The Mary Sue Exclusive: Toast the Release of Devious Dr. Jekyll With Some Steampunk Mixology Tips!
Steampunk. Mixology. Yes.
Devious Dr. Jekyll, the second book in Viola Carr’s gender-swapped retelling of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, is out today from Harper Voyager! To celebrate, here’s an exclusive video of Carr learning how to make a delicious-looking steampunk drink. You can find more info on the book below, as well as an exclusive excerpt.
An important case. A worthy foe. This could make her career…or ruin it forever.
Since solving the infamous Chopper case, Dr. Eliza Jekyll is struggling to keep her career as a crime scene physician on track. She can’t figure out if Remy Lafayette—mercurial Royal Society agent and wolf man—wants to marry her, eat her or burn her at the stake, while Lizzie, her jealous shadow self, wants to steal Remy and usurp Eliza’s life.
But Remy tempts her with the one thing she can’t resist: a bizarre crime. Now, her fragile career—and their lives—depend on catching a bloodthirsty ritual torturer dubbed the Pentacle Killer. The case proves more bewildering and terrifying than any, drawing her into a hidden world of spies, art thieves and evil alchemy, where the price of immortality is madness … or damnation. Eliza needs Lizzie’s dark ingenuity to survive, but Lizzie’s treachery in love and war knows no limits. When the killer’s shocking purpose is finally revealed, Eliza and Remy race to thwart a foul conspiracy to cripple the Empire’s fragile war effort against the sorcerous French. Before a vengeful Lizzie finally gets rid of Eliza for good…
And here’s an exclusive look at what Devious Dr. Jekyll has in store for readers:
Lafayette glanced at the crime scene and faked a shudder. “Villainy in the foulest! Surely, the Empire’s fate rests upon solving this enormity.”
She tried to slip by, but the shop was cramped, and her skirts didn’t fit. “Scoff if you will, sir. Police work isn’t all murders and mayhem. Now, if you’ll excuse me—”
“What if I could get you a real case?”
She halted, heart thudding.
A knowing smile. “Gruesome, suspicious, the threat of sinister enemies unknown. Did I win you over yet?”
“Whatever are you blathering about?”
“A society murder, of course. On the quiet. Your charming constabulary colleagues as yet unaware. If you’re interested.” Lafayette let his gaze wander. “Perhaps you aren’t. Perhaps you enjoy being insulted by idiots and working misdemeanors for pocket change.”
“Burglary’s a felony,” she corrected automatically. But her mind buzzed. If she could solve a big case, yet again prove herself worthy of a proper job . . .
“Not a very glamorous one. So are you in, or shall I call the next on my list of stunningly attractive medical geniuses?”
She snorted. “Is that what passes for charm at the Royal these days? Since when is homicide your purview?”
A flippant shrug. “It isn’t. But from time to time—I can’t imagine why—people like to whisper to me of certain peculiarities.”
“Your spies, you mean.”
“Call them what you please. I thought you might enjoy it, that’s all. Told you I could use a crime scene physician, didn’t I?” He hesitated. “Perchance you recall that conversation?”
She fidgeted. Indeed she did.
“In your consulting room, one evening six weeks ago? When I asked you to marry me? Whereupon the conversation abruptly ended?”
Light suddenly glared into every crevice, leaving her nowhere to hide. The constables grew deeply entranced by their tasks. Even Griffin examined a pile of coiled wire with unwarranted intensity.
Smiling blandly, she dragged Lafayette into a corner, beneath a pair of ugly spaniel portraits. “This is hardly the time nor place, sir,” she hissed. “If you’re hoping to embarrass me into an answer, it won’t work.”
Lafayette winced, and tugged his chestnut curls. A little too ragged for decency. A creature such as he needed frequent haircuts. “I apologize. I didn’t mean it like that. If you want the case, it’s yours, regardless—”
“Are you two love bunnies quite finished?” Reeve strutted up, brandishing his cigar stub.
Eliza sprang a foot backwards, certain