By Carl Slaughter: In April 2017, Viola Carr offered the third in her Electric Empire series.
Is it reimagined classic horror? Is it electro-punk? Is it traditional fantasy? Is it literary salute, historical mystery, international spy thriller, formula detective, romantic irony?
It’s as much a monster mashup as it is a genre mashup.
Forensic science, magic, mystery, and romance mix in this edgy steampunk fantasy–a retelling of the horror classic, in which Dr. Eliza Jekyll, daughter of the infamous Dr. Henry Jekyll–pursues a dangerous murderer in an alternate Victorian London.
In an electrified Victorian London, Dr. Eliza Jekyll is a crime scene investigator, hunting killers with newfangled technological gadgets. She will need every advantage available to catch a terrifying new psychopath splattering London with blood. Hidden in the grimy shadows, the fiendish murderer preys on beautiful women, drugging them before slicing off their limbs. Finding the “Slicer” can make Eliza’s career . . . or unmask her darkest secret. Like her father, she has a hidden second self that emerges when she drinks his forbidden magical elixir. Just a few sips, and a seductive and impulsive Lizzie Hyde is unleashed.
The members of the Royal Society do not trust Eliza, and they send their enforcer, the mercurial Captain Lafayette, to prove she’s a dangerous sorceress. The careful doctor knows that one wrong step can make her prey to the clever Lafayette, a man who harbors an evil curse of his own. No matter how much she craves the elixir, she must resist.
But as the Slicer case draws her into London’s luminous magical underworld, Eliza will need the potion’s power to help her . . . even if it might attract the attentions of Lafayette. .
Even if it means setting the wild Lizzie free. . . .
PRAISE FOR THE DIABOLICAL MISS HYDE
- “A fearlessly imaginative world of magic, mystery and literary allusion that is delightfully immersive and dangerously seductive. …[Carr’s] heroine’s journey is full of sensual intrigue and heady danger that will leave readers breathless.”RT Book Reviews (4.5 stars))
- “Carr’s steampunk debut is electrifying, memorable, and razor sharp.”(Publishers Weekly)
- “This debut steampunk, gender-swapped take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story of the uncontrolled id … [has] energy and over-the-top adventure. Don’t think about it too hard, just enjoy the ride.”(Library Journal)
- “…Ms. Carr takes us into an almost-familiar world, drawing us further into the dark just a bit at a time. If you thought steampunk was played out, here is an utterly convincing revivification.”(Wall Street Journal)
- “This debut electropunk monster mashup gives you exactly what you never knew you wanted: The classic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with a genderbent twist.”(barnesandnoble.com)
- “I was utterly hooked and happily stayed that way for the next four-hundred-some pages. …It’s dark, intense, and sometimes disturbing, and man is it awesome.”(Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger)
- “The Diabolical Miss Hyde is a big, juicy steampunk/fantasy/romance/mystery package of fun, and I highly recommend it. Grade: A.”(Smart Bitches)
- “There’s plenty of twists and turns, with a dash of magic and a wink at the classic literature.”(Parkersburg News & Sentinel)
Solving the infamous Chopper case has helped crime scene physician Dr. Eliza Jekyll establish her fledgling career in the chauvinistic world of Victorian law enforcement. But the scrutiny that comes with her newfound fame is unwelcome for a woman with a diabolical secret. And there is the mercurial Royal Society agent and wolf man Remy Lafayette. Does he want to marry her, eat her, or burn her at the stake? Though Eliza is uncertain about Remy, her dark and jealous shadow self, Lizzie, wants to steal the magnetic and persistent agent, and usurp Eliza’s life.
It’s impossible to push Remy away when he tempts her with the one thing she can’t resist: a bizarre crime. The search for a bloodthirsty ritual torturer dubbed the Pentacle Killer draws them into a terrifying world of spies, art thieves, and evil alchemy, where the price of immortality is madness–or damnation–and only Lizzie’s dark ingenuity can help Eliza survive.
As Eliza and Remy race to thwart a foul conspiracy involving the sorcerous French, they must also overcome a sinister enemy who is all too close: the vengeful Lizzie, determined to dispose of Eliza for good.
Dr. Eliza Jekyll must turn to her dark side, Miss Lizzie Hyde, to stop a madman who’s targeting London’s most important scientists and sorcerers, terrorizing the city with dark magic, in this third Electric Empire novel–a dazzlingly original steampunk fantasy set in the gritty world of alternate Victorian London, with echoes of H. G. Wells’s classic, The Time Machine.
Being two people in one body isn’t easy. Metropolitan Police crime scene physician Eliza Jekyll is trying to maintain a semblance of control, even as her rebellious second self, Lizzie, grows increasingly wild–threatening the respectable Eliza’s reputation and her marriage to Remy Lafayette, the Royal Society investigator and occasional lycanthrope. With England on the brink of war, Remy’s away in sorcery-riddled Paris on a secretive mission that grows ever more sinister. Has he been an enemy agent all along? Or is coping with her secret divided self finally driving Eliza mad?
Eliza needs her mind clear and sharp if she’s to catch an evil genius who is killing eminent scientists. The chase uncovers a murky world of forbidden books, secret laboratories, and a cabal of fanatical inventors whose work could change the world–or destroy it–and who may hold answers to Eliza’s mysterious past.
As sorcery-wielding terrorists attack London, Eliza discovers her own enemies are closing in, driving her to desperate measures–enlisting the aid of the wily, resourceful, mercurial Lizzie–to thwart the killer. But Lizzie’s got her own life now, and true to her nature, will resort to the devious and diabolical to keep it. Even if it means throwing Eliza to the wolves, and letting the world burn.