Alexia Tarabotti is a strong-willed and practical spinster, who lives in Victorian London. In addition to this, she is soulless and always carries around a sturdy parasol. It all starts when a rude, obviously new vampire has the audacity to attack her at a party. She ends up accidentally slaying the offending beast, which attracts the investigation of the infuriating and handsome Lord Maccon. It turns out there have been many vampires mysteriously appearing with no knowledge of proper etiquette and established vampires disappearing. Can they figure out who is behind the disappearances? Will Alexia and Lord Maccon ever get over the hedgehog incident?
I loved this book. Alexia was my favorite character by far. Her thought processes and observations were so funny and clinical. She was also reminiscent of Amelia Peabody from the series by Elizabeth Peters, which I also greatly enjoy. They are both strong female characters in a society where strength in the fairer sex is frowned upon and also use parasols as effective weapons.
The novel had a great blend of mystery, romance, science, and humor. The mystery was engrossing and I kept trying to predict what would happen next. I wasn't very successful, but the twists and turns were fun to read. I really enjoyed the romance between Lord Maccon and Alexia. I normally really hate werewolves because it seems like it's all about being super macho, power struggles within the pack, and the fact that women are usually seen as submissive in their society. This book is the antithesis of everything I despise about them. Lord Maccon and his packmates get along well and are strong without being overbearing. Women are respected and the men aren't even allowed to fight over them because of the shortage of werewolf women. I even liked the werewolf characters more than the vampires (except Lord Akeldama). It gives me a renewed interest in reading other novels about werewolves.
This book was great fun to read. I can't wait until the sequel, Changeless, comes out next year.