Read Dead Waters Online

Authors: Anton Strout

Dead Waters

Praise for the Simon Canderous novels


“Strout’s good-hearted, bat-carrying hero is once again faced with extraordinary peril from both bureaucratic paperwork and things that go bump in the night. His skillful blending of the creepy and the wacky gives his series an original appeal. Don’t miss out!”

Romantic Times
(top pick)

“Unusual urban fantasy . . . highly entertaining.”

Romance Reviews Today

“Strout’s . . . great sense of humor, combined with vivid characters, a complex mystery, and plenty of danger, makes for a fantastic read. Urban fantasy fans should not miss this exciting series.”


“Such a fast-paced, engaging, entertaining book that the pages seemed to fly by far too quickly. Take the New York of
Men in Black
, inject the same pop-culture awareness and irreverence of
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Middleman
, toss in a little
Thomas Crown Affair
, shake and stir, and you’ve got something fairly close to this book.”

The Green Man Review

“It has a
Men in Black
flavor mixed with
’s more gritty realism . . . if you think of the detectives as working the night shift in the
Twilight Zone
. It’s a book (and a protagonist) that is going places, and those who enjoy something fresh in urban fantasy will enjoy what they find. Strongly recommended.”


“A refreshing, exciting urban fantasy with elements of romance and horror that will appeal to fans of Jim Butcher.”

The Best Reviews

“A fun read . . . The pace moves right along, running poor Simon a little ragged in the process, but providing plenty of action. If you liked
Dead to Me
, it’s a safe bet you’ll like this one even more.”

—Jim C. Hines, author of
Red Hood’s Revenge

“A fun, interesting, and witty read. It is something a little different, with a male protagonist, tongue-in-cheek attitude, and interesting mystery.”

Urban Fantasy Land

“It has a little bit of everything for the paranormal junkie . . . unique from a lot of the urban fantasy genre. This is a fantastic series.”

Bitten by Books
(5 tombstones)

“Nice touches . . . There is a lot to like here.”


“Clever, well-paced, and attention-grabbing.”

Errant Dreams


“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, #1
New York Times
bestselling author of
Dead in the Family

, 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,
New York Times
bestselling author of

“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

“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.”


“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.”

“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

“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



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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

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.


An Ace Book / published by arrangement with the author


Ace mass-market edition / March 2011

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 : 978-1-101-47722-9


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.

For my grandparents
Ray & Edna Van Valkenburg,
who have supported me all along


Welcome to book four in the Simon Canderous series, dear readers. Thanks for dropping by once again. Glad you made it through the zombie-filled streets.

It takes a village to bring a book to fruition. . . a haunted, creepy, fog-filled village. It’s time to thank some of those villagers personally for ushering
Dead Waters
into existence, including: everyone at Penguin Group, most notably the creepy crawlies who inhabit paperback sales; my editor, Jessica Wade, beater-upper of bad writing whenever it rears its ugly head in my manuscript; production editor Michelle Kasper and copy editor Valle Hansen; Annette Fiore DeFex, Judith Murello, and Don Sipley, for an action-packed jacket, complete with gargoyle and Simon’s trusty retractable bat; Erica Colon and her crack team of ad/promo people; Jodi Rosoff and my publicist, Rosanne Romanello, who parade me out from time to time to interact with the public; my agent, Kristine Dahl, and Laura Neely, at ICM, who keep track of the kind of details that make my head all ’splodey; the Dorks of the Round Table—authors Jeanine Cummins and Carolyn Turgeon; the League of Reluctant Adults, for continued support and stocking of the bar; glamazon Lisa Trevethan, for her eye in all things beta; Jennifer Snyder, webmistress of, the unofficial fan site that knows more about me than me; my family; and last but certainly not least, my wife, Orly, who puts up with long hours of me ignoring her while I bring these books to you. She has the patience of a saint and my undying love. Now, let’s see what shenanigans the gang down at the Department of Extraordinary Affairs is up to this time, shall we?

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