Gaslamp Fantasy Excerpt: The Order of the Dark Rose Part 1

Read the opening excerpt from the new gaslamp fantasy from P. H. Solomon’s The Order of the Dark Rose, Volume 1 of The Cursed Mage Case Files, highlighting the opening with Wishton Ackford’s reaction to oddities out of nowhere.

Last Monday’s post, ODR Character Spotlight: A Wish and a Prayer, highlighted Wishton Ackford (Wish), the narrator of the first book of The Cursed Mage Case Files, The Order of the Dark Rose. The post focused on Wish’s perspective as a non-mage and his struggles to cope with the dangers of magical investigations. This is an issue for Wish from the very beginning so I thought I would share a short excerpt from the beginning of the book (after the prologue), The Case of the Disgraced Sniffer:

Speaking with a wall never entered my mind when I rolled out of my cot that morning. Fate twisted around oddities as I strolled along the street, its name forgotten to me now. Oddities. I once knew such things like I knew magic. Everyone did. We used it in our technology. Commonplace wonders excited everyone, but few knew magic. Five years after talking to the strangest oddity, I know that I certainly did not then.

My desperation gripped me at the time, the door of another writing house job shut in my face—quite literally. I leaned against a wall and tipped my hat over my face.

“Excuse me, but could you step aside?”

The voice spoke from the wall. I jumped aside and gaped at the brick wall of a building like any other in Cal Rindon.

“Hey, you can lean back, just do it a step to either side. Don’t look so surprised. Act natural. I don’t want anyone to know I’m here.” The wall spoke to me in a most casual way, the tone intelligent and alert.

“I must’ve drunk too much of something fermented incorrectly.” With a rub of my neck, I shoved my hands in my pants pockets and took a stride.

A hand grabbed my shoulder. “Hold on. You can stay. You were just leaning on me and blocking my view.”

A glance at my shoulder, and I tensed to spring. The wall had grown a brick-colored hand that grasped me tightly. My heart surged.

“Don’t make a scene. Calm down. Just step aside.” The arm, also brick-like and attached to the hand, pulled me to the right.

I stumbled aside with a sudden numbness in my thoughts. A wall spoke to me and then grabbed me. What had I imbibed the night before? My off behavior certainly lost me that job. “Who—what are you?”

From the very beginning, Wish is off-balance and wondering if he’s even sane – and he’s used to magic in his world. The opening offers an example of his true lack of experience and how he reacts to unfamiliar magic.

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Thanks for stopping by for a deeper look at The Order of the Dark Rose. Here’s more about the book and where you can find it:


An arch-mage can handle almost anything. Unless he’s cursed, lost his job and facing an unknown enemy.

The Gallantean Empire relies increasingly upon magical technology which cleans sewers, runs trams and much more. Within the capital city of Cal Rindon, magic is pervasive, but not necessarily used without criminal activity. The bustling metropolis boasts constant innovations mixed with growing pains. Amid the good lurks the bad with unrest and growing crime.

Arch-mage Manny Mandeheim fell under a curse, watched his fiancé die, and then lost his job as a spy. So what’s an arch-mage to do? Start his own magical investigation service while he works to clear his good name and maybe avenge his lost love. With his very un-magical partner, Wish Ackford, Manny discovers the menace of a much larger conspiracy than he expected looming behind his curse. The limitations from the hex leave him at a distinct disadvantage as he and Wish investigate.

Assassins lurk at every corner or in every tram car. The threat of an unknown mastermind with murky intentions lingers just out of sight. A questionable source offers the hint of a secret order hounding Manny’s footsteps. A murder leads to wrenching discoveries.

Nothing an arch-mage can’t handle…

Unless the curse limits how much magic he can use or kills him outright.

A mixture of gaslamp fantasy and Sherlock Holmes-like cases, The Order of the Dark Rose is a sleuth private detective mystery set in an alternate fantasy world where magic is both commonplace and dangerous. Mysteries abound in this original, new fantasy from P. H. Solomon, author of the award-winning, best-selling epic fantasy series, The Bow of Hart Saga.

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Can Manny survive long enough to break his curse? Or will the arch-mage’s hidden foe escape him?

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About the Author:

Multi retailer Bestselling Author, Fantasia Reviews Book of the Year Author 2017 & 2018

U. S. author, P. H. Solomon grew up with a love of books including fantasy. Always interested in odd details, history and the world around him, P. H. has found an outlet in writing where he mixes a wide range of interests from the regular world, history and anthropology into his fantasy books.

His epic fantasy series, The Bow of Hart Saga, brought a fresh viewpoint to the genre where magic, myth and mysticism mingle. Described by readers as a “mixture of the classic fantasy past with new ideas.”

Trading Knives (0.1)
What is Needed (0.2)
The Bow of Destiny #1
An Arrow Against the Wind #2
The White Arrow #3

The latest series, The Cursed Mage Case Files is a mash-up of classic Sherlock Holmes, The Dresden Files and Harry Potter into a unique fantasy world where magic is both an arcane practice and a technological power to be harnessed. Join Mandlefred Mandeheim and Wishton Ackford as they team up to investigate magical mysteries.

The Order of the Dark Rose #1
The Unseen Hand #2 (upcoming)
The Nine Jewel Heist #3 (upcoming)

More books:

Curses Dark and Foul
The Black Bag

See the entire book catalog at P. H. Solomon’s Amazon Author Page.

Find more about P. H. Solomon as well as articles and research notes, plus a free stories, at

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