Author: A. A. Aguirre
Series: An Apparatus Infernum Novel, Book 1
Publication: Ace (April 30, 2013)
Description: Danger stalks the city of steam and shadows.
Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko work all hours in the Criminal Investigation Division, keeping citizens safe. He’s a charming rogue with an uncanny sixth sense; she’s all logic—and the division’s first female inspector. Between his instincts and her brains, they collar more criminals than any other partnership in the CID.
Then they’re assigned a potentially volatile case in which one misstep could end their careers. At first, the search for a missing heiress seems straightforward, but when the girl is found murdered—her body charred to cinders—Mikani and Ritsuko’s modus operandi is challenged as never before. It soon becomes clear the bogeyman has stepped out of nightmares to stalk gaslit streets, and it’s up to them to hunt him down. There’s a madman on the loose, weaving blood and magic in an intricate, lethal ritual that could mean the end of everything…
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this fantasy mystery. I like the setting in a world powered by steam and magic. And I liked the characters who are police inspectors. Janus Mikani has a mysterious power inherited by some long-forgotten Ferisher ancestor. Celeste Ritsuko is the first female inspector and uses logic and organization as her best tools. The two work really well together as partners.
Their current case has them investigating the deaths of young women who have some magic and have lots of political influence. The first is a daughter of one of the ruling houses. The second is a daughter of the Summer Clan who controls trade into and out of the city. They are under a lot of pressure to find the murderer and stop him before he kills again.
One of his potential victims is Aurelia Wright who is also a daughter of a high house and who left because of a dispute with her father. She is a dancer and choreographer at the same theater where the first victim worked as a costume designer.
One of the most interesting aspects of this story beyond the mystery was the changing relationship between Mikani and Ritsuko who find themselves becoming more personally interested in each other than they ever have been in their three years working together.
This was a great story and I can't wait to read SILVER MIRRORS which continues their adventures.
After two hours of digging through old scrolls and leather tomes, Mikani paused to stretch. He glared at the rows of stacked papers and documents, trying to intimidate them into giving up any useful information that they might be hiding. Hells and Winter, I've spent more time among books the past two weeks than in the last two years.I bought this one for my Kindle. You can buy your copy here.
"It's a valiant effort, but I don't think the documents find you frightening."
"They should. I have the power to burn them all."