The very look of this book is daunting - a massive tome of nearly 800 pages. Very decorative and unusual in the way it is presented with a shiny blue cover and mottled front pages giving the impression of something aged and glassy. There are even Victorian style advertisments for Pingmann's Wax, lectures by Dr Lorenz and the Indigo Clay company among others at the back of the book.
Set in an imaginary city around Victorian times, it is the story of an unlikely threesome - Miss Temple a young woman in search of a husband who has just been jilted; Cardinal Chang - a disreputable searcher of secrets and an assassin; and Dr. Sevenson who reluctantly seeks to chaperone an unhelpful Prince.
When Miss Temple is unexpectedly jilted by her newly acquired betrothed, she is determined to find out what is going on. Secretly following him, she becomes emeshed in a web of deceit, murder and mystery. It is a hard read and seems to jump a lot between one character and another making it hard to keep track of what is happening. This is not a book for the faint hearted.
Personally I think it would have been better if it had been edited down more, cutting out some of the long drawn out passages. An interesting story line, but one which gets lost amid the prose.