Sting in the Tail: Carnival of Mysteries by TA Moore

Dealing in dark rarities, Ledger is no stranger to evil things, especially with a killer for a father. But when he is dragged into his father's leftover debt, he is in a race to uncover a lost item. With the dangerous and attractive Wren watching his every move, Ledger may be in for a very painful death from Wren's boss. If only Ledger would stop making such bad decisions. Sting in the Tail is another standalone from the Carnival of Mysteries series.

From the blurb:

The Carnival of Mysteries just arrived in Sutton County. They say if you cross the fortune teller’s palm with silver she can read your future like a map. Right now all Ledger Conroy wants to know is if he has a future.

Back in Sutton after over a decade, Ledger’s plan had been to bury his father--recently deceased convicted serial killer and less-well known warlock, Bell Conroy--clear the property, and then finally wash his hands of being a Conroy. Instead there’s a cured human heart in the larder, a pissed off pretty boy who is definitely not human at the door, and a debt to the devil that Ledger’s just inherited.
Devil. Monster. Something like that. He’d not asked for its pedigree

Whatever it was, it's given Ledger a week to fulfill the terms of his father’s contract. Or else he’s never going to leave Sutton again. With pretty-boy Wren at his heels, more to make sure Ledger doesn’t skip town than to provide assistance, Ledger tries to track his father’s sins across Sutton. The problem is there’s so many of them.
Ledger is faced with old grudges, a Sheriff that thinks Ledger knows more about his father’s crimes than he’s ever said (and isn’t wrong), and a dead man with a book shop. Not to mention the on-going distraction of Wren, who can't decide whether to be a hindrance, a help, or just hot.

Luckily Ledger has a nose for this sort of work.

Sting in the Tail is part of the multi-author Carnival of Mysteries Series. Each book stands alone, but each one includes at least one visit to Errante Ame's Carnival of Mysteries, a magical, multiverse traveling show full of unusual acts, games, and rides.
The Carnival changes to suit the world it's on, so each visit is unique and special. This book contains a dealer in dark collectibles, a man who's NOT people, and a monster with a debt it expects to be paid.

SNik's Review:

Part of a multi-author series (Carnival of Mysteries) but all are standalone stories. Paranormal/horror. Single POV. 

Ledger’s special skill set allows him to be a dealer in all things linked to horrors and horrible people, although he has no plans to profit off the items left behind by his killer father. But Ledger is dragged into bargaining with an unnatural being to erase one of his father’s debts, and even though he’s had to deal with all kinds of beings before he may be in over his head. An additional complication is the being’s henchman Wren, who attracts Ledger and makes him want to make more bad decisions. 

This story was intriguing, with an interesting world build, and it was so compelling with the dark elements and the fact that Ledger is savvy and clever when bargaining with things that are dangerous and sometimes evil. 

Ledger and Wren have some serious chemistry and I did wish for more background and deeper emotional interactions (although Wren's sacrifices for Ledger are swoony for sure). 

There were many unexplained “rules” in this paranormal world, so I would have been more than willing to keep reading more, but was thoroughly entertained by the story overall. 

Any chance for a series with Ledger and Wren, TA Moore?

Rating: 4.25 Stars

Sting in the Tail is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.