Among Thieves (Tale of the Kin #1)
Drothe is a Nose, an informant who finds and takes care of trouble inside the criminal organization he's a part of. He also smuggles imperial relics on the side. When his boss sends him to Ten Ways to track down who's been leaning on his organization's people, Drothe discovers hints of a much bigger mystery. Someone is trying to stir up trouble between lower-level criminal organizations, including the one Drothe belongs to. And there's a book rumored to contain imperial glimmer (or magic) that a lot of very dangerous people seem to be looking for - including two crime bosses known as the Gray Princes. When Drothe discovers the book, he finds himself holding a bit of swag that can bring down emperors, shatter the criminal underworld and unlock forbidden magic...that's if he can survive long enough to use it.
Douglas Hulick has been reading fantasy literature for almost as long as he can remember. He suspects this penchant for far-away lands of yore led, in part, to his acquiring a B.A. and M.A. in Medieval History, and likewise to his subsequent study and teaching of European Historical Martial Arts. It most certainly resulted in his authoring several short stories, as well as, now, a novel. Douglas reads and writes and plays with a rapier in Minnesota, where he is often surprisingly tolerated by his wife (who also fences) and two sons (who do not). All of them read.