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Monday, June 2, 2014

A Study in Darkness: Book Two in The Baskerville Affair by Emma Jane Holloway

When a bomb goes off at 221B Baker Street, Evelina Cooper is thrown into her uncle Sherlock’s world of mystery and murder. But just when she thought it was safe to return to the ballroom, old, new, and even dead enemies are clamoring for a place on her dance card.

Before Evelina’s even unpacked her gowns for a country house party, an indiscretion puts her in the power of the ruthless Gold King, who recruits her as his spy. He knows her disreputable past and exiles her to the rank alleyways of Whitechapel with orders to unmask his foe.

As danger mounts, Evelina struggles between hiding her illegal magic and succumbing to the darker aspects of her power. One path keeps her secure; the other keeps her alive. For rebellion is brewing, a sorcerer wants her soul, and no one can protect her in the hunting grounds of Jack the Ripper.

The plot is interesting, the writing balanced enough that you're drawn in and interested without being bored or overwhelmed at any point in time. The focus of the story is definitely on the romance, rather than on the mystery, which becomes a sort of secondary plot, and the thing which forces them together, rather than the focus of the story.

I see steampunk and magic mixed a lot and I feel that the two work fairly well together. Here, especially, the magic adds that extra layer which is necessary to pull the story together.

Overall, what I got was a fun story with interesting characters. It drew me in and kept me reading, and while I wasn't reading, I was thinking about the story, wondering what would happen next. It's a fast read, one I got done in a few hours, but it doesn't leave you feeling like it's a short read, or an incomplete story. I'd love to read more about what happens to Poppy. It's the sort of book which will become part of a long running series.

Emma Jane Holloway's  has  written a book that has something for everyone - history, murder mystery, humor, romance, danger, and more. It's a thrilling read with very memorable characters, settings, and scenes. I highly recommend A Study in Darkness.