It's a horror-scifi-mystery: necromancers travel to a distant world to study secret death magic. They're murdered one by one. Fortunately, they're terrible people. Thus, instead of sorrowfully mourning these death-sorcerors, the reader is free to treat the book as a puzzle: rub chin, say hmm and consider possibilities. I picked this book up because Robin Sloan said it fell into his niche-genre of "puzzle fiction"—books that lead you around somewhat in the way that The Westing Game did. And the book does start out with the characters thinking they're in some sort of puzzle-ish smartie competition… at least until they start turning up dead.