Britain during the time of Queen Victoria, oh how I would have loved to have been there! Ms. Alexia Tarabotti is something of an unusual person; she has no soul. This would concern most people but Ms. Tarabotti takes it in stride. She is also a spinster, which doesn't bother her the least. Her mother on the other hand is less than thrilled to have a spinster for a daughter who is also Italian. One evening Ms. Tarabotti, hungry and miffed that she cannot eat (even though promised there would be food at the party) goes to sit down and snack on some food but is attacked by a vampire!
She is shocked for naturally vampires do not do such a thing! This is a proper British society after all. As the vampire goes to bite her she places her hand upon him nullifying his vampire-ness, a trait which is only allowed to the preternatural (a term referring to her kind). After trying to dissuade the vampire who won't take the hint, Alexia mistakenly kills him. Just as the vampire dies Lord Maccon walks into the study and finds the messy situation. The vampire though is not from the local hive (as no hive would allow a half starved crazy vampire with no etiquette training to be about London). Lord Maccon, leader of BUR or Bureau of Unnatural Registry begins an investigation. The investigation begins to uncover some very unpleasant news that will drag Alexia into the supernatural world.
I just love this book! From the mannerisms of Ms. Tarabotti (she's not the typical Victorian lady - she has a mind and speaks out) to her interactions with Lord Maccon (again, not a feeble woman but one to be reckoned with) to the way that Victorian England is cast into a sci-fi world with floating dirigibles, werewolves and vampires (of high class and breeding no doubt!) this book just has it all and told so wonderfully. I must say that I had a lovely surprise when a certain character that I had written off as lame came back to be a key player. How delightful! My favorite character though had to be Mr. Akeldama! He was such a fun character to get to know and I quite liked his 'loud' style.
Books in this series:
The Parasol Protectorate Series
2) Changeless (May 2010)
Soulless by Gail Carriger. New York (c) 2009