The Clockwork Scarab, by Colleen Gleason
The beginning of this story takes us to London in 1889, but not just any old London, a fantasized version of steam, gears and lace up boots. Two young women by the names of Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes begin an partnership with each other to solve the mysterious crimes that have been occurring before one of them become a victim.
As an avid Sherlock Holmes fan I am very particular on writings about or alluding to him. So, as I began this book I was very skeptical. To my great delight, Colleen Gleason did a wonderful job incorporating the Holmes vibe without mimicking or deviating too much on the original. The atmosphere is beautifully described so that you can almost smell the steam and oil from the gears. Another thing that the author does well is costuming. She dresses all characters in wonderfully thought out attire which would be an asset at any fashion show.
Not being as big a fan of Stoker novels, I wasn’t as picky on Evaline’s character, but soon found that I enjoyed her every bit as much as Mina Holmes…perhaps even more. The interaction between the two complete opposite personalities is priceless. They cover each others weaknesses with their own strength. It truly makes me smile to think of the complex beauty in this book.
The two remaining characters are the young men that both girls come in contact with continually in their work and they are every bit as well developed as the female counterparts. Though I haven’t said much about them, I’m afraid to expound too much more in fear of spoiling the story for any who wants to give it a try. So, you will just have to read it to find out more.
For not being terribly long, this book has a depth to all aspects that gives some of the most accomplished writers a run for their money. There is a touch of romance and a good deal of secrecy in each of the main characters and they stride into this story full blast and into your heart forever. I give it 5 out of 5 Stars.
This book is available through Overdrive.
By Jenny, WCPL librarian