This book almost defies categorization, combining elements of steampunk, erotica, paranormal romance and mystery. The atmospheric Victorian London setting has a dark gothic feel, with ancient gods on the loose. The writing is witty, the characters delightful, the descriptions vivid and the sex earthy and erotic.

Scotland Yard calls on Phaeton Black to handle unusual cases. Black lives in the basement of a brothel and often escapes into an opium and absinthe-induced haze in order to dull his exposure to the spirit world. Black believes the Jack the Ripper killings are related to murders he is investigating, and that the slayer is an Egyptian goddess vampire. After several run-ins with America Jones, the capable and smart daughter of a Cajun witch and a British merchant sea captain, Black and America team up to pursue both the pirates who have stolen America’s father’s ships and the goddess behind the London murders. (BRAVA, Apr., 352 pp., $14.00)

Reviewed by: 
Joyce Morgan