The service of Britannia is not for the faint of heart - or conscience . . .
After defeating a clockwork army bent upon regicide, the sorceress Emma Bannon and genius detective Archibald Clare have come to respect each other's skills, despite the fact that magic and logic are usually opposing forces.
So when the Queen asks Emma to track down a missing doctor who holds the key to a deadly new weapon, Archibald's deductive talent may be just what she needs to find the man, before his destructive discovery sets the entire capital city ablaze . . .
The game is afoot. And the Red Plague rises.
The second Bannon and Clare steampunk mystery, following 2012's The Iron Wyrm Affair, sees mentath Archibald Clare and sorceress Emma Bannon once again risking all to protect England (herein called Britannia) from all threats. This time they're hot on the heels of a mad genius who's developed a weaponized version of the Black Plague. While Saintcrow is an ace at bringing her magic-laced world to life and exploring its nooks and crannies, the plot starts off slow and doesn't pick up until late in the game. The main characters communicate in a Victorian dance of manners that leaves much unsaid; they're barely more than plot-driven ciphers. Copious amounts of intrigue and action don't quite disguise the fact that little happens and less is explained or resolved.