When Agents Eliza D. Braun and Wellington Thornhill Books, Esquire, were first partnered up in the Archives of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, it was hard to believe they would ever delight in one another's company, let alone engage in acts of derring-do within and outside the boundaries of Her Majesty's Empire. Collected for the first time in one volume are the cases before and in-between the award-winning steampunk novels written by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. In The Books & Braun Dossier, you will find out…
Why Eliza D. Braun was cast out of her homeland of New Zealand.
Who is Arthur Books.
How Wellington and Eliza cannot avoid trouble, even on Christmas Eve.
When Wellington is away, how Archimedes entertains himself.
From the award-winning podcast anthology series Tales from the Archives comes these fantastic adventures of spy craft, science, and the supernatural.
Award-winning authors Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris have a special treat for readers in this StoryBundle exclusive! They've put together an anthology of short stories featuring Wellington Books & Eliza Braun from their acclaimed Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. Whether you're a new reader or a long time fan, you'll love these tales. – Anthea Sharp
"Ah, Cairo." Wellington sighed as he stood on the ship's gangway for a moment, taking in the impressive desert vista before him. "The cradle of civilization and human innovation."
"Along with the cradle of oppressive heat, barren wastelands, and flies that you could hitch up to a hansom and use as a cheap alternative to camels," grumbled his junior archivist as she disembarked.
Wellington Books looked down at the diminutive Eliza D. Braun, arching an eyebrow at her as she twirled her parasol in annoyance.
"Miss Braun, come along, are you telling me you do not find Egypt tantalizing in its history, its undiscovered mysteries the foundation of modern language and even the sciences began here"
She bit back, "If I were fond of this kind of heat, I would take holiday in Australia. Hold my parasol." Eliza unwound the veil from around the top of her pith helmet, and then snatched back the parasol.
"And here I thought you were a romantic," he muttered.
"A romantic? Is that why you insisted on taking an airship to the Sudan, and then chugging upriver on this boat?"
"Chugging upriver?" Wellington asked, stunned. "It's the Nile!"
"Oh for God's sake," she seethed, giving the horsetail swatter a few swings, "let's get this over with!"
Hefting his huge brown case, Wellington lumbered down the gangplank, ignoring Eliza's protestations to leave it for the porters. It was apparent that his partner was immune to what he had heard described as "Pharaoh Fever" by travel brokers.
Perhaps this would be a brief stay of only a day or two, and then an airship back to London. No need to prolong this little jaunt if he had to share it with one immune to the wonders of Egypt.
"Mr. Books, Miss Braun?" a voice asked.
Wellington and Eliza turned around to see a tanned gentleman, unmistakably English in his features, with disdain etched on his face. Whether that expression was for him or for his colleagues from headquarters remained a mystery.
"Something I do love about being an archivist for our shadowy Ministry," he said, looking as if he was about to burst out into bitter laughter, "we do not stand on ceremony or secrecy—after all, how dangerous is our position, really?"
Eliza snorted. "You'd be surprised, mate."
Wellington did not care one jot for the way this man was sizing up both him and his partner. The man removed his pith helmet and casually fanned himself as he approach them.
"Marcus Donohue, Ministry Archivist, Egypt Branch." He motioned around him. "Welcome to Hell."
"Dunno about that," Eliza replied, "Australia's outback in the summer makes this place look positively welcoming."
"And Cairo is a pleasant change January in London. Dead of winter and all," Wellington added, "so this is quite nice."
"Quite," he said, looking around him as if incredibly inconvenienced. "Shall we proceed then?"
Wellington nodded and motioned to Eliza. Her scowl assured him that her mind had been made up about their visit to Cairo. Perhaps he would save a lecture on the beauty of Egypt for another trip. Between Eliza's demeanour and the local office's reception, brevity was most certainly in order.