Elizabeth Barnabus lives a double life - as herself and as her brother, the private detective. She is trying to solve the mystery of a disappearing aristocrat and a hoard of arcane machines. In her way stand the rogues, freaks and self-proclaimed alchemists of a travelling circus. But when she comes up against an agent of the all-powerful Patent Office, her life and the course of history will begin to change. And not necessarily for the better.
Rod Duncan is a published crime writer. His first novel, Backlash, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, and he has since written three other novels (all Simon & Schuster UK) and had his first screenplay produced. His background is in scientific research and computing, and he lives in Leicester.
"If I had a bowler hat, I'd take it off to the author of this beautifully crafted steampunk novel." (Chris D'Lacey, author of The Last Dragon Chronicles)
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- R. Maines
Enjoyable & Fun, but no steampunk
I very much enjoyed the audio version and recommend it for those interested in going on an adventure with a female spy (who dresses up as a male, thanks to her fathers foresight and care), has gypsy blood, is proficient at misdirection,and has a wild time of sorting fact from fiction (sometimes successful, and at others not).
The story is set in a fictional England during what is similar to the Victorian period. Elizabeth, the main character, is pursued by the International Patent Office (the bad guys) who's job is to ensure that only the "right" sort of technology is developed and introduced. She is also hiding and being pursued by the Duke of Northhampton who has under unscrupulous conditions obtained a contract for marriage. With all this going on the story is driven by a contract she has accepted to find a missing aristocrat.
The Steampunk reference is confusing because there is no quirky technology,only the Patent Office. So I didn't get that reference.
Elizabeth is resourceful, intelligent, kind and competent; struggling to make it in a world where women aren't suppose to work or "color outside the lines". She has fun, is endearing to many she meets, and is often in danger. What's not to like?