A Study in Darkness (The Baskerville Affair #2) by Emma Jane Holloway

Diving right in with fast paced non-stop action, Emma Jane Holloway hasn’t missed a beat in the second installment of her Baskerville Affair Series.  Evelina, Sherlock Holmes’ niece is back again, returned to the alternate Victorian world where pirates, politics and dark magic challenge the heroine and require her constant attention and vigilance.

Darker than the first book, the author has managed to seamlessly weave murder, mayhem, steampunk and historical elements with a series of twists that keep readers glued to the pages, looking for the answers to a myriad of questions.

While many steampunk stories carry a sense of the familiar, Holloway’s style and presentation of her characters, give them a depth and a feel that is grounded in reality despite the fantastical setting.  We also are reminded of Evelina’s rougher upbringing as she partners with Jasper to uncover the answers to questions she has.  Questions are answered from the first story, the Steam Barons are still evil, and the pirates take a much more forward role in this story.

What emerges is a delightful story that has several twists and turns, yet never feels overworked or under developed.  Characters are well placed and defined, the twists are a nice mix of fantastical and realistic, and the feel is pure steampunk, as the genre is meant to read.  While I would suggest that you read the first in this series before this one, you can enjoy this installment as a stand-alone story and not feel wholly lost.   A great read for fans of steampunk, or for those who want to see what the genre can offer.

A Study in Darkness (The Baskerville Affair #2) by Emma Jane Holloway

Title: A Study in Darkness
Author: Emma Jane Holloway
Series: The Baskerville Affair #2
Genre: Science Fiction / Steampunk
Published by: Del Ray
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 352
Rated: five-stars
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When a bomb goes off at 221B Baker Street, Evelina Cooper is thrown into her Uncle Sherlock’s world of mystery and murder. But just when she thought it was safe to return to the ballroom, old, new, and even dead enemies are clamoring for a place on her dance card.

Before Evelina’s even unpacked her gowns for a country house party, an indiscretion puts her in the power of the ruthless Gold King, who recruits her as his spy. He knows her disreputable past and exiles her to the rank alleyways of Whitechapel with orders to unmask his foe.

As danger mounts, Evelina struggles between hiding her illegal magic and succumbing to the darker aspects of her power. One path keeps her secure; the other keeps her alive. For rebellion is brewing, a sorcerer wants her soul, and no one can protect her in the hunting ground of Jack the Ripper.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Emma Jane Holloway

Ever since childhood, Emma Jane Holloway refused to accept that history was nothing but facts prisoned behind the closed door of time. Why waste a perfectly good playground coloring within the timelines? Accordingly, her novels are filled with whimsical impossibilities and the occasional eye-blinking impertinence—but always in the service of grand adventure.

Struggling between the practical and the artistic—a family tradition, along with ghosts and a belief in the curative powers of shortbread—Emma Jane has a degree in literature and job in finance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest in a house crammed with books, musical instruments, and half-finished sewing projects. In the meantime, she’s published articles, essays, short stories, and enough novels to build a fort for her stuffed hedgehog.