Set in the city of Leadville, Colorado in 1880, THE SECOND GLASS OF ABSINTHE revolves around Kit Randall, a young man who becomes the lover of Lucinda Ridenour, the widowed owner of the Eye Dazzler mine, the richest mine in the region. Randall thinks he's on top of the world until he wakens from a absinthe-induced stupor and believes Lucinda had involved him in unmentionable acts of sodomy and incest. Enraged, he leaves her home. However, a few days later, Lucinda is found brutally murdered and Kit becomes the prime suspect. It's left up to Kit's uncle, Brad Randall, and his fiancé, Eden Murdoch, to uncover who really killed Lucinda and what's really going on.
THE SECOND GLASS OF ABSINTHE is a book that really can't be pigeon-holed into one genre. The book is a murder-mystery-Western-romance. It freely uses and mixes those devices into a Victorian novel with a steam-punk vibe (minus the gadgets).
I enjoyed the way that THE SECOND GLASS OF ABSINTHE is written and I liked most of the characters. However, I didn't enjoy the story and felt that the occult-themes were out of place in the novel. The book mixes science with the occult, which, like an actual second glass of absinthe doesn't go down well and leaves one feeling queasy.
Overall, THE SECOND GLASS OF ABSINTHE isn't a terrible novel. It has some exciting elements and interesting characters. The mixture of genres makes the novel feel fresh and original. However, the combination of science and the occult feels out of place and leads to a rather abrupt conclusion.