The Curse of the Brimstone Contract

Rating: 5 out of 5.
The curse of the brimstone contract book cover

Corrina Lawson – The Steampunk Detectives #1, 2014

Joan Krieger is a seamstress in a steampunk version of Victorian England. There is a death; is it murder? When she and her family become possible suspects, Joan seeks out the assistance of Gregor Sherringford, a man with a gift for solving problems.

The first chapter of the first book of a mystery series can sometimes be daunting for a reader. We can’t take anything for granted. Do we need to know every single one of these characters? Which of them will be central to the story? Which noblewoman will remain in the story after the ball is over? Will it be Lady Marigold, Lady Violet, or Lady Hyacinth? And which one of those ladies is the niece of the Queen?

Do we need to be taking notes? Should we sketch a family tree as we read?

Author Corrina Lawson has, thankfully, limited the cast of characters in this lovely first offering, so readers can relax immerse ourselves in the magical world she has created for our reading pleasure.

It’s hard to avoid some plot elements that could be considered cliche in genre mystery. In this series (so far, anyhow), the characters are so fresh and unconventional that any possible hint of cliche, for me, was mitigated.

Great pacing, believable dialogue, creative magic, a manageable character list and rich world-building – this book has it all; it’s an easy five stars. As far as I can see there’s only one other title in the series, but one can hope.

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