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A Queer Trade (Rag and Bone 0.5)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  629 Ratings  ·  114 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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Oct 31, 2016 Nancy 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.


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
K.J. Charles
Dec 16, 2015 K.J. Charles 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
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
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰ & MANTIES Champion
How the hell does she do that in just 5 chapters? 5!

Incredible. KJC's got skillz.
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!
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,

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
Dec 16, 2015 Tess 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.
Mónica BQ
Jun 29, 2016 Mónica BQ 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.
Feb 13, 2016 Ele 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 pa

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.
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.
¸. • * ° *❧Gwen❧•°**★❧ •°**★

Sweet start, I do like these two. So cute.
Dec 16, 2015 Maya 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.
Jason Bradley
Aug 06, 2016 Jason Bradley rated it it was amazing
really liked this one!
Shira Glassman
Jan 29, 2016 Shira Glassman rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like plotty queer SFF
What if papers with magical spells on them get thrown away and used as scrap? Wrap 'em around wilted flowers and they come back to life--but it doesn't stop there, and all the Halloweenish things you think happen next, happen next. The MC and his new boyfriend find themselves scrambling to put a lid on some pretty creepy shit.

A quick, cute m/m paranormal/historical (so I guess, gothic? In the "creepy magical Victoriana" sense, not The Goths from a thousand years ago) that packed several plot twi
Jan 07, 2016 K rated it really liked it
Nice short paranormal story of apprentice Sorcerer, Crispin, trying to recover his mentor's hand written spell papers which have been sold after his death. Ned is the rag man that bought them, and sold them on to the local market... where the spells are making the goods for sale, and some people who come into contact with them, act strangely. The pair must find the pen that wrote the spells and destroy it to break them.

Set in the Charm of Magpies world, with an appearance by Mrs Gold, this was
Tully Vincent
Feb 05, 2016 Tully Vincent 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
May 26, 2016 Mirjam rated it it was ok
This was not my cup of thee; I really do not enjoy reading about magic, warlocks etc..
I really felt something like

However, I did like the dynamics between Crispin and Ned. It is because of them I am giving the next book a try.
Jan 06, 2016 Wicked rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
What an intriguing start to more adventures in the Magpie universe. This felt surprisingly fleshed out for such a short story but I can't wait for Rag & Bone.
Nov 13, 2016 Brooke rated it it was amazing
K. J has yet to disappoint. I'm excited to read the full one of this series.
Dec 18, 2015 Verity rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
This short has definitely whet my appetite for the new series!
A Queer Trade this is the short prequel story in the ‘Rag and Bone’ series which takes place in the same world as the ‘Charm of Magpies’ series. In this book we find out how the main characters meet. One is Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe, and the waste paper dealer Ned Hall. The story is told in third person from both MCs povs.

4.5 Stars

(view spoiler)
Erin (PT)
I read this once in the Charmed & Dangerous anthology where it was originally published, but I reread it, both for pleasure and to see if Charles had made any noticeable changes.

The book takes place in the same world as The Magpie Lord series, but the only character from that series who makes an appearance is Esther Gold, a minor player. The story doesn't need the help of an appearance by the Magpie characters, though. Crispin and Ned, our new protagonists, hold their own through the franti
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I'm a writer of romance, mostly m/m, often historical or fantasy or both.

I'm also a freelance editor, and I blog about writing and editing at

I live in London, UK, with two kids, a tolerant husband and an even more tolerant cat.

Follow me on Twitter @kj_charles or friend me on Facebook at
More about K.J. Charles...

Other Books in the Series

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

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