Title: Her Ladyship's Curse
(Disenchanted & Co. #1)
Author: Lynn Viehl
Length: 200 pages
Publisher: Pocket Star
Rating: 4 Stars
In a steampunk version of America that lost the Revolutionary War, Charmian (Kit) Kittredge makes her living investigating magic crimes and exposing the frauds behind them. While Kit tries to avoid the nobs of high society, as the proprietor of Disenchanted & Co. she follows mysteries wherever they lead.
Lady Diana Walsh calls on Kit to investigate and dispel the curse she believes responsible for carving hateful words into her own flesh as she sleeps. While Kit doesn’t believe in magic herself, she can’t refuse to help a woman subjected nightly to such vicious assaults. As Kit investigates the Walsh family, she becomes convinced that the attacks on Diana are part of a larger, more ominous plot—one that may involve the lady’s obnoxious husband.
Sleuthing in the city of Rumsen is difficult enough, but soon Kit must also skirt the unwanted attentions of nefarious deathmage Lucien Dredmore and the unwelcome scrutiny of police Chief Inspector Thomas Doyle. Unwilling to surrender to either man’s passion for her, Kit struggles to remain independent as she draws closer to the heart of the mystery. Yet as she learns the truth behind her ladyship’s curse, Kit also uncovers a massive conspiracy that promises to ruin her life—and turn Rumsen into a supernatural battleground from which no one will escape alive. -Goodreads
My ThoughtsIn Disenchanted & Co., authoress Lynn Viehl has created a world where steampunk and magic exist side by side and mysteries abound.
This story is a wonderful mix of the old and the new. Old, in the sense that there are definite nods given to the Historical Romance genre given the overall tone of the novel. New in that an entirely never before seen world has been created.
Kit Kittredge is for the most part a very likeable protagonist; although her insistence that all magic is a farce, flies in the face of her personal experience. A healthy skepticism is more than understandable, given the fact that her bread and butter is made from the debunking of frauds and charlatans plying their false crafts. She however, is made increasingly aware throughout the course of the book that not only is there real magic, but that magic may be being used to end her.
Then there is the mystery surrounding the young Mrs. Walsh. Though this sad case is quickly and unceremoniously solved by Kit, there is never a fitting resolution for the distraught Mrs. What comes of this instead are more questions. A great number of which involve Kit and her parents.
And lastly, there is the romantic loose end that is Lucien Dredmore. While the fact that Mr. Dredmore wants Kit is indisputable, who and what he is are not quite as clear. There is an awful lot of cat an mouse going on between these two in the first 80% of this read. That would be fine, except for the fact that Kit soon confesses that she would very much like to be caught within the first 20%.
Knowing that her protestations against the dashing Mr. Dredmore are baseless so early on make their romantic tug of was as fun as watching paint dry.
Not to worry though...
Our lady Kit and her dark Mr. Dredmore do redeem their squandered opportunities in a surprising cliff hanger by book's end.
In short, this is a good book in so much as it sets the stage for book 2. There are some books that would do well as standalone reads. This would not be one of those. If you are going to take time to read this book; you had better be prepared to buy book 2.