Petr Staníček, aka Petr S. Pixy (*1968), studied Mathematics but subsequently decided to devote himself to design and programming. He kept one of the first blogs in the country under the pen name Pixy, has written columns for the internet magazine Lupa and the Respekt weekly, and has penned several books. His novel Commander is his first work of fiction. Petr loves the Czech language and classical poetic forms. He has written a collection of persiflages of the children’s song The Dog Who Hopped in the style of famous poets. In addition, he enjoys translating puns from English and German into Czech. Originally from southern Moravia—a Brno bum on his father’s side and Moravian swain on his mother’s—he spent his school years in western Sudetenland and his youth in Central Bohemia, in revolutionary Prague. Two interludes of life in Ostrava, including in shafts a kilometre underneath the Moravian-Silesian city’s surface, left him with indelible scars on his soul. He was only too glad to flee the city limits to Kladno and beyond, to the edge of the Křivoklát forests.
July 2022, 432 pages
When con artists meet, they can either con each other or join forces for a spectacular operation. In the thriving Prague of 1878, two duos manage both. Klára is a charming young lady raised in the streets of an old Jewish town, while the Bohemian Šimon hails from a circus. They are both great actors, masters of disguise and, above all, talented con artists. Following one of their fabulous con jobs, they meet Eda and Michal, old hands in the business and thieves extraordinaire, who seek partners for a challenging and unusual commission from a mysterious, elite client. As they commence their plan to steal the crown jewels, centuries-old secrets rise to the surface. The con artists find themselves chasing the greatest gold treasure in the history of the country, uncovering the double lives of looming historical figures—and ultimately, something greater—at the risk of their own lives.