cover image The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

India Holton. Berkley, $16 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-20016-2

Holton debuts with a delightful alternate-Victorian-era romp replete with swashbuckling, skulduggery, and sly romance. Miss Cecilia Bassingthwaite lives with her great-aunt, a prim, hypochondriac member of the Wisteria Society, comprising only the highest class of lady pirates, all of whom pilot flying battlehouses. When Cecilia is attacked by handsome assassin Ned Lightbourne, she’s thrilled—maybe now that there’s been an attempt on her life, the Society will finally take her seriously. But before she can make her case for promotion to the high tea table, the dastardly, Brontë-obsessed Captain Morvath steals one of the Society’s battlehouses. Cecilia has a lifetime’s worth of trauma to take out on Morvath, but when his next move is to kidnap the entire Wisteria Society, she’s quickly in over her head and must rely on Ned’s double-crossing help to take her father down. Though the side characters outshine the smitten leads, readers will adore the hilariously courteous combat, social sniping, juicy flirtation, and thorough repudiation of Morvath’s cartoonish misogyny. With secret identities, secret doors, and secret histories to spare, this high-octane layer-cake of escapism hits the spot. [em]Agent: Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary. (Jun.) [/em]