I am sprinting to the finish line for my Austenpunk fantasy, Magic by Starlight. As I tie up plot threads, I am also working on my query. In addition to sending this out to agents, I want to put it on this site in a “Forthcoming” section, so I need to be sure it is as good as possible.

This is just over 200 words.

Tory joins the Intelligence Ministry intending to put to legitimate use the starcasting powers that make her an excellent burglar. When she is expected to work as a femme instead, she thinks someone in authority is in need of spectacles. However, Cecil, bastard son of a lord and the Ministry’s most disreputable spy, thinks that one of the Ministry directors has it in for the lovely Miss Lawrence. And after eavesdropping on speaking tubes and listening at air vents, he knows he is right.

Tory does not realize that an old family indiscretion has made her vulnerable to mischief. When enemies spies try to steal a package that she is entrusted to deliver, she is grateful when Cecil materializes out of the darkness to help. They manage to retain the package, but when they trace the spies back to the Ministry itself, they learn that Tory has been framed for its theft. And the family secret only makes her look guiltier.

The parcel contains a component for a suncasting device that can increase the power of any starcaster a thousandfold. Now, spies both foreign and domestic want the component and Tory is dodging villains like ladies evade louts at a ball. Equipped with a black powder pistol, lockpicks, and a few quick disguises, Tory must decide whom she can trust–and the wrong decision could end with her and Cecil dangling from matching gibbets.