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Summary

After losing his parents in the Floating Castle Incident, the sensitive and mannered Chris Buckley has spent six years raising his magically talented little sister, Rosemary, on the savings that his once-wealthy family left behind. But that money is drying up, and Chris finds himself with no choice but to seek out work in Darrington City as it spirals into a depression. The only employer willing to consider his empty resume is Olivia Faraday, the manic Deathsniffer. Olivia's special magical gift gives her a heightened intuition which makes her invaluable in hunting down murderers.

When a Duchess of the mysterious Old Blooded Nobility calls on Olivia to solve the mystery of her dead husband, Chris finds himself tangled in Olivia Faraday's daily life and unable to extract himself from the macabre questions of the investigation. His involvement grows more complicated as political forces in Darrington close around Rosemary, seeing her as a tool that can be used to end the depression at the cost of her freedom - or even her life.

©2015 Kate McIntyre (P)2016 Tantor

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Steph
  • 02-02-17

Deathsniffer

I liked the overall concept of the book. However found it a bit drawn out and dragged in spots. The Narrator did a good job with the characters, which helped keep me interested til the end.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sonia
  • 19-07-17

Looking forward to the next one.

I bought this about 3 weeks ago, but books that I had been waiting for, were released so I kept putting it off. I finally got to it and I must say, it was different, in topic and setting. It took a bit to evolve but was worth it. I hadn't noticed it was labeled "Book 1", so when I saw that, I was very excited. When the second book comes out, I won't have to re-read this one, unless I want to because for me, it was quite different from other fantasy stories I read. It was unique tale and most enjoyable. Romy Nordlinger read very well, occasionally I got the characters mixed up but not enough to affect the story. It is just exactly what the title says and a lot more.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-05-18

Kind of half-baked, alas

I love gaslamp fantasy. I was totally primed to enjoy this book, but it felt like a poorly realized first draft. It's not just the unedited feeling that comes from grammatical errors (past participles seem a particular point of confusion). It's that the world-building was half-baked.

First off, this is NOT "historical fantasy" as it has been labeled! It takes place in an imagined world that seems vaguely inspired by Victorian London. In fact, there seems no reason that it couldn't have just been an alternate London...except that making it a made-up world eliminates requirements for historical research and consistency about cultural mores. So we end up with, e.g., a world where it's scandalous for an unchaperoned woman to be left alone with a man -- but women routinely hold every category of job (even homicide detective) and curse like sailors. Such inconsistencies are left completely unexamined.

Then there's the violence and the cursing. Both are quite explicit, and pointlessly, awkwardly so. The bad language in particular feels unnatural and ill-timed, as if it's a costume that a more delicate book is putting on to look tough. It's kind of embarrassing.

And above all, there's the fact that the "deathsniffer" is supposed to be a brilliant detective but seems like a bumbling amateur, hurling insults at suspects rather than questioning them and not pursuing obvious lines of inquiry.

Maybe I'm being too tough on this well-meaning book. I'm sorry. But as I said, I'm an easy-to-please reader of the genre, and it just didn't please me.