Gail Carriger,
The Parasol Protectorate Series #4: Heartless
(Orbit, 2011)

Alexia Tarabotti faces continued assassination attempts on her person with hilarious resignation. Not so when a deranged ghost reports a plot against the queen. Alexia's investigations lead her headlong into the Kingair plot of the past, the secrets of other women and, oh yes, her final month of pregnancy.

Firmly back in London, and in control of husband, home and helping, Alexia's indomitable spunk and efficiency return this series to the light-hearted antics of Soulless. Heartless allows Alexia to upend supernatural society, even while it delves more deeply into her supporting cast. Biffy, Lyle and Lord Maccon all hold together and even out the tone of this work so that the deep undertones begun in Blameless continue to support the world and characters of this creamier, more refreshing novel, like a tart on firm, chocolate crust.

With plenty of fun and significant revelations, Heartless is an enjoyable rush to a climactic, parasol-dropping crescendo that will have you searching for the last book in Gail Carriger's series.

[ visit the author's website ]

book review by
Whitney Mallenby

6 December 2014

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