Steampunk and the secret Holmes…

A Study in Silks (The Baskerville Affair, #1)A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting angle combining the world of Sherlock Holmes with steampunk.
Not sure if it was intentional but the there was a sub-plot with a subliminal political message. The steam barons own and control all the energy sources in the book that are required to produce heat and light. If anyone dares to defy them they become ‘Disconnected’ from those vital sources. Their houses are void of light and heat, which is apparent to others that surround them. A darkened, cold house among the brightly lit ones. The disconnection leads to the party in question becoming ostracized by society.
In essence this is a wee poke with a large stick at the global energy companies of our era. They control price, amount and who gets what. If you can’t match their high prices or demands then you become disconnected. Kudos to the author for that clever hidden message even if it wasn’t planned on her part.
Despite this being an interesting debut it could have done with a good edit.
It is filled with superfluous scenes and bit by bit details of the same issue over and over again. I found myself being drawn in by the steampunk and intriguing magical details, only to be put off by the inane repetitive sections and narrative about debutantes in society.
Holloway hasn’t really managed to pull off the perfect combo of mystery vs steampunk. Her steampunk and magic are the elements that have convinced me to read the next book, but her mystery is a let down.
If you’re going to use any element of Sherlock Holmes, even if it is only an imaginary niece, then you better make sure you cross your Holmes and dot your Watson.
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.

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