Book Review: ‘The Mysterious Lady Law’

   Posted by: Faith   in Rye Thoughts

I have a quick little review for you today… short ‘n sweet!

The Mysterious Lady Law

by Robert Appleton

Steampunk/Romance eNovella

Release Date: Jan. 31st, 2011


ladylaw2 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…

My Thoughts:

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

appleton Visit Robert Appleton’s website to learn more about him & his (extensive amount of) work!


Book was provided for review courtesy of NetGalley and Carina Press.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 18th, 2011 at 1:28 pm and is filed under Rye Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

10 comments so far


Hey, thanks for the review; sounds interesting. I don’t think I’ve read any steampunk (yet).

Just popping in to say hi, buddy crusader! I’m making the rounds today and checking out your blog. Nice to meet you, and Happy Friday! :)

February 18th, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Thanks for the review, Im quite interested in Steampunk and love some of the images it throws up.

Pleased to meet you fellow crusader!

February 19th, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Thanks for the review. Very interesting.

Greetings from a fellow sci-fi and fantasy author and crusader. I’m glad to meet you.

February 20th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Hi (waving), I’m a fellow crusader making the rounds. See you.

February 20th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Hi there – fellow crusader here stopping by to say hi and follow. Looking forward to getting to know you via your blog :)

February 20th, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Hello fellow crusader! Just making the rounds ~ nice to “meet” you. You know, I haven’t read any steampunk novels yet. I need to. I do have Scott Westerfeld’s “Leviathan” at home in my TBR pile. Happy Monday to you!

February 21st, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Hi everyone, thanks for stopping in!!! I’ll be around to all your blogs soon :) Man, this Crusade is really taking off! So exciting!

February 22nd, 2011 at 2:09 am

Thanks for the review and for stopping by my blog. I’ve always wanted a cool name like Faith. Best!

February 22nd, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Wow. Great review!

Fellow crusader – nice to meet you!

February 23rd, 2011 at 10:40 am

Sounds like an interesting book; I’m always on the lookout for something new.

I have an award for you at my blog.

February 23rd, 2011 at 12:59 pm