What an absolute treat this book was to read! I absolutely loved it. I was recommended this book a few months ago so I picked up a copy when in NYC in December as it wasn't out in the UK then. Then in January I was lucky enought to interview Gail for this blog and was even more fascinated and intriguied when I read her answers. Who knew a book about vampires, werewolves and ghosts wandering around Victorian London and attending tea-parties would be so much fun? From the minute I cracked open the spine I knew I was in for a great ride. Our heroine is Miss Alexia Tarabotti and she has fast become one of my favourite characters in any book: she's feitsy, speaks her own mind, sarcastic, soulless, large chested and so funny!
In the opening pages, Miss Tarabotti accidentally kills a rogue vampire who tries to attack her, and although she is put out that said vampire doesn't appear to know that she was born without a soul and therefore immune to any supernatural attack, she is more annoyed that the vampire landed in the middle of the food table and on top of the treacle tart, which she had particularly been looking forward to. Within minutes, The Earl of Wolsey, Lord Maccon, arrives in the middle of the mess - he has been sent by Queen Victoria to investigate the mystery of disappearing registered vampires and appearing rogue vampires. Lord Maccon also happens to be a werewolf, the Alpha at that, and Miss Tarabotti appears to exasperate him at every turn. The characters are what really made this book, for me. Alexia aside, I also fell in love with Lord Akeldama, a flambouyant vampire who practically minces through the pages, and Lyall, Lord Maccon's beta werewolf and sidekick are fantastic, as are the vile Mrs Loontwill (Alexia's mother) and her two sisters.
Miss Tarabotti's adventure with trying to track down what has happened to the disappearing vampires and werewolves and getting herself kidnapped by a man with a wax face are nothing compared to the other big distraction that keeps following her around in the shape of an increasingly randy Lord Maccon. There are fangs, fur, ghosties, tea, treacle tart, peacock hats, silver-tipped parasols, adventure, science, satire blended with steampunk and some fantasy - the whole shebang.
I really did enjoy this book and I can't wait for the next in the series, Changeless, to come out in April. I can highly recommend this book and urge you to read it!