Monday, July 2, 2018

The Chess Queen Enigma

Holmes and Stoker are at again, Not the Holmes and Stoker you are thinking of. In The Chess Queen Enigma by Colleen Gleason, Alvermina Holmes, daughter of Mycroft and niece of Sherlock, joins forces with Evaline Stoker, sister of Bram Stoker to solve crimes in the late 1880s England.

Mina as she prefers to be called is a true Holmes, superior intellect, uncanny observation ability and the Holmes arrogance; Evaline is a Venator, or vampire hunter. Stronger, faster and more powerful than most people, but she is still a rookie in vampire hunting.

The books are called steampunk which is defined as "a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology." There are so many unusual gizmos and gadgets, it is a challenge to figure out what they are representing, but so much fun. And it is illegal to use electricity in this era of steam power!
They are a daring duo and embark on missions for Princess Alexandra, supervised by Irene Adler, the
British Museum's Keeper of Antiquities (and yes, that Irene Adler). This mission is more mundane. They are to be the chaperone for Princess Lurelia from Betrovia. England and Betrovia have had terrible relations for centuries and the King of Betrovia has arrived to deliver a letter with the location of an ancient chess queen that's been missing for centuries.

The letter was written by Queen Elizabeth I, but has been in Betrovia for centuries. It reveals the location of the chess queen, which is not only an historic symbol, but it has literal power. The queen will unlock a gigantic chessboard with either treasures or ancient secrets. No one knows for sure.

When the letter disappears again, Holmes and Stoker are lead on a wild chase that includes killing vampires, saving a police officer's life with bread mold and resuscitating another character with a makeshift defibrillator.

An entertaining series and I look forward to Holmes and Stoker's next adventure.

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