Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks (Queen of Swords Press, 2018) is a collection of four steampunk/alternate history mystery novellas and one short story featuring Captain Marta Ramos and her second in command, Simms, as they navigate and plunder the Duchy of Denver and nearby locales. Ramos and Simms are piratical sorts, primarily using a steam-powered train for their heists, but occasionally resorting to whatever transport is available to them.
Of the novellas and short story, my favorite of the bunch was “The Curious Case of Clementine Nimowitz (and Her Exceedingly Tiny Dog)”. Full of twists and turns and a delightful reoccurring character, the story gives readers a good taste of the characters of Ramos and Simms and their interactions. I also enjoyed “The Ugly Tin Orrery,” which is slightly more political intrigue than the other stories, but still with a level of mystery that keeps readers guessing at every turn.
If the collection has a weak point, it’s likely to be found in the short story, “The Jade Tiger,” which seemed far too abbreviated to really let the mystery have room to breathe. But even this story has phenomenal writing and characterization.
If you’re a fan of steampunk, alternate history, and mystery, the novellas and short story in this collection are sure to delight you!Follow us online: