The Clockwork Scarab
In an alternative 1889 London, where airships and steam-powered machines, vehicles, and devices are common, Mina Holmes, niece of Sherlock, and Evaline Stoker, sister of Bram, embark on the first of what promises to be a series of adventures. Sherlock’s old nemesis, Irene Adler, summons the girls to the British Museum to investigate a series of apparent suicides of young society women and the disappearance of another. The only clue is an Egyptian scarab left with the bodies. Soon Mina and Evaline realize this is a case of murder, not suicide, and they discover the victims are members of a secret society devoted to the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. They infiltrate the society to discover why the girls are being killed. But will they avoid becoming the next victims?
The Clockwork Scarab is a thrilling, fast-paced adventure, and Gleason’s London is a fascinating place, both like and unlike the real London. She presents us with two intrepid, and contrasting, heroines: the logical, brilliant, but physically and socially awkward Mina and the beautiful, impulsive Evaline, who possesses superhuman strength. They are not the best of friends; in fact, they distrust each other at first and must learn to work together to solve the murders. There are three potential love interests: Pix, a pickpocket; Grayling, a Scotland Yard inspector; and Dylan, a time traveler from the present day. Dylan was accidentally transported to 1889 after touching the scarab on a statue of Sekhmet; besides solving the murders, the girls have to figure out how to get him home. I am looking forward to reading more of Mina’s and Evaline’s adventures.