Book Review: The Spiritglass Charade (A Stoker & Holmes #2) by Colleen Gleason
After the Affair of the Clockwork Scarab, Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes are eager to help Princess Alix with a new case. Seventeen-year-old Willa Aston is obsessed with spiritual mediums, convinced she is speaking with her mother from beyond the grave. What seems like a case of spiritualist fraud quickly devolves into something far more menacing: someone is trying to make Willa "appear lunatic," using an innocent-looking spiritglass to control her. The list of clues piles up: an unexpected murder, a gang of pickpockets, and the return of vampires to London. But are these events connected? As Uncle Sherlock would say, "there are no coincidences." It will take all of Mina's wit and Evaline's muscle to keep London's sinister underground at bay.
The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason
A Stoker & Holmes #2
Published October 7th 2014 by Chronicle Books
Young Adult Fiction, Historical, Steampunk
Hardcover, 360 pages
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Stoker & Holmes Series
With The Spiritglass Charade, Once again readers are whisked away to a Steampunk, Victorian London where two heroines, Evaline Stoker (sister to Bram Stocker) and Mina Holmes (niece of Sherlock Holmes) are back - solving mysteries, fending off vampires, and finding a few kisses along the way - nothing these two ladies can't handle all in a day's work.
Book one, The Clockwork Scarab, completely swept me away and I needed to catch up on this series - missing it terribly. This time around our sleuthing ladies are asked by Princess Alix to help solve a case where an innocent-looking spiritglass seems to be controlling seventeen-year-old Willa Aston, who believes she is speaking to her mother from beyond the grave.
Told from alternating views, Evaline and Mina face a case where spiritualism and scientific thought are at odds and they must sort through the clues to find the truth, both the seen and unseen. With vampires walking the streets, murder, and a rash of pickpockets overrunning London, our ladies must act quickly.
What fun it was to be back in the world created by Colleen Gleason with the Stocker & Holmes series. Mina Holmes is ever practical, with a fondness for cogs & gadgets, she is definitely the niece to Sherlock Holmes with her ability to find clues hidden in the unseemly. Evaline Stocker comes from a long line of vampire hunters and carries the esteemed title "Venator" which she desperately wants to earn by slaying her first vampire. (I highly recommend the Gardella Vampire Hunters series)!
Though the mystery was not a favorite of mine this time around, I enjoyed the time spent with our sleuthing ladies. The pace is brisk, with a nice mix of thrills, atmosphere, and a touch of romantic interest for both Mina and Evaline (both Ambrose Grayling and Pix are back). Also, I do wish the plot involving Dylan (we meet in book one who has traveled back into time) would go somewhere, though. I like his character and the fun futuristic pop references he brings, but so far his story feels underdeveloped.
Colleen Gleason's The Spiritglass Charade ended up being another fun and entertaining read, making me that much more excited to continue on with The Chess Queen Enigma!