Well Studied

A Study in Silks - Emma Jane Holloway

Being new to and fascinated with steampunk I was eager to read this book. But dang, this thing is LONG!

In traditional steampunk style, the setting is Victorian England: aristocrats, gadgets and corsets- oh my! Our heroine, Evelina Cooper, is the niece of the one and only Sherlock Holmes, and inherited his smarts in addition to a few unusual talents of her own- sorcery- making her pretty formidable. Dear old uncle even manages to grace us with his presence! Which naturally means there's a rather complex murder mystery to unravel that will, of course, involve crashing headlong into the highest levels of polite society. Not necessarily a bad thing for our girl, who's been excluded all her life due to her mother's scandalous behavior.

Holloway's characters use language that's beyond florid at times, but doesn't become too obtrusive- adding a little flavor to the mix, but still wore on you in places. It often helps bring the imagery of the era to life, but again, sometimes got laid on thick.

Study in Silks is a pretty good debut novel and a good way to kick off a series, but could use some paring down and faster pacing.