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A Queer Trade

(Rag and Bone #0.5)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,665 ratings  ·  208 reviews
Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe returns to London to find his master dead, and his papers sold. Papers with secrets that could spell death. Crispin needs to get them back before anyone finds out what he's been doing, or what his magic can do.

Crispin tracks his quarry down to waste paper dealer Ned Hall. He needs help, and Ned can’t resist Crispin’s pleading—and appea
ebook, 59 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by KJ Charles
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  1,665 ratings  ·  208 reviews

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Start your review of A Queer Trade (Rag and Bone, #0.5)
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
I loooove the world of The Magpie Lord, so I was SO excited to see that there was a new set of books coming out that was set in that universe.

I actually had originally started with Rag and Bone but I was pretty lost with who the characters were and so I decided to backtrack and read this novella first. I'm REALLY glad that I did. This is an excellent introduction of Crispin and Ned, and it gives us all of the relevant background information that we need for the next story.

No steam here but REA
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cross-posted at Shelf Inflicted and at Outlaw Reviews

Loved this charming, magical, sexy, and suspenseful story by a new to me author. Apprentice warlock Crispin Tredarloe’s master, Hepzibah Marleigh, was hit by a bus. He left Crispin his books and documents, but the real important papers left on the floor were cleaned up and sold by the Burfords to waste-man Ned Hall who in turn will sell the paper to butchers, florists, or anyone that can use it. No one but Crispin knows what the magical words
Review written February 2, 2016

3.7 Stars - Yay, it's here, a first in a new KJC series. As always superbly delightful M/M romance reading ...but short

Book #0.5

A Queer Trade Is the short prequel novella to K.J. Charles's new "Rag & Bone" series (#1-Rag and Bone is planned to be publ. in March 2016). A new book and series in the The World of A Charm of Magpies. — A marvelous great book-world to visit every single time. Higly recommended always.


The magi
K.J. Charles
Dec 16, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
The first story to feature Ned Hall, waste-man, and Crispin Tredarloe, accidental warlock. I really enjoyed writing this one, so much that the characters have got their own full novel coming (Rag and Bone, in March 2016). The Rag and Bone stories are set in the Charm of Magpies world, off at a tangent to the action of those books. Ned's profession was, incidentally, a real one, and I hugely enjoyed putting together a forgotten trade, Victorian recycling, and some magical mayhem.

This was first pu
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
How the hell does she do that in just 5 chapters? 5!

Incredible. KJC's got skillz.
ᴥ Irena ᴥ

First, I love the world of A Charm of Magpies series so I am not that certain it doesn't play a role here. Maybe I wouldn't love this if I didn't read A Charm of Magpies stories.

You do get the exceptional writing (no surprise there) and occasional black humour remark here though. But because I know a lot about the world and because I didn't need too many explanations, I am not sure if the story would be as great. For example, 'a small man darted forward out of the crowd, arm up, finger pointed'
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
A short prequel introducing the Rag and Bones next full length book.

It's an okay story set in the times of Stephen Day in historical time period where a magic council exists to keep order and peace...somewhat. Crispin finds himself in a bind when his magical master has died and his magical papers have been carried off. He finds himself at the shop of Ned, who is a business owner that deals with waste paper and the like, a "queer trade". Together they track down some of the sold papers and preven
Skye Kilaen
A Queer Trade is the meet-cute-with-magic short story about Ned Hall, a Black Londoner who collects and sells waste paper, and Crispin Tredarloe, an apprentice magician. Crispin's mentor dies and his papers are accidentally sold to Ned, leading to some bizarre magical events as the papers circulate in the city. Rag and Bone, the follow-up novel, picks up a bit later, Ned and Crispin having been dating for some time while Crispin is studying under the magical authorities.

I was gripped by the dram
3.5 stars

This was a nice little amuse bouche before the main course. I'm so happy to read about a well written black protagonist in my favorite K.J. Charles series and can't wait to read the full story. Exciting!
Good start

3.25 stars
Solid start to the beginning of the series with Ned and Crispin.
Crispin is on a search for his old master's papers. Not just any papers but magical ones. He must find them before chaos happens. His search leads him to Ned and two go on the search together.
Read it first as part of Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Anthology. Review copied from my review of the anthology as well. Might revisit when the story is released independently as I plan to also buy it before reading the follow-up novel

Oh, this is delightful! I think I had more fun reading short story in comparison to the last story of Charles that I read.

Crispin is a practitioner who is on a mission to look for magical papers of his departed Master,
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars

Intriguing start to a new series with very unique characters in very unusual professions (waste man and warlock?!). Definitely whets my appetite for Rag and Bone!
That was a great introduction to these characters and their budding romance. I haven't read Rag and Bone yet and I'm glad I read this one first.

