Setting: London, 1864
First sentence: He called himself Adam, and all he wanted was love.
From the creative mind of the author we are transported to a unique version of steampunk London. Queen Victoria is on the throne. Throughout London are the many technological marvels created by harnessing steam, magnetism, electricity, and alchemy.
And, there is the Constantine Affliction.
A strange plague has swept through London. The Constantine Affliction is spread by those who are not careful with their intimate relations. Many of those stricken die. Those who survive suffer the horrible embarrassment of having their bodies change genders.
How did the Constantine Affliction arise?
Is it a product of the natural evolution of microbes?
Or is it a genetically altered germ created by a mad genius?
To be sure, there are scientists who are capable of engineering such a disease.
Lord Pembroke Halliday, known as Pimm by his friends, dabbles in criminology. He is known to be successful in aiding Scotland Yard in their investigations. When several prostitutes are murdered, Pimm is asked to discretely investigate the crimes.
During his investigations, Pimm meets Ellie Skyler. Ellie is a female reporter for a London paper. Ellie is a progressive woman who doesn't let her gender get in the way of her career.
Pimm and Ellie, along with Pimm's "wife" Winifred, join forces to solve the mystery. Will they discover the identity of the murderer, and the source of the Affliction?
I really enjoyed reading this book. Payton transported me to a fantastic version of steampunk England. His great voice made this novel great fun to read. For me, it was a real page turner.
I look forward to reading the next book of the series.