cover image The Dastardly Miss Lizzie: An Electric Empire Novel

The Dastardly Miss Lizzie: An Electric Empire Novel

Viola Carr. Voyager, $15.99 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-0-06-236312-1

Carr’s breakneck third Electric Empire steampunk novel (after The Devious Dr. Jekyll) further explores an alternate Edwardian-era London where magic and weird science run amok in terrifying ways, this time drawing inspiration from the works of H.G. Wells. Crime scene physician Eliza Jekyll attempts to investigate the gruesome murders of several inventors, but while she tries to discover what secrets link them, her other self—the capricious Lizzie Hyde—is growing stronger and more difficult to ignore by the day. Meanwhile, the so-called Soho Slasher is tearing through the local prostitutes, and Eliza fears her own father, Edward Hyde, is to blame. The threat of French terrorists and some royal intrigue turn the plot into a complicated, chaotic mess that nevertheless fails to fall apart at the seams, despite the disparate elements and multiple twists. Carr’s knack for atmospheric storytelling and fast pacing keeps things rocketing along toward an explosive, bloody resolution, and the dueling voices of Eliza and Lizzie give the tale a unique set of perspectives. This installment is entertaining, if a little unwieldy. Agent: Marlene Stringer, Stringer Literary. (Apr.)