A Day at the Inn, A Night at the Palace and Other Stories is a collection of short works from Catherine Lundoff. These ten stories run the range of speculative fiction, from an intriguing “highwayman” in “Regency Masquerade” to the Fae choice of love in “A Scent of Roses” to fighting for an Egyptian artifact — and love — in “The Egyptian Cat.”
While each story has a unique plot, there are some themes that appear throughout the collection. Of course we have the requisite female protagonists, in most cases shaping a role that would not normally have been theirs in a heterosexual narrative. There are pirates, swashbucklers, detectives, and fighters, each holding their own in the world. It is not always love for another woman that drives the main character. In “Great Reckonings, Little Rooms,” William Shakespeare’s sister, Judith, searches for her brother and her muse in the dark streets. In the title story “A Day at the Inn, A Night at the Palace”, a magical body switch has swordswoman Maeve looking at her cousin Raven in a whole different way, quite literally.
On the whole, the book was quite enjoyable. Some stories were more entertaining than others, but I chalk that up to my own leanings toward the Regency romance and fantasy genres. Lundoff’s pacing and tone was even throughout; while each tale had a unique voice and perspective, you could tell they were all authored by the same person. Aside from the title story, each tale has been published previously, but for those who either have not experienced Lundroff’s writings, or who may want a volume of her work, this would be a great addition to a reader’s bookshelf.