Book for June is The Immorality Engine; George Mann. (#3, Newbury and Hobbes)
This is a back-up book, but I really want to read the next book in the series. So, back-up it is!
* * *
Life isn’t going well for Sir Maurice Newbury, who has turned his brilliant mind to solving many puzzling cases for the Queen. He started by dabbling in opium and the occult, but lately the drug has taken more and more control of his life. When a man suspected of a string of crimes is found dead–and then an identical crime occurs, Newbury’s assistant Veronica Hobbes and their friend, Scotland Yard Chief Investigator Bainbridge, have to go into an opium den to drag him out.
Will the mystery be enough to keep him from his addiction? His friends don’t know, and Hobbes has other worries–her agreement to spy on Newbury for the Queen, and her frail sister, who suffers from seizures and speaks in prophecy. With all these secrets between them, the investigation is bound to get off to a rocky start–and the most dangerous of the secrets aren’t easy to bring to light.
I’m fond of Sherlockian style detectives, but they come with downsides. Newbury’s behavior is one of them–the addiction, willful avoidance of problems, and seesawing between focus and drifting. Sometimes this is a bit exasperating, but Newbury makes up for it by his focus on stopping crime and helping the people he cares about.
The plot for this story is twisty, as is to be expected, and the villains are satisfyingly evil. Power, after all, is dangerously addictive, too. And people will do a great deal to get it–or to hold onto it. The end has a bit of set-up for the next book, hinting at all kinds of dire events for our heroes, which makes me glad that the next book is already out.
Recommended for fans of Steampunk and Sherlockian mysteries. This is book #3, so you’ll want to read the others first.