In Steel Blues, the second in the Order of the Air Series, Melissa Scott and Jo Graham tell the gripping story of the Gilchrist Aviation Team as they hit desperate times during the Great Depression. The team attempt to win first prize in an exciting coast-to- coast air race, since the cash would keep the business going for a while. Along the way, a necklace, a Russian countess, a century-old curse, and a New Orleans axeman add excitement to their adventure.
Although part of a series, it is also a good standalone novel. It contains elements for everyone: a bit of mystery, romance, history, and adventure, plus some paranormal happenings and humour. It has a wonderful, magical sense of time and place and is pure escapism; however, the authors still capture the feel of life in the 1930s. The reader is transported into the fast-paced world of aeroplanes. The authors can certainly tell a story, keeping the pace flowing extremely quickly and adding in spooky happenings.
All the characters, main and minor, are very well drawn and easy to get to know, and I enjoyed seeing the story from different points of view. The novel has all the things a great adventure should be: it is a quick and easy read with nail-biting tension and great descriptions and dialogue. Although this is the only book of the series I have read, I will certainly be searching out the first novel, The Lost Things. I can recommend it for a few hours of reading steeped in aviation and magic.