I thought these (it's a trilogy) sounded good the first time I heard about them. Then I stumbled into being friends with a die-hard fan and got even more hooked on the whole concept.
Well, I'm here to tell you, I was not disappointed. Emma Jane Holloway has created a very credible addition to the Sherlock Holmes canon.
Evelina Holmes, niece of the vaunted Sherlock, may have grown up in a circus, but she's living with her best friend and doing her best to be a lady, now. Set in an alternate Victorian London where Steam is king and the Steam Barons have more power than Parliament, even for a lady, life isn't always easy. Cross the Steam Barons, and you can be Disconnected - no light, heat, or status in society.
Unfortunately, Evelina ends up tangled in a mess involving her host family, forbidden magic,(remember the talking mouse?) and a lost treasure. Twists and turns and surprises abound, until 50 pages from the end I was thoroughly (but pleasurably) confused, and couldn't see how any of them were going to make it to the end alive! Make it (well, most of them anyway) did, and though a good chunk of loose ends were wrapped up, there were more than enough left to make me want to grab the second book and just start reading immediately. Unfortunately, the second book won't be out until the end of the month, so I'll have to put my curiosity on hold.
The reader gets a lot of bang for their buck with this book - at nearly 500 pages, it's pretty hefty for those us who are used to quick 250 page reads. However, in contrast with some longer works, this one never got bogged down. Well worth the time investment - highly entertaining, and highly recommended.