I recently stumbled across this series looking for something out of the norm. I succeeded. The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger is a funny romp through old London with a fun steampunk paranormal twist. Set in Victorian England it is a hilariously well written mystery of sorts.
Alexia, or Ms. Tarabotti as oft referred to, is our main character. She was “put on the shelf” at the ripe age of 15, to be fair to her younger sisters who would certainly be old maids if they had to wait on her to find a suitable match. A spinster, Alexia has much more freedom than other women of this time and it tends to get her into many a pickle. As one who is “Soulless” (not really a spoiler to anyone but her mother, so have no fear about that) Alexia finds that her mere touch renders supernatural beings into mere mortals for the duration of her contact with them.
A bright mind with no real desire for a normal social life she is well versed and book learned, as well as a thorn in the side of the local constabulary. In this case it is Lord Connel Maccon who has the distinct displeasure of being put upon by Ms. Tarabotti and her rather deadly parasol.
Whether is it the quips about her best friend Ivy’s hats, or such wonderful lines as “Her heart was doing crazy things, and she still could not locate her kneecaps. She took a deep breath and put some serious attention into tracking them down.” There is absolutely no dull moment in this book. I refuse to tell you the story and spoil it but I highly encourage you to seek it out and find the answer to what did after all happen to her favorite parasol. The story does not disappoint and Lord Obvious will guide you well down the merry path right to the very end.
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