A Study in Silks
A fun combination of steampunk and murder mystery. Evelina Cooper is the niece of Sherlock Holmes, and she possesses a talent that could mean her death-- she can animate mechanical objects. Victorian England, in this alternate history, is ruled by Steam Barons who are influential, callous, and greedy and whose goal is to consolidate their already immense power by any means necessary. Magic is a threat to their control, and "witches" are condemned to death.
When a housemaid is murdered, Evelina notes a magical signature and finds herself wanting to solve the murder and protect Imogene, her best friend.
Some sections are a little slow, but overall the book reads quickly. Sherlock Holmes plays a relatively small role, but his influence on methods of detection helps guide Evelina's investigation.
A little romance--Evelina is courted by two suitors, both handsome, but with completely different backgrounds. Strangely, the secondary romance of Imogene and Bucky is much more entertaining. These two secondary characters, turned out to be my favorites for several reasons.
A Study in Silks is the author's debut novel, and while she does wrap up the mystery of the housemaid's murder in the conclusion, she also leaves room for more in this series.
A light and entertaining read.
NetGalley/Random House, Del Ray Spectra.
Mystery/Historical Fiction. Sept. 24, 2013. Print Version: 560 pages. ISBN-10: 0345537181