It’s back to Victorian London for the second outing of the Werewolves and Gaslight series, with the unlikely sleuthing trio of Detective Inspector Royston Jones, Catherine Fairchild (a.k.a. Dr. Charles Foster), and Richard Bandon. Jones is the bastard son shunned by his wealthy family. Fairchild is a champion of women’s rights but finds that her society makes her practice alchemy under the guise of a man. Bandon is an aristocratic scion who must keep his true identity as a werewolf secret or be expelled from his family.
This is a society where the class to which you belong means everything, and the lowest class is werewolves—often denied employment and their most basic rights, seen by many as sub-human.
Now werewolves are disappearing at an alarming rate. Jones suspects they are being abducted, experimented upon in ghastly ways, and murdered. He enlists his colleagues in a frantic quest to apprehend the culprits before more victims are lost.
The setting in old London, the vocabulary and pacing, all lend authenticity to the writing. But don’t be mistaken. This is not merely a steampunk, urban fantasy take on the Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes archives. As in the first book in the series, A Hunt by Moonlight, Reppert has crafted an allegory for our current day, critiquing the way we treat our most marginalized citizens. Both entertaining and thoughtful, I give this novel an enthusiastic five stars. Here’s the link: Moon Over London
“Genius Software Engineer Bertram Koslosky, aged thirty-eight years, would probably have missed his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to destroy the planet if he had not had a gob of vanilla doughnut icing stuck to his thumb.”
So begins the always funny, sometimes laugh-out-loud hilarious, story of a brilliant and quirky group of eccentrics who decide to bring down to earth a mineral-laden asteroid and become trillionaires.
The cast of characters includes Bertie, Mal, and Meebs–disgruntled geeks of Pro Con Enterprises; Jessica “Casabas” Moonflower–“Entry Level Receptionist and Telephone Message Mangler” of said corporation; Valeria Tamoritskaya–low level data screener for the Russian Ministry for International Technical Uniformity (read: for industrial spying); and Sister Brigid Patroness (a.k.a. Naked Bree)–former member of the Death to Serpents! cult in the Arizona desert.
These Asteroid Associates are on a mission which will make them all astonishingly wealthy or destroy all life on planet earth.
MacLeod has done it again. Following close on the heels of his funny and acerbic history of World War II in The Brawler, Earth Crosser presents his send-up of corporate America, industrial espionage, politics, and religion. The writing is fast-paced and the story is wildly unpredictable. I can’t remember laughing so hard reading a book since Dave Barry’s The Lunatics.
My only cautionary note: be careful where you read it. Laughing out loud in the food court at PDX drew some very suspicious glances from fellow travelers.
Check out MacLeod’s extensive bibliography on Amazon. Click here to read a free sample of Earth Crosser.