Jane Eyre has returned to London from serving as a nurse during the Boer War. She finds herself staying with a woman named Irene Adler: an American adventuring actress and opera singer. Irene is awaiting a delivery of papers from Marie Curie in Paris. However, Ayesha, Queen of the Amazons, is doing everything in her power to intercept those papers. She loathes the British Empire for destroying her home and will do anything to get even. Those papers turn out to be plans for a radiation bomb. Can Jane, Irene, and their friends keep the papers safe, and if not, can they save the world?

This is a steampunk mystery that’s reminiscent of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, just with all female leads 😉 The cast is comprised mostly of Victorian era characters. I only caught the big ones, but fans of that literature will likely find more Easter eggs. Irene and Jane’s relationship reminded me a bit of Sherlock and Watson’s relationship on the 2010 Sherlock show, which I’m sure was intentional.

In the vein of capturing the Victorian spirit, both story and art were action-oriented yet atmospheric. A muted sepia-toned palette makes you feel like you’re reading a document from the time. The characters were drawn well, everyone having a unique touch to their clothing, but their poses felt a bit stiff for me during the action sequences.

Overall: A female character led mystery, adventure, with very little romance, set in Victorian London = perfect beach reading material!

– Kathleen

Tidhar, Lavie, and Paul McCaffrey. Adler. 2021.