Monday, May 28, 2018

Off the Bookshelf: THE SPIRITGLASS CHARADE, by Colleen Gleason

Not sure what to file this under -- steampunk, alternate history, massive literary license, or just plain FUN ROMP.

Brilliant.

THE SPIRITGLASS CHARADE is the 2nd Stoker and Homes novel -- as in, the sister of Bram Stoker (Dracula) and the niece of Sherlock Holmes. No-nonsense, brilliant young women who manage to solve bizarre crimes and mysteries despite the hampering of society's expectations and limitations, and their bulky skirts.

Even better -- they don't really like each other. Or at least, they are both so brilliant and talented and determined in their own right, they keep colliding against each other. Yet they are there for each other when the going gets downright deadly and tense.

The spiritglass in the title is a device created by the granddaughter of Charles Babbage ... not sure if she is real or not ... which aids in contacting the spirits of the deceased. A young woman believes she is being contacted by her deceased mother, who is urging her to find her missing younger brother. Throw in all sorts of clever steampunk devices and a London infiltrated by anachronistic technology, a clever young unwilling time traveler, and what appears to be an invasion of vampires playing Fagan, and you're guaranteed a romp that will have you grumbling every time chores and boring things like working for a living force you to put the book down. Throw in Irene Adler (yes, her) acting as mentor to the two brilliant tough chicks, with lots of references to Uncle Sherlock's cases and vampire hunting duties ... wow.

Gonna have to buy the first book. This one came out in 2014 (don't you love used bookstores?) so hopefully there are one or two more new ones to dive into.

Like I said before. Brilliant. Great fun.

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