The Baskerville Affair, Book 1
Synopsis: 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.
Review: I’m always ready for a good steampunk novel and after reading a book that was rather disappointing I really wanted to find something that would blow me away. Evelina seemed the perfect heroine for that. Mixing that with Sherlock Holmes, doesn’t it intrigue you? Because it was definitely the case for me. I was curious to see if this heroine would be at the height of such a master, and of course I wondered if we would be able to see her uncle in the story.
Evelina is not like any other girls. While some think only to marry and about their new dresses, Evelina is passionate about everything with mechanical assemblies. But in addition to this, our dear heroine has many secrets but she should never, ever revealed them. Including those about her own magic which, if it was known, would threaten her life like so many others. So this is something she will keep it for herself, although her friend Imogen knows a bit about it.
Evelina is part of two completely different worlds. Born and raised in a circus, a part of her life is in this environment, but she was also thrown in society by the rest of her family. It is always really difficult for her to really know who she is. Mainly when appear in her heart two different men but both with a disarming charm, Tobias, the brother of her best friend and Nick her childhood friend with whom she can make sparks of magic. My heart totally balances between these two boys I like and I can not wait to see more of them, particularly about Nick! They are both willing to do anything for our heroine and hope that with their charms, she will fall in their favor. Who to choose? The heir with a bad reputation and who is passionate about building machinery or the dark knife thrower and fielder who can perform all tasks. They are both really cute!
But of course the story is not about them, and our heroine will be involved in a murder she is desperate to understand before the police could ruin the family of the people she loves and with whom she lives at the moment. But this story will go well beyond what she thought, and the dangers are increasingly present as her investigation progresses. Yet despite the talents of his uncle, Evelina is far from mastering her investigation and she will have many events to understand before knowing what is really happening.
I loved this story and all the people we meet here. And it is true now that I’ve finished this first volume, I can not wait to read more. The survey was exciting and I was curious to understand what was happening and what all the characters wanted because many are mysterious. I enjoyed Evelina, she is brave, beautiful, fearless and determined to uncover the secrets of each person. I admit that something bothered me a little in my reading at the beginning of the novel. Something I did not expect, the author quickly passes from one character to another, returning in the past sometimes to attend events from another point of view. I admit that at first I was a bit lost, sometimes not knowing who we were following, but as we evolve in the story, we’re taken in the game but it is a style that I did not know and I was quite surprised at first. Beware to not be lost between everyone.
This book is certainly a nice surprise mixing steampunk, magic and secrets. I’m really curious to read the second and third book now.