I really enjoyed this being about a warlock, someone the Justiciary hunts, it was interesting seeing the other side of practitioners, even though Crispin is far from evil.

Looking forward to seeing Ned and Crispin together in the next book.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Marleigh was dead: to begin with.
Hepzibah Marleigh, gentleman of the parish of St. Alban the Martyr. Bent-backed, blue eyes bright in a face like crumpled parchment, teeth as brown as the meerschaum pip they always clamped.”

Come on KJC, how do you do that?! Thirty-seven opening words of absolute perfection and I was hooked. She has so much talent it’s just not fair. She should break it up and hand pieces out, like that scene in Mean Girls.

This is such a fantastic little novella. Magic conspires
☾ Dαɴιyα ☽

Any day I get my greedy little hands on a KJ Charles book is a good day. Especially if that book is set in the magical A Charm of Magpies world where a few characters very dear to me live. I didn't find them here, but that's okay because I enjoyed reading about Crispin and Ned, and the story was not only interesting, but it also reminded me the magical world of A Charm of Magpies can be a scary place.

Crispin, in search for his dead master's magical, and potentially dangerous papers, found himsel
Mónica BQ
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had read this one already as part of the Charmed and Dangerous anthology and loved it. I'm finally going to read Rag and Bone, so I re-read this one in preparation. ...more
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
“O, it's a queer trade, but there's many worse.”
London Labour and the London Poor

I'm undeniably biased; I love studying this part of London's history, my master's thesis was about life and labour in the streets of London, based on Henry Mayhiew's journals, and I 've read the thing a bazillion times.

So, yes, I'm definately biased. But Charles has undoubtedly done a terrific job introducing us to the new series, Rag and Bone, set in the Charm of Magpies world.

Considering that this is just 50
☆☆☆~Bev's World of Books~☆☆☆

Read as part of the Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy anthology. Looking forward to more about Ned and Crispin. 4 stars.
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in the world of The Magpie Lord series, this was a delightful little snippet that introduced another pair of characters that have great potential for love and magic. I liked both Ned and Crispin, each man was unique in his own way. From the series I remember the hatred to all things warlock, and this book showed the trade at work and exactly why the warlocks are feared and hated. Crispin is such a darling. I loved how he was with Ned. They were so sweet together when they were not running ar ...more
Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)
4 Stars

This was cute! A short story (or maybe novelette) that's part of the A Charm of Magpies world, but I could see it working as a standalone if you just wanted to read this. As part of the series, it functions as a prequel to Rag and Bone, introduces you to two new characters, and shows how their relationship starts. I liked these new characters---Crispin, a magic practitioner tired of people's assumptions about him being weak and meek, and Ned, a paper waste-man hardened a bit by pre
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was fun! I was hooked from the first sentence ("Marleigh was dead: to begin with"; really, how could I resist that :D) and it just got better from there.
This new series is set in the Magpie series, and so far I'd say it makes sense on its own, but it's more fun if you know the other books, too IMO. This short novella introduces us to the main characters from Rag and Bone and takes place 7 months before it. We meet accidental warlock Crispin Treadarloe as he tries to clean up a mess his dea
This was a very enjoyable short story that introduces us to Ned and Crispin, a new couple in the Magpie world. This shows us how they meet and end up a couple. There's a really good paranormal story as the back drop. This author always packs so much into her stories. You all should read this and definitely read it before book one in this series. ...more
❧A Bookish Berkeley Girl❧
Sweet start, I do like these two. So cute.
Dawn C
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Aaaah what a nice warm-up, can’t wait to read Rag and Bone now!
*The Angry Reader*
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well. That certainly explains everything I read in tbr next one.

Tully Vincent
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well-written with a beginning that pulled me into it quickly. I enjoyed that it was written from both character’s POV as it gave me a connection to them both. Two likable main characters, but Ned especially for sticking by Crispin as he did. There was chemistry and some lovely hot, sexy bits between them. Nice plot that picked up speed as it went along with a satisfying resolution.

However, I should mention that this story did have parts that rather grossed me out. So warning, possible high ICK
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-story

“Because you need someone to help you, and I don’t see anyone else lining up. Because those freckles are killing me.”

That was wonderful and creepy. Loved it!
On to Rag and Bone.
Short, but exciting introduction to new characters, setting up for their novel, coming in March.

Love the diversity, love the contrast, love the idea. Be good to start a book with an already established relationship.
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KJ is a writer of romance, mostly m/m, historical or fantasy or both. She blogs about writing and editing at

She lives in London, UK, with her husband, two kids, and a cat of absolute night.

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Other books in the series

Rag and Bone (1 books)
  • Rag and Bone (Rag and Bone, #1)

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