A Hanging at Lotus Hall

Rating: 4 out of 5.
A Hanging at Lotus Hall book cover

Corrina Lawson 2019 – Steampunk Detectives Series #2

It was so much fun to enter the steampunk world of Joan Krieger and Gregor Sherringford just one more time – the last time for now, as there are no other books in the series to my knowledge.

In this installment, some time has passed since the conclusion of The Curse of the Brimstone Contract. Joan and Gregor have been working together for a while, solving mysteries in a Victorian England fueled by steam and magic. When they’re called – commanded – to attend Gregor’s mage mother at the family’s ducal estate, Joan’s interest is piqued – and rightly so, because, to coin one of Gregor’s favorite turns of speech, murder is afoot.

I’d like to give this story an unbridled five stars, but had to stop at four for a few reasons; first, there’s never anything like the first book in a mystery series; no one is ruled out as a suspect, and the reader never knows how each character is going to behave. There’s no way to duplicate that in future installments. There was also a bigger cast of characters than in the first book, and if you’ll recall, one of my favorite aspects of that book was the limited number of suspects.

I also noticed what seemed to be some minor inconsistencies between facts in the first and second books, and I would have liked greater detail around how Joan ended up in a house of her own, considering that her family home was blown to smithereens at the end of the first book.

These are minor points, though – the story was still enjoyable, if marginally less engaging than its predecessor, and I rate it at a solid four stars.

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