A Tale of Two Covers

A Tale of Two Covers

I seem to be having trouble with novel covers these days. I’ve struggled over a romance series that will be getting a rebranding this Spring (after going through the same thing last Spring—I’m still not happy.) Now I’m working on the cover for the first in a new alternate history mystery series. The first novel, After Yekaterina, is in for copy editing and I’m about 45% of the way through the first draft of the second novel, so I thought I’d get started with planning covers.

The books are noir police procedurals that take place in an alternate world where the Ottoman Empire defeated Catherine the Great of Russia. As a result the Ottomans kept their hold on central Asia—until they bumped up against the Chinese Empire of the Sun. In this world, the rag-tag remains of Russian Moscow have built a new motherland, Fergana, with New Moscow as their capital. Caught like the gristle in a joint between the two superpowers, Fergana provides fertile ground for a new Asian Great Game of spies and subterfuge. It takes lone wolf Detektiv Alexander Kazakov to deal with the bodies left behind.

I have two cover options below. One represents the loner working alone, while the other focuses on place and tone. What do you think? Which one best represents the concept I’ve laid out?

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