Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Review: A Study in Silks

A Study in Silks (The Baskerville Affair, #1)Author: Emma Jane Holloway
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Del Rey
Series: The Baskerville Affair # 1

Evelina Cooper, the niece of the great Sherlock Holmes, is poised to enjoy her first Season in London’s high society. But there’s a murderer to deal with—not to mention missing automatons, a sorcerer, and a talking mouse.
In a Victorian era ruled by a council of ruthless steam barons, mechanical power is the real monarch, and sorcery the demon enemy of the empire. Nevertheless, the most coveted weapon is magic that can run machines—something Evelina has secretly mastered. But rather than making her fortune, her special talents could mean death or an eternity as a guest of Her Majesty’s secret laboratories. What’s a polite young lady to do but mind her manners and pray she’s never found out?

But then there’s that murder. As Sherlock’s niece, Evelina should be able to find the answers, but she has a lot to learn. And the first decision she has to make is whether to trust the handsome, clever rake who makes her breath come faster, or the dashing trick rider who would dare anything for her if she would only just ask.

“Yes, Grandmother Cooper. She knows what dreams mean. I don’t think Grandmamma Holmes would let such fancies through the door. She’d tell the footman to toss them out.”

Clearly, the woman’s life has ended here, at this very spot. It was a good thing that the rows of hooks and hangers along the wall were empty of costly garments that night. The simple white paint in the room made the sprays of blood stand out in gaudy contrast.

She was suddenly all too aware of the constables standing with Lord Bancroft. Her pulse began to speed. There is evidence of murder and dark magic on your cloakroom floor, my lord.
Evelina Cooper, the niece of Sherlock Holmes, is about the start her first season in London society. While staying at the home of her dear friend, Imogen Bancroft, one of the servants turns up murdered. As the niece of one of the most famous detectives of all time, Evelina has no choice but to begin her own investigation. She finds out, rather quickly, that even with her expansive background, she still has much to learn about being a detective and London society in general. Evelina was everything that I imagined someone related to Sherlock Holmes would be. This book was not disappointing in the least!

The world that Emma Holloway has created is an equal mix of steampunk and magic. I could picture it all vividly in my head, as if the words were floating off the pages. London is controlled by the most wealthy steams barons, and magic has been made illegal. Evelina has a passion for both, and this really made her a versatile character. She was a little rogue and went against a lot that her Grandma Holmes hopes she will be. Evelina is most certainly passionate, and this is when I related with her the most. She has dreams and aspirations, and they are far beyond being the wife to a dull, boring husband like her grandmother prefers.

This story, and series I hope, is not just a mystery series, but has elements of romance, historical fiction, and steampunk all wrapped into one. How can you get much better than that? Evelina has a few romantic ventures lined up and it was exciting for, at least, to watch her decision process. Not only that, but set against this backdrop with the steampunk/magical world, it all made for quite a nice treat. Evelina was truly the sales ticket for me and I am so glad that I do not have to wait another year for the next book to release! That really is the best part.

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Del Rey in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. OOh nice review!! Seeing some good reviews on this one so I might have to add it to Mt. TBR!

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