cover image His Clockwork Canary

His Clockwork Canary

Beth Ciotta. Signet Eclipse, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-0-451-23999-0

Ciotta’s second Glorious Victorious Darcys installment (after Her Sky Cowboy) explodes into the middle of Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee in an alternate England warped by time-traveling hippies. Incorrigibly ham-handed and irresistibly dishy amateur engineer Simon Darcy is hellbent on restoring the Darcy family’s fame and fortune before his older twin, Jules, can do so. Simon intends to find the original clockwork propulsion system brought by the Mod Peace Rebels from the love-not-war-making 1960s. He’s first hindered and then besotted by the scandal-sheet newshound Clockwork Canary, initially disguised as boy reporter Willie G. but speedily uncorseted into Wilhelmina Goodenough, a Vic-Mod hybrid Freak. Cleverly mixing Simon and Willie’s chase for glory with interludes of knee-buckling amatory rapture and hissable flashes of archvillain Lord Bingham, Ciotta rockets raunchily along to a spectacular finale with cameos from earlier characters. Buttressed by a helpful glossary and hinting strongly at a third volume featuring bionic undercover agent Jules, this audacious fantasy romance will have readers goggle-eyed and thirsting for more. Agent: Amy Moore-Benson, AMB Literary Management. (June)