October 9th, 2010
Sir Maurice Newbury is not the mild-mannered academic he seems. Or, rather, he IS…but he is also a highly-trained secret agent in the employ of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. He uses his special expertise in anthropological studies—with a concentration in mythology, magic, and the supernatural—to solve the otherwise unsolvable mysteries plaguing London and the environs. While investigating a series of deaths that onlookers have laid at the feet of a blue-glowing policeman, Newbury is called away by royal decree to focus his attentions on the mysterious crash of an airship that resulted in the deaths of all aboard. When Newbury and his assistant, the plucky young Miss Veronica Hobbes, arrive at the scene, they discover that the pilot of the airship is missing! Further investigation reveals that the ship had been piloted by a new breed of automaton, supposedly infallible and failure-proof. Newbury is not so certain about that, and infallible or not, no one has a reasonable explanation for the automaton’s disappearance. The pair’s investigations begin to reveal strange connections between the glowing policeman murders, the missing automaton, and the plague of undeath ravaging the city’s slums.
Exciting and original, if somewhat marred by slightly clunky expositions and a tendency toward anachronistic slang, “The Affinity Bridge” is a worthy first in a new series of steampunk Victorian mysteries.
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