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The second novel in Jonathan L. Howard's Johannes Cabal series.



Johannes Cabal the Detective has examples of:

  • Berserk Button: Johannes Cabal HATES it when people try to kill him. And considering that he's shot people simply for annoying him, one has to fear the depths of his hatred.
  • Came Back Wrong: Emperor Antrobus II.
  • Chaste Anti-Hero: Johannes Cabal is this with some shades of Celibate Anti-Hero. He can't even tell when the resident Femme Fatale is making a pass at him and just thinks that she has an unnatural fascination with the macabre. This amuses Leonie Barrow to no end.

  Leonie: Your look of gormless incomprehension as the tigress circled you will keep me amused for many years to come, I'm sure.

  • Combat Pragmatist: Cabal cheats in order to beat Count Marechal and escape.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: Much to Cabal's irritation when he realizes that while he may be a criminal mastermind, he still would rather be on the side of humanity than with genuinely evil, opportunistic leeches like Moretti or Marechal which is what prompts him to go back to the aeroship.

 Sometimes he wished he still lacked a soul. It hurt so much.

  • The Conspiracy
  • Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: Mirkarvia, and all it's neighboring countries. The Princess Hortense would count as well.
  • Cool Airship: With all of its bells and whistles, the zeppelin qualifies.
  • Crazy Prepared: Cabal, who carries a gun, a switchblade knife, and a cane sword concealing a 3-foot steel blade.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Cabal again.
  • Curiosity Is a Crapshoot
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Colonel Konstantin. He refuses to go along with the Count Marechal's new regime as it offends his sense of honor. Marechal does not respond well.
  • Enemy Mine: Why Leonie chooses to ally herself a sociopath like Cabal. In her words:
    Set a monster to catch a monster, Cabal.
  • Femme Fatale: Lady Ninuka
  • Frame-Up: Cabal frames Leonie as a Necromancer in order to distract Senzan authorities while he makes yet another escape. Unfortunately for him Leonie gets out rather quickly and when she finds him again, she is far from happy.
  • Genre Shift: Cabal does mystery with a dash of Diesel Punk. Then, in the epilogue, Cabal does Indiana Jones.
  • Hero Antagonist: Leonie
  • Honor Before Reason: Cabal calls Leonie this when she decides to return to the Princess Hortense to finish the investigation because it's the right thing to do, despite Cabal telling her that it will most likely end in her getting killed as well.
  • Kill'Em All: Leonie Barrow, Herr Roborovski and Miss Ambersleigh are the only official survivors of the Princess Hortense crash. Crazy Survivalist Cabal is naturally the fourth.
  • Locked Room Mystery
  • MacGyvering: A simple trip to the local drug store and Cabal can create hair dye, reagents to revive the dead, and time bombs.
  • Occam's Razor: Both subverted and played straight.
  • One Bullet Left: The final confrontation between Cabal and Marechal.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Subverted with Cacon's death.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Cabal invents a temporary hair dye for himself after noting that his blonde-ness makes it hard to go unnoticed when trying to escape a foreign country.
  • Photographic Memory: Allows the slightly obsessive-compulsive Cabal to realize that one piece of carpet is out of place.
  • Properly Paranoid: Cabal, much to his chagrin.
  • Ruritania: Mirkavia and it's neighbors. In fact Ruritania is actually mentioned in a throwaway line.
  • Spy-Versus-Spy: Pretty much everyone aboard the Princess Hortense except for Zoruk, De Garre, Leonie and Miss Ambersleigh has an secret identity, mission, or at least an ulterior motive. The first two end up dead as a result of the multiple conspiracies taking place.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Leonie Barrow and Cabal are pretty much forced to do this in order to unravel the conspiracy on the aeroship even while trying to outmaneuver each other.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Cabal leaves Mirkarvia in a state of civil war. Both figuratively, and literally.
  • Took a Level In Badass: Leonie Barrow goes from the sweet Girl Next Door in the The Necromancer to a Badass Bookworm studying criminal psychology, is a capable investigator and who can match wits with Johannes Cabal himself.
  • Upbringing Makes the Hero: The reason why Leonie is the Lawful Good to Cabal's Chaotic Neutral.

 Leonie: To answer your question, because it's the right thing to do.

Cabal: What your father would do, you mean.

Leonie: It's the same thing. It usually is.

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