Elizabeth Barnabus has been in seclusion since her encounter with the traveling circus, the young woman she thought was helping has been put to death, and the International Patent Office has seemingly moved on to more important things.

“An innocent man will not withhold his accounts. Are they kept in ledgers? Can pages be removed and replaced? Is the handwriting the same throughout?”

She initially dismisses a contract with a socialite to investigate the disappearance of ice from the local factory, but when the Republic negotiates a treaty that would repatriate fugitives to the Kingdom, Elizabeth finds herself on the run.

Forced to work for the elusive Mrs. Raike when her friend is captured, Elizabeth must unravel the mystery of the ice factory before it’s too late.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Revolution rarely comes quietly, but it seems Elizabeth is to be at the heart of pivotal events. The first book, The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter was an entertaining read, and I hate to leave endings unread.

Unseemly Science is out May 5 from Angry Robot Books.

Rating (4 stars)

Rod Duncan weaves a fascinating tale. The plot is complex, but the various threads of the story can be followed, though their conclusion can’t be guessed.

There’s still one character whose place in the book is a curiosity to me, which I suppose is the way it’s meant to be.