Friday, July 26, 2013

A Study In Silks-Emma Jane Holloway

A Study In Silks

Emma Jane Holloway

Del Rey, Sep 24 2013, $7.99

ISBN: 9780345537188

While the ruthless steam barons rule 1888 London, Evelina Cooper enjoys science and is skillful with magic (ask Mouse and Bird) though the sorcery must be hidden as those in power claim this is the demon’s tool worthy of death or incarceration in a prison lab. In spite of being the niece of the renowned Sherlock Holmes, Evelina knows the elopement of her parents from two polar opposite worlds permanently brushed her with their scandal. The father of her BFF Imogen Roth has allowed her to stay with them at Hilliard House for her debut; as she chose her mother’s aristocratic past over her father’s traveling show heritage, but realistic Evelina also realizes if scandal touches her he will kick her out. Imogen’s dissolute brother Tobias does not care what happens to Evelina as long as she sleeps with him and Nick who joined a traveling show to find her has reentered her life.

In Hilliard House, Evelina is horrified when she finds the murdered corpse of a woman. Tobias arrives and recognizes the victim as Grace the maid. After consulting with Imogen, both agree that Evelina’s uncle would investigate. Thus motivated, the two friends look into the homicide; ignorant of how dangerous their probe will prove to them and their families from powerful barons.

The first The Baskerville Affair, A Study In Silks, is a strong steampunk Victorian mystery. The Holloway world is vivid as the author uses a myriad of characters to paint an alternate refreshing realm though there is some repetition. Fans will enjoy the adventures of Sherlock’s niece even if scarlet at times supersedes silk as Emma Jane Holloway provides a fresh Holmes whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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