The Lazarus Machine: A Tweed & Nightingale Adventure
by Paul Crilley
Cover Artist: Cliff Nielson
Review by Mel Jacob
Pyr Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781616146887
Date: 06 November 2012 List Price $16.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The Lazarus Machine opens a new series by Paul Crilley. Set in 1895 London, this steampunk mystery focuses on the search for two kidnapped victims. Sebastian Tweed watched his father taken by odd creatures from an airship with a man he suspects is Dr. Moriarty, the mortal enemy of Sherlock Holmes. Olivia Nightingale's mother disappeared a year ago and she continues to search for her and Dr. Moriarty.
As the two individually search for the villain, their paths eventually cross and they join forces. Tweed prides himself on his intellect and logical abilities, reinforced by his upbringing. Olivia, known as Songbird, searches the underworld for clues. A man they both have contacted puts them in touch, but also fingers them to Moriarty. The chase is on as the hunters are hunted.
An informant tells Tweed about the ministry's schemes and the Lazarus machine. Cloning, using the Lazarus machine to transfer a soul from one body to another, offers immortality. It also becomes the center of a conspiracy with potential enemies of Great Britain and Victoria.
After an exciting climax, their search goes on, but now as consultants to Queen Victoria. Dangers still await and unexplained conspiracies hover out of sight.
Similar in many ways to the Clockwork Empire series by Steven Piziks, the gimmick in this novel centers on characters from Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series. Crilley leaves plenty of room for a sequel. His contract with Pyr is for two Tweed and Nightingale books.