Originally posted on Friday, 24 January 2014 at ROPL.org.
By Colleen Gleason
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Review by Sarah Nagelbush, Adult Librarian
Are you a fan of the BBC Sherlock? Do you like books with clever, snarky and brilliant main characters? Look no further than Colleen Gleason’s new series: Stoker & Holmes. Meet our two heroines: Evaline Stoker (sister to the famous Bram Stoker of Dracula fame) and Mina Holmes (niece of famed consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes and daughter of the illusive Mycroft Holmes). The two teenagers team up to solve crimes in the name of queen and country. Or least that’s what Gleanson promises us.
Book 1 of Gleanson’s series, titled The Clockwork Scarab, introduces us to Evaline and Mina, along with a cast of characters including a time traveling American, a detective named Grayling and a thief named Pix who is not who he seems to be (plus a few other surprises for the Sherlock Holmes and Dracula fans).
The Clockwork Scarab is set in London, though not the one found in much historical fiction. Instead, her world is a steampunk world that doesn’t use electricity (there was some drama on the continent involving Edison). But it’s not pure steampunk, either. Gleason pulls from a variety of genres including (but hopefully not limited to) vampires, time travel and the resurrection of Egyptian gods.
While not my favorite re-imaging of the world of Sherlock Holmes, The Clockwork Scarab makes up for it’s shortcomings by having fantastic characters and an engaging plot. If you enjoy a good romp through steampunk London and a mystery, you’ll enjoy Gleanson’s story. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for book two.