Set in the 19th century in an English coal-mining town, Serjeant Musgrave's Dance is the story of the title character and three privates traveling with him. All four men are deserters from a colonial war and are heavily disillusioned with violence. They aim to change to patriotic leanings of the town but are hampered by trauma, personal codes, and the demons of their pasts. In the end they are drawn back into violence and killed or arrested.
Grave Peril is the story of Harry Dresden, Chicago resident and wizard detective, and his friend Michael Carpenter who is a modern knight of the Church. The two are troubled by an old case and by a nightmarish creature pursuing them and stirring up the dead of Chicago into a frenzy. Eventually it is revealed that worse things are afoot when Harry's girlfriend is attacked by vampires and he himself is dragged into a war with the bloodthirsty beasts.
The Graveyard Book is the story of Nobody Owens, a child raised by ghosts after the murder of his family by the mysterious Man Jack. Nobody's childhood and youth loosely parallel the plot of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. The main bulk of the book follows Nobody on his adventures in the graveyard and in attending locales as he is raised by his parents, the ghostly Owenses, and by his mentor Silas, strongly implied to be a vampire. Nobody solves his parents' murder, finds revenge, and leaves the graveyard.
Good-Bye to All That is the autobiography of Robert Graves, a British officer in the First World War. The story charts Graves' disillusionment with British culture and with popular support for the war. His traumatic experience in the war, including his wounding and his horror at the constant and dehumanizing violence, are the book's principal subject. Graves also devotes time to feminism, atheism, and the emergence of Modernism in the wake of the war.
I, Claudius is presented as the journal of the titular Roman emperor. A stutterer with a limp, Claudius is dismissed by his family but becomes their diligent chronicler. He uses his deformities to evade suspicion, concealing his keen intellect until eventually becoming emperor himself in his middle age. The story covers Augustus's rule and progresses through Claudius's, ending at his deathbed. It is a frank depiction of corruption, intrigue, and insanity in the Roman imperial family.