After browsing the local library for more than half an hour and taking several “What book is for me?” quizzes (it was an especially boring day), I settled upon reading the first novel in the Stoker & Holmes series, The Clockwork Scarab. It was definitely an interesting book. The storyline is about two young women, one of them related to Sherlock Holmes, and the other related to Bram Stoker, who become team members and solve crimes in the city of London in the late 1800s. In The Clockwork Scarab, these young women have to investigate a series of murders of other women very similar in age to them. By the end, they manage to destroy an organization called the Society of Sekhmet (which was a sort of mystical goddess-raising group disguised as a women’s right group).
Sounds like a reasonable plot line, right? It was good on the surface, but a lot of the details and small story lines were flawed. First off, in the book, there are three main love attractions. For Mina Holmes, there’s Ambrose Grayling, a police detective, and Dylan Eckhert, a young man who has somehow jumped not only into the past, but has jumped into an alternate universe too, since his world matches ours. However, the characters are pretty stereotypical, and a little bit ridiculous at times. For Evaline Stoker, there is the “disreputable Pix,” as is often stated. He is at least moderately interesting and different, with quite a mysterious life. Also, the end of the book does not actually resolve any of the questions asked in the book, such as “What is the identity of the mysterious Ankh (the figure leading the Society)?”, “What’s up with Pix?”, and “How is Dylan going to get back to the future?” It is quite perplexing and disappointing.
However, despite the issues in the first book, I was still determined to read the second one. Titled The Spiritglass Charade, it revolved around a mystery involving seances, murders, thieves and a mysterious ghost rising from death to deliver warnings (sounds a little sketchy if you ask me). After reading the whole book, however, I have to say that I did enjoy it. It kept the attention and was not super predictable (in terms of who the murderer was). However, as mentioned earlier, the idea of the ghost was a little bit strange, and not really well explained. Finally, the same questions present in the first book remain, and I’m hoping that they will be solved…any book now.
All in all, I would say it is worth reading, but definitely far from perfect.
Other recommendations- Infernal Devices