I have a quick little review for you today… short ‘n sweet!
by Robert Appleton
Release Date: Jan. 31st, 2011
In a time of grand airships and steam-powered cars, the death of a penniless young maid will hardly make the front page. But part-time airship waitress and music hall dancer Julia Bairstow is shattered by her sister’s murder. When Lady Law, the most notorious private detective in Britain, offers to investigate the case pro bono, Julia jumps at the chance—even against the advice of Constable Al Grant, who takes her protection surprisingly to heart.
Lady Law puts Scotland Yard to shame. She’s apprehended Jack the Ripper and solved countless other cold-case crimes. No one knows how she does it, but it’s brought her fortune, renown and even a title. But is she really what she claims to be—a genius at deducting? Or is Al right and she is not be trusted?
Julia is determined to find out the truth, even if it means turning sleuth herself—and turning the tables on Lady Law…
Steam technology, murder, and a touch of romance all combine together to make this a diverting & fun little novella set in Victorian England. When a young airship waitress/music hall dancer arrives home to discover her sister has been murdered, she’s even more surprised when Lady Law–Britain’s most notorious and successful private detective–offers to take the case for free. Against the advice of a young Constable (who seems to take more than a professional interest in our heroine), she accepts Law’s offer .
Between attacks on the heroine, Law’s unnaturally quick resolution to the mystery, and a budding romance, the story presents a decently entertaining steampunk read, if a bit too short for the scope of the story.
I found that character development was a bit light–a result of the story’s length, no doubt–and at times I had difficulty following the action. The description of places and things were a bit muddled, which made fight scenes a bit confusing as I couldn’t quite picture what was happening. I also didn’t think that one scene in particular (near the end, as our heroes attempt to learn what Lady Law is really about) was necessary… a bit gratuitous and out of place. I still can’t figure out what possessed the author to throw it in there.
That said, it wasn’t bad and it made for a nice, light, Sunday afternoon read, and I appreciated the author’s efforts to include plenty of steam technology even within the shorter framework of the story. And at Carina’s very low price point, it’s more than worth the entertainment!
About the Author
Book was provided for review courtesy of NetGalley and Carina Press.