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6 Steampunk Tales for the Impatient Sherlock Fan

If you can’t get enough of Sherlock Holmes, no matter which adaptation, odds are you have a secret love for the steampunk genre or stories set in Victorian-era England. If top-hatted or bescarved detectives are on your mind, or if you have an itch for some out-of-era technology or characters, then these six steampunk books might just hold you over for a while, as you anxiously anticipate the next season of Sherlock, due out in who-knows-when.

Elements of Mind cover

Elements of Mind by Walter H. Hunt (Spencer Hill Press)
With a Dickensian propensity for mesmerism and a Sherlockian love of the pursuit of international and otherworldly mystery, Reverend William Davey becomes wrapped up in a case involving the suicide of a Scottish doctor, the world of elemental spirits, and the struggles of Victorian India. The cross-continent hunt, letters with distinct voices, and spiritual suspense blend to bring the characters and world of this novel to life.

Sherlock Holmes cover

Sherlock Holmes: The Spirit Box by George Mann (Titan Books)
Apparent suicides occurring in World War I London bring Sherlock Holmes out of retirement, and he and Watson investigate a connection with a man who claims his spectrographs can contact the spirit world. Told like the classics through Watson’s first-person narrative, this novel will curb any reader’s Holmes-ish appetite.

Jackaby cover

Jackaby by William Ritter (Algonquin Books)
In 1892, Abigail Rook makes for an observant female Watson to paranormally-sighted Jackaby, who’s convinced a nonhuman serial killer is ravaging New England. Abigail’s intellect and humor keeps rambunctious Jackaby in check in this thrilling young adult detective novel.

Abdu El Yezdi cover

The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi by Mark Hodder (Pyr)
This elaborately researched literary sci-fi effort follows a handful of real-life historian figures—from explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton to novelist Algernon Charles Swinburne—as they traverse the gap between Victorian England and the Afterlife. History, fantasy, and the paranormal merge to build suspense as this imaginative story transforms into a science fiction epic.

Revolutions cover

The Revolutions by Felix Gilman (Tor Books)
An accounting job that has driven its previous workers insane entices journalist and Doyle-loving writer Arthur Shaw into investigating a company with secret, celestial intentions. Victorian charm and steampunk-like tech blasts this novel into the suspenseful romance arena.

Gentleman Bat cover

The Gentleman Bat by Abraham Schroder and Pietr Parda, illustrator (Ripple Grove Press)
This delightful picture book is unique in its tone and mood among books of its kind, with fun rhyming couplets that share a gentleman bat and lovely lady bat’s midnight journey over cobblestone streets, through a dance of merriment, and into a frightening thunderstorm. The illustrations depict the Victorian atmosphere gorgeously, and though there are no steampunk elements here, the vibe of the book will draw fans in.

Aimee Jodoin

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