This series is a favourite of mine, and when receiving the fifth book via Netgalley I decided to do a re-read of the whole series. Seeing as I read the first book before this blog existed I never posted a review of it, so I wrote that for you yesterday. From today on I will repost my reviews of books 2-4, seeing as my opinions on them haven’t changed. All of this leads up till Tuesday, when I will share my review of The Revenant Express, it’s publication day. I hope you enjoy Xx
When your boss is the Queen of England, you never know what the day will bring. For Gentleman Investigator for the Crown, Sir Maurice Newbury, it is likely to involve rooftop chases, swordfights, races through the Underground, and the most terrifying case of murders to ever plague London.
When an Egyptian mummy is unveiled, a string of mysterious murders follows in its wake, drawing Newbury into a web of occult intrigue. Meanwhile, Miss Veronica Hobbes becomes increasingly perplexed by a growing pool of young women who have disappeared after being used as props in a magician’s stage act. But what appears to be a straightforward investigation pulls Miss Hobbes into mortal danger.
This is a steampunk mystery novel about immortality, featuring investigators Newbury and Hobbes, agents of the Crown. And I loved it. Was it perfect? Definitely not. But I didn’t care.
This second book is better than the first one. It is not weighted down by the standard steampunk clichés, but is its own thing. Its making the promise of the rest of the series to be unique and lots of fun.
We learn a bit more about the two main characters, the charming Mr Newbury and the feisty and intelligent Miss Hobbes. There is a little bit of drama but not nearly enough to distract from the mystery. There is a little bit of romance, but again not nearly enough to distract from the mystery. And to be honest, who would not fall in love with a woman like Miss Hobbes. She is a very modern woman, who makes up her own mind, is incredibly smart, beautiful… and Damn that fight scene.
My only problem is that the mystery is not very mysterious. But I find that with a lot of books so I can live with it. I like that George Mann does not shy away from showing the not so pretty parts. There are some very gory parts, some people die who you would have rather seen live. But it is not done in a showy way or to make the book more ‘grown up’. Just like Newbury is an opium addict, not just to make him look more like Sherlock Holmes, but to make him a flawed, realistic human being.
But it is not all fast paced action and fun. There are some beautiful parts in it too and I have to admit I might have shed a tear for a certain character. The ending was great and made me very curious to the next few books in the series.