Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Mysterious Lady Law

The Mysterious Lady Law
Author Robert Appleton

In a time of grand airships and steam-powered cars, the death of a penniless young maid will hardly make the front page. But part-time airship waitress and music hall dancer Julia Bairstow is shattered by her sister's murder. When Lady Law, the most notorious private detective in Britain, offers to investigate the case pro bono, Julia jumps at the chance-even against the advice of Constable Al Grant, who takes her protection surprisingly to heart. Lady Law puts Scotland Yard to shame. She's apprehended Jack the Ripper and solved countless other cold-case crimes. No one knows how she does it, but it's brought her fortune, renown and even a title. But is she really what she claims to be-a genius at deducting? Or is Al right and she is not be trusted? Julia is determined to find out the truth, even if it means turning sleuth herself-and turning the tables on Lady Law...

Gems:  A light and easy whodunnit read combining steampunk, Victorian setting, a sprinkle of science fiction with the heart of a Sherlock Holmes mystery.  Since it is available in ebook format, I'm not certain of the page count, but it is not terribly lengthy and a reader can whiz through the adventure.  Might be the perfect companion while traveling to pass the time.  It will hold your interest without giving you an involved head throb.  It reads like a television episode and can be satisfied rather quickly.  There is a clear beginning where the problem is presented, the chase or investigation and then conclusion.  If you enjoy this type of formula, you'll likely find The Mysterious Lady Law a pleasant cozy, steampunk light mystery.  I liked it.  I wasn't greatly moved, but then again, I also wasn't put off.

Flaws:  A touch formulaic for my particular taste.  Some awkward dialogue and phrasing had me questioning if this was truly taking place in Victorian England.  At times, the interaction, language, behaviors of characters had a more roaring 1920's feel than Victorian.  Felt like an attempt to jump on the steampunk popularity crazy and was produced quickly in a true and tested plot formula that  produced a solid story, but was not deeply original or overwhelmingly intriguing.  In addition, there were some strange interactions that weren't explained and introductions that never became relevant leaving me wondering what the point of including the detail was in the first place.  Perhaps, it was an attempt to throw the reader off the whodunnit part, but that developed quickly and became obvious.
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  1. I have yet to try steampunk...from the sound of this one, I don't think this is the one to start with as it is not a great example of the genre...thanks for your honest review :)

  2. I am a fan of light and easy, but the only SP I've read is Clockwork angel.
    Thanks for review

    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog