Book one of the Mysterious Devices series of clockwork cozies set in the Magnificent Devices world!
Daisy and Freddie were supposed to be her bridesmaids. Now they’re solving her murder. In the steampunk Wild West, it’s what friends do.
Margrethe Amelia Linden (Daisy to her friends) is a young woman of gentle upbringing, some talent as a watercolorist, and firm opinions that often get her into trouble. Determined to find her missing father, in the summer of 1895 she sets out for the last place he was seen: the Wild West. It’s a rude shock when her younger sister stows away on the airship—such behavior no doubt the result of her unsuitable friendship with Maggie Polgarth and the Carrick House set.
On the journey, friendship blooms between Daisy and Miss Emma Makepeace, who is traveling to the Texican Territories as a mail-order bride. When Emma begs the girls to delay their search by a day or two in order to stand with her at the altar, Daisy is delighted to accept.
But the wedding day dawns on a dreadful discovery. Within hours the Texican Rangers have their man—but even in her grief, Daisy is convinced he cannot have killed her friend. She must right this terrible mistake before he hangs ... and before the real culprit realizes that two very observant young ladies are not going to allow him to get away with murder ...
“Shelley Adina adds murder to her steampunk world for a mysteriously delicious brew! You’ll love watching her intrepid heroine (and unexpected friends) bring justice to the Wild West while pursuing a quest of her own.” —Victoria Thompson, bestselling author of Murder in the Bowery
Gutsy story, well told
Having read all 12 books of the previous series, I wondered what characters awaited me. There is authorial bravery afoot as well as gritty realism.
Abandoning the more lighthearted adventure of the ‘Devices’ series could not have been easy. The familiar period piece qualities heighten the presence of real danger and ring with grim presence. Adina’s skill at assembling a believable host of characters shines through as does her taut narrative. My heart was gripped throughout.
This is an ambitious gambit for the author and I, for one, look forward to the next volume.
I have all 12 of the “Magnificent Devices” series and enjoyed them all. The early books are some of my all-time favorites.
This story has some of Adina’s delight characters, and that is part of the problem. I liked Miss Makepeace and to have her backstory be so horrible and her ending so heartbreaking ruined the reading for me. In Adina’s other stories, characters with hard beginnings are given hope. This story will haunt me. I will always respect her talent, but I will be more cautious deciding about my next purchase of her books.