Reggiecide (Reeves & Worcester, Book 2)
by Chris Dolley
Review by Colleen Cahill
Book View Cafe Kindle Edition ISBN/ITEM#: B009NQUIN6
Date: 08 October 2012
It is said a great opening line in a book is all you need to hook your reader. Ignoring thoughts of fish, I have to agree and when such a thing is combined with an author whose work I already love, I am ready for a really good story. Such is the case with Chris Dolley's second book, Reggiecide, following the further adventures of Reggie Worcester and his steam powered valet Reeves. Once again we can frolic in that world of P.G. Wodehouse, steampunk and mystery that was so delightful in the first book, What Ho, Automaton!
The first line that so grabbed me is "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a chap in possession of a suffragette fiancé is in need of a pair of bolt cutters." This seemingly threatening statement is made clear when we learn Miss Emmeline Dreadnought has chained herself to the gates of the House of Parliament in the fight for the vote for women. Reggie almost tempts her away when a case appears, but she stands strong, with some regrets. So this adventure begins with just Reggie and Reeves investigating an intriguing problem of a missing relation. Or rather the body of the relation, as the corpse of Guy Fawkes has gone stray!
The gunpowder plot of Guy Fawkes is not well known here in the U.S., but Guy was a real person who was executed for trying to blow up Parliament and King James in 1605. But who would want a long dead regicide? A descendant of Guy wants to hear his side of the story, and he hires a Mr. Snuggles to bring Guy back. Alas, that story is untold, as the not entirely coherent reanimated corpse disappears. Reggie wonders why a large man in Jacobean clothing would be hard to find, especially as Guy is now bright orange. It is a new twist, as Reggie learns that Guy has been kidnapped, but by who and why? There follows threaten notes from “M” and more regicide corpses disappearing; the pair have stumbled into a truly heinous crime!
As in the first book, Dolley has brought together a delightful mix of comedy and conundrums. Reggie has some wonderful lines, such as "This sounded to me like a three-cocktail problem and there I was without so much as an olive". He is rescued again and again by the pragmatic Reeves, who assists and insists in heading our hero towards the clues to the puzzle. You will find a lot of British history in this book, including other real people with regal homicidal tendencies, something that added to my enjoyment of this work. And if you were regretting that Emmeline is not with our investigating duo, the story does bring her back in a most exciting manner.
For those of you who have read the first book, this second volume is a single story rather than a collection, but it is just as full of the mystery and humor as the original. If you have not read What Ho, Automaton!, no worries as you can enjoy these books in any order. So get hooked on Reggiecide and discover a royally great read.