This is an eminently readable collection of short stories featuring the titular protagonists, Sir Maurice Newbury and his companion Miss Veronica Hobbes as they investigate crimes of an esoteric and mysterious nature. Set in a steampunk version of the Victorian age, where modern technology mixes comfortably with the old, and Detective Inspector Charles Bainbridge is not afraid to call upon his old friend Sir Maurice in times of need.
Mann’s writing style flows off the page, immediately drawing the reader in and immersing them in his world. His pedigree as an author is not to be sniffed at – having written original Sherlock Holmes novels, other steampunk novels and even a Doctor Who novel. He’s unafraid to mix genres, and even pairs up Doctor Watson with Newbury and Hobbes in an adventure featuring the Great Detective himself as a bit player while the others investigate strange goings on near the Thames.
This serves as a great introduction to Mann’s world, and will lead many a reader into his other works, which definitely warrant further investigation.