Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences field agent Eliza Braun operates under the credo that every job, no matter how large or small, can be effectively dealt with by the use of dynamite. While rescuing kidnapped archivist Wellington Books, Braun may have overestimated the amount of explosive needed just a bit and as punishment to both, the two agents are partnered in Archives. While Braun has been making the world safer by blowing things up, Books has been had at work building and programming a Difference Engine capable of performing all kinds of tasks. As the unlikely partners attempt to work together, Books becomes drawn into Braun’s first horrific unresolved case that left bodies minus skin, blood, or even bones behind. Between Books ability with complex codes and Braun’s talent with ordinances, the two might stay alive long enough to form a working relationship but only if they can start trusting each other.
Readers new to the Steampunk genre can’t do better then starting out with this excellent romp through an alternate version of Victorian England. As if the main character names are not enough of a clue, this is simple good fun. The smooth pace, assorted subplots, evil villains and plot twists create a delightful, engaging read that draws readers in and doesn’t let go.