Chimes at Midnight (October Daye #7) by Seanan McGuire

ONE August 22nd, 2012 We have heard the chimes at midnight, Master Shallow. —William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part II. LIKE MANY PORT TOWNS, San Francisco is a city built on top of its own bones, one where broad modern streets can exist side by side with narrow alleys and abandoned thoroughfares. It’s a lot like Faerie in that regard. Both of them are studies in contradiction, constant wars between the old and the new. I prowled down one of those half-hidden alleys, the sky midnight dark above me and my shoulders hunched against the growing chill. I’m inhuman and borderline indestructible. That doesn’t make me immune to cold—more’s the pity. I’d been walking down the alleys of the city since a little after ten o’clock, when most of the mortal population was safely inside and the streets informally switched their allegiance to Faerie. The air around me smelled faintly of cut grass and copper, as well as the more normal scents of garbage and decay. The don’t-look-here I had cast over myself was holding, for the moment. Somewhere in the alleys around me, a tabby tomcat was prowling, and a woman who loo
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