by Mary Saums
Out-of-the-ordinary mystery sleuths have made August such a great reading month for me. Two series, three wonderful, unusual investigators.
Set in an alternative steampunk Victorian London, A STUDY IN DARKNESS by Emma Jane Holloway is Book 2 in The Baskerville Affair series. Yes, THAT Baskerville. Or at least, one with quite a few different twists. The young heroine, Evalina Cooper, is the niece of Sherlock Holmes. She wants to be an investigator like him. But first, she must get through her London season and be presented to the Queen before heading off to college.
So that's the normal part. The bigger reality for Evalina is that the powers inherited from her father's side of the family are becoming more evident. Not good. Magic is strictly forbidden in a London ruled by powerful steam barons who make everybody's lives miserable. Evalina and friends must navigate carefully to stay alive.
What I enjoyed most about this and A STUDY IN ASHES, the 3rd book in the series, is the way the author developed each character in the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole cast and all the trouble they got into. Really looking forward to more from this author.
Those were hard books to follow. After being in London so long, no other setting could hold my attention. So I re-read an old favorite, BRYANT AND MAY ON THE LOOSE by Christopher Fowler.
Oh my goodness, how I love this series. Mr. Fowler is so clever and funny. Arthur Bryant and John May are the city's most senior detectives. The "on the loose" in this title refers to the fact that the Peculiar Crimes Unit have been kicked out of their office. Higher-Ups are trying to close them down after the Unit exposed certain wrong-doings in the government in the previous book.
Hah. They can't keep the old dogs down. When a headless body is found in an abandoned Kings Cross building, Detective May convinces the Met to give the case to the PCU. Meanwhile, another body is found, also headless. Nearby, people report late-night sightings of a stag man, a guy with antlers and cloven hoof prints.
Arthur Bryant lives for this stuff. He may be old as the hills, but his memory of British legends and history and all kinds of possibly unrelated tidbits will ultimately help catch the perp.
I'm currently reading the latest in the series, THE BURNING MAN. Yay! Maybe if I stretch it and read real slow, another new one will be out when I finish. :)
What about you? Share your latest "good book" with us!