Anyone who has been fascinated by Sherlock Holmes and the universe of spin off novels and movies connected to him will be drawn to this novel to see what further variations can be created.
The Clockwork Scarab by Collen Gleason takes us into a world that is Holmes’s London and more. London’s gone steampunk with a vengeance and familiar streets can be four stories high with familiar buildings anchored into place with enormous balloons
But the Holmes of this novel is Mina Holmes, Sherlock’s niece, determined to prove herself a worthy descendent of the great detective. She has honed her powers of observation to a state worthy of her great relative. Her counterpart is no Watson. Evaline Stoker, sister of Bram, the writer of Dracula, has inherited all the considerable vampire fighting abilities of her family. Neither of these ladies should be taken lightly.
Induced to serve England as agents of Alexandra, the Princess of Wales, two confirmed individualists must learn to work together as a team to solve the murders of several society daughters. What links them together besides a clockwork Egyptian scarab by the bodies.
Mina and Evaline take on the puzzle even with significant challenges. Their lack of trust in the other combined with all the restrictions and expectations visited upon upper-class Victorian young ladies give them barriers with which male sleuths never have to contend.
Adventuring where men cannot, the duo learn of the cult of Sekhmet and the connection between the victims and the secret society. Is this just a group of Egyptology aficionados or does the society serve a deadlier purpose? Aided by a Scotland Yard detective, a pickpocket, and a time-traveler, Mina and Evaline search for answers before another young lady turns up dead. Are the girls up to the challenge? You can find this, the first in the series, and the second installment through the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System via the Libby app