Well, as I got an Amazon gift card for my birthday back in August, I decided to take a chance on The Vesuvius Club. There was no supernatural element to this book at all. If I had to classify it, I’d go for Victorian espionage.
Written by BBC Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss, I had some vague sort of hopes for this book but I wasn’t sure exactly what they were. I like Gatiss and I love Sherlock ( Benedict Cumberbatch! Martin Freeman! Mmmm!) but I was a little wary.
The book follows protagonist Lucifer Box, artist and spy, as he tries to investigate the deaths of a couple scientists of the realm while trying to make some money on the side teaching art to vapid society dames. Box has some strange morals for the time. He’s always impeccably dressed as any society man should be…but he really doesn’t see anything wrong with shooting a mark in a restaurant. Not to mention that he’s bisexual which was a big no-no in Victoria’s day.
Box’s investigation eventually leads him to Naples, where all unfolds amid chases, sex (non-graphic, which makes a nice change) and assassination attempts.
It was an interesting book and I am intrigued to see what happens afterwards. Be warned though that pretty much all the characters have ridiculous names (as evident by the main character’s name) and it is rife with British slang you might need to look up (dictionary.com is a good source). Think of it rather like a Victorian James Bond. So I guess I’d rate this a B/B-