Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Mystery at Skeffield Manor
SERIES: Steampunk Mystery #3
AUTHOR: Hollis Shiloh
PUBLISHER: Spare Words Press
LENGTH: 223 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 20, 2014
Old friends, new friends, magic and mystery…
Join Wes and Kit, Robert and Louie, and their friends and family at Skeffield Manor. Except that there is mischief afoot here…in the beautiful country home and with a mysterious magical object.
A story told from multiple points of view.
Takes place after “Wes and Kit” and “Robert and Louie.” Other stories set in the same universe: “Like A One-Eyed Cat” and “Gear Heart.”
This story contains some magic, some steampunk elements, and has a low-medium heat rating.
Length: approx. 62,000 words
This was a bit different than the other books I’ve read in the series so far but it was interesting, to say the least. Instead of focusing on any one couple, this third installment in the Steampunk Mystery series has two established couples, several individuals from previous stories and one new pairing all sharing the pages as the story is told. Each chapter is from the point of view of someone different and I liked that a lot; this gave me a chance to know the characters much better than I did before or, in some cases, I got to really know them for the first time. I love how it wasn’t just the main characters that got chapters (Mr. Skeffield was a surprise) as I wasn’t expecting it but that just made the story better in my opinion.
The story itself starts off with a bit of a mystery as Wes and Kit find themselves helping an injured man that showed up at their home out of the blue. From there they make their way to Skeffield Manor where something greater is going on as the treasure found in the previous book, and an unknown magical artifact, are under threat of being stolen. Throughout the attempts to unravel who is behind it, how and why, there is also a great deal of personal growth on the part of the characters. While I enjoyed the mystery and how everything was woven together with the various characters, I actually enjoyed seeing the changing/deepening relationships more. Much like the other stories, this was a mostly low angst, easier paced read with no sex in it and I like that about the series. The focus is on the story and the characters themselves and that makes for an enjoyable read.
I liked this one; it was nice seeing all the characters I grew fond of again while getting to know new ones. If you enjoyed the first two stories in the series, I’m fairly certain you’ll enjoy this one too.