Steampunk Detective Fiction
Inventor James Wainwright's greatest desire is to be left alone in his workshop, where he can focus on invention and engineering unsullied by the messiness of London society and the meaningless concerns of its upper classes. His financial patron, gentleman Alton Bartleby, has higher aspirations. To continue to receive funding James will have to venture out into the outside world as a detective, turning his inventive genius to the creation of new forensic technologies.
Bartleby and James is a steampunk mystery collection that tells the story of the detectives' foray into private investigation.
In "And They Called Her Spider" they hunt an impossible assassin, trying to end her reign of terror before she can disrupt Queen Victoria's Platinum Jubilee.
In "Maiden Voyage of the Rio Grande" the detectives fight to clear James' name aboard an airship before sabotage sends them crashing into the city below.
"On the Trail of the Scissorman" sends the pair after a monstrous serial killer turning London's children into orphans.
Finally, "A Matter of Spirit" delves into the shadow world of séances and spiritualism as they look for a missing medium in the parlors of Knightsbridge... and beyond.
Bartleby and James is the first book in the Galavanic Century series of steampunk mysteries and thrillers, taking readers to an alternate 1910s where Queen Victoria yet rules and the psuedo-scientific beliefs of the Victorians work as they believed them to.
I enjoyed this set of stories very much. I am looking forward to reading more of this author's work. ( I hope he writes more of the little Chinese girl and her adoptive fathers.)