Adult Mystery Review: Herald A Golden Age In Steampunk and Mystery With "Gilded"

Gilded (The St. Croix Chronicles, #2)Title:  Gilded
(The St. Croix Chronicles #2)
Author:  Karina Cooper
Format:  E-galley
Length:  384 pages
Publisher:  Avon Books
Rating:  5 Stars
The second book in Karina Cooper's stunning steampunk series featuring fearless heroine Cherry St. Croix, in which she is faced with two men after her heart—and one killer out for her blood.

In the gleaming heights of Victorian London, a world of deception awaits an unconventional Society lady whose taste for adventure makes her a most formidable adversary . . .

Though Society demands that I make a good marriage, I, Cherry St. Croix, have neither the time nor the interest. I am on the trail of a murder with no victim, a mystery with no motive, and the key to an alchemical formula that could be my family's legacy.

Yet the world is not so kind as to let me pursue simple murder and uncomplicated bounties. Above the foggy drift, an earl insists on my attention, while my friends watch my increasingly desperate attempts to remain my own woman. From the silken demands of the Midnight Menagerie—to whose dangerously seductive ringmaster I owe a debt—to the rigorous pressures of the peerage, all are conspiring to place before me a choice that will forever change my life.  _Goodreads

My Thoughts

This second installment of the St. Croix Chronicles finds our dear Cherry a woman on the verge.  She sits on the threshold of her inheritance, new found love and social standing, and as always...on the trail of a murder.
Life has never been what one would hazard to call easy for young Cherry St.Croix; what with her father being a mad scientist who tried to kill her in order to resurrect her dead mother, her ever present hunger for opium, and her unseemly associations with the Karakash Veil and a certain Mr Hawke.  Such is her life however, and a certain Earl and his meddling mother are not making things any better.

Professors are dying, and Cherry St. Croix has been charged with the task of finding out why?
As the mystery deepens Miss St. Croix comes to find that the answers to the gruesome questions that she is being forced to ask rest a lot closer to the pristine streets of the rarefied social elite than anyone would have ever dared guess.

Cherry's story is as captivating as ever, as she walks the tightrope between her lives above and below the drift with surprising grace.  The problem however is that the separation between the two is becoming harder to determine as the days pass.  Though the pace of this novel is considerably slower than than that of Tarnished, that by no means should be interpreted as it's being any less action packed.
The difference being that the action and intrigue here is based more firmly in the society that Cherry has tried to avoid.
As things heat up for Cherry on both sides of her double life, and the story twists and turns in a labyrinthine maze of murder, magic, science, steampunk, and society; readers will not want to miss a minute of this spine tingling tale.

Will Cherry leave the hard scrabble life of her
collector past
for a cages more
   If you missed the first book, or just need a refresher,
 the link to my review of Tarnished can be found here:


  1. I'm not familiar with this book or this series I should say. I'm rather new to steampunk and even though it's not my favorite genre I do enjoy it. I will be looking for this series, it sounds like one I might enjoy.

  2. This looks like a really fun series, will have to hop over and check out more as it is new to me. Thank you for sharing and for your generous participation in the Happy New Year 2013 hop. I would love to read Altered :)

  3. I wasn't aware of this series but it looks like it could be a fun read. Thanks for sharing!
    Ashley A

  4. I love this series although I wish we had more Cage in this book. And that ending was a killer, like literally...

  5. I haven't read any steampunk yet, but this looks interesting--thanks for the review! If I win the Bad Boy Rehab hop, the gift card would be great!



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