by Nicole Glover
From a bold new voice in speculative fiction comes a vibrant historical fantasy of magic and murder set in the aftermath of the Civil War.
Hetty Rhodes and her husband, Benjy, were Conductors on the Underground Railroad, ferrying dozens of slaves to freedom with daring, cunning, and magic that draws its power from the constellations. With the war over, those skills find new purpose as Hetty and Benjy solve mysteries and murders in their community that white authorities would otherwise ignore.
In the heart of Philadelphia’s Seventh Ward, everyone knows that when there’s a strange death or magical curses causing trouble, Hetty and Benjy are the only ones that can solve the case. But when an old friend is murdered, their investigation stirs up a wasp’s nest of intrigue, lies, and long-buried secrets—and a mystery unlike anything they’ve handled before. With a clever, cold-blooded killer on the prowl, Hetty and Benjy—testing their magic and placing their lives at risk—will discover how little they really know about their neighbors . . . and themselves.
Cover Artist: Elizabeth Leggett
Format: Trade Paperback/Ebook
Publicity Contact: Hannah Dirgins <Hannah.Dirgins@hmhco.com>
Praise for The Conductors
Inventively mixing mystery, magic, and alternate history, Glover’s nail-biting debut takes readers to Reconstruction era Philadelphia…Glover is a writer to watch.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The Conductors is a seamless blending of magic, mystery, and history, creating power and wonder with its rarefied glimpse of Black life in the late 1800s. The Vigilance Society and the magic-wielding couple at the core of this story are a welcome addition to the growing chorus of voices in Black speculative fiction. Glover’s worldbuilding, characters, and attention to historical detail create a delightfully genre-bending debut!
—Tananarive Due, American Book Award winner, author of Ghost Summer: Stories
Community dynamics mixed with a magical alternate Reconstruction-era mystery. The Conductors has all the elements I was looking for in a good story.
—Mary Robinette Kowal, Hugo Award–winning author of The Calculating Stars
An Underground Railroad—but with magic. With compelling characters and wondrous worldbuilding, Glover weaves a tangled mystery of murder, spellwork, and freedom amid the remnants of slavery’s lingering memories.
—P. Djèlí Clark, Nebula Award–winning author of Ring Shout
Nicole Glover blends historical detail and magical elements into an unforgettable debut. The Conductors is a wholly original and thoroughly riveting story. This is no doubt the first of many brilliant books to come.
—Deanna Raybourn, New York Times best-selling author of A Murderous Relation
With The Conductors, Nicole Glover creates a fascinating world where even magic is segregated. She effortlessly weaves both the constellation-based magical system and the real life struggles of being Black in post–Civil War America. The characters, led by former Underground Railroad conductors Hetty and Benjy Rhodes, are as intriguing as the mystery. It’s hard to believe this is Glover’s first book. I found it as enchanting as one of Hetty’s spells.
—Kellye Garrett, winner of the Anthony, Agatha, and Lefty awards and author of Hollywood Homicide and Hollywood Ending
The Conductors is a conjured novel. Reimagining a past that helps us navigate our present, it weaves a rich tapestry of history and magic to create a story of resilience and resistance through the power of Black girl magic. It’s the perfect book for our times.
—Maurice Broaddus, author of Pimp My Airship
The Conductors is a wildly inventive alternate history that combines compelling characters, a propulsive plot, and lots of intrigue. It is also radical as hell. Thought-provoking and powerful, Glover’s novel is a must-read.
—Cadwell Turnbull, author of The Lesson