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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Monday, October 28, 2013

...'dark magic could make her just as dangerous'

A Study in Darkness (The Baskerville Affair #2) by Emma Jane Holloway

Baker Street has been bombed! Holmes and Evelina Cooper, his niece, have a narrow escape. Evelina is sure that the detonator is the work of Tobias.
Now Evelina is in trouble. She plays into Jasper Keating's hands and ends up working for him.  Keating, the Gold King steam baron, wants her to uncover the truth about what the Blue King, better known as the Coal King, is planning. 
However, after insulating herself into the Blue King's domain Evelina discovers that Dr. Magnus has returned from the dead with Seraphina his life like automation, and a cohort of automated ballet dancers. Dr. Magnus is the Blue King's maker and Evelina is forced to work with him. Despite his darkness there is something about Magnus that makes him seem reasonable to Evelina. He is a magician, a mesmerizer. Repartee between Evelina and Magnus always on the edge of a dangerous and dark sarcasm.

Evelina and Nick have become reacquainted with their relationship moving to a new level.
Magnus is after that which the gold casket hid which he suspects the pirate Nick has.  Evelina is the bait, sandwiched between these two powerful men, well three really.
Tobias is a cad in my opinion, but Alice, his wife and daughter to Keating, turns up trumps. Poppy, Imogen and Tobias' little sister, turns out to be quite innovative in uncovering family secrets.
Meanwhile, Imogen Roth, is becoming sensitive to strange dreams. In love with Bucky Penner, but forbidden to see him, she is trapped, with a whole new theatre of horror opening up before her. The dreams of darkness within Imogen have escalated and a murdered woman is part of it, her throat slit just like Grace Child's. Imogen dreams true.
Rebellion is brewing and Mycroft Holmes is somewhere in the middle of it all. Who is the School Master? What is afoot? The code or organization Baskerville is heard of again.
More is revealed about Lord Bancroft and the automations dark history.
Questions are answered, but the answers only reveal new questions.
Closure appears imminent, but hold fast, because added depths open up like wormholes and sweep us into a seemingly never ending vortex of plots within plots.
The second in the series certainly maintained it's edge.
Hold on for the ride! A Victoriana steam punk mesmerizer!

A NetGalley ARC

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