoso liars, quicksand allegiances, and his own unscrupulous commander, Kasper races to unmask the killer, before the investigation reveals his own impossible secrets.
"Kasper Stark will surprise and delight you like no other character you’ve encountered before. 1814 Vienna roars to life in Jaima Fixsen’s deft hands. Wonderfully original and beautifully written, The Dark Before Dawn is a book to savor, a perfect read." —Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author
"An engrossing blend of mystery, espionage, and romance that beautifully evokes the deceit, double crosses, and romantic intrigues of the Congress of Vienna." —Tracy Grant, author of The Duke's Gambit
"[an] atmospheric page-turner" —Emily Organ, author of the Penny Green Victorian mystery series
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About the Author
I was born in Alberta, Canada, and I’ve lived here ever since. I attended the University of Alberta, choosing a ‘practical’ degree in health sciences, and married my husband, Jeff, along the way, just after my twentieth birthday. At thirty I had three busy children and one busy husband. I decided it was time to take a break from my common sense career. Since I was chucking practicality anyways, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to write fiction. I’ve counted fictional characters among my best friends since my mother gave me Pierre Berton’s The Secret World of Og for my sixth birthday, but this was the first time I let myself invent my own characters and take them past the first few chapters. If I had known writing would be this addictive, I might have shied away. I do love it. So far, I’ve only written historical fiction, but I grew up devouring mysteries and someday might try my hand at one of those. The biggest downside I’ve found to writing is that I have less time to spend immersed in my favorite books. I'll read anything by Eva Ibbotson and Georgette Heyer, I love history (especially the history of science) and I've recently discovered Dorothy Dunnett. Don't try attempting the Lymond Chronicles without the published guide!