The intrepid detective/vampire-slayer team of Stoker and Holmes returns for a third diverting steampunk mystery (The Spiritglass Charade, 2014, etc.).
Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes have collaborated on solving mysteries before. Action-oriented Evaline is a hereditary slayer of UnDead while Mina is a condescending mistress of deduction, much like her famous uncle. Or, as Evaline says, "I'm not the one who finds out things….I'm the one who does things." The girls react with dismayed pride when asked to entertain visiting Princess Lurelia of Betrovia. It's good to be trusted, but neither young lady has any desire to go about in society. Evaline would rather wear trousers and slay vampires in the vilest parts of London. Mina loves to wear pretty clothes but lacks any desire to make polite conversation. Luckily, disaster strikes: a guard is murdered, a gift between nations is stolen, and the princess is threatened by a mysterious figure the girls suspect is Mina's nemesis, the Ankh. This gives Mina the opportunity to deduce cleverly in the presence of her swain, the equally clever Inspector Grayling, while Evaline slays vampires while flirting with Cockney criminal mastermind Pix. The mystery moves at a glacial pace, as does the romantic build, despite the setup. The reappearance of Olympia Babbage ("granddaughter of some famous inventor") is, sadly, a mere side note.
These squabbling BFFs will continue to please their fans, though they are unlikely to win new ones. (Steampunk. 12-14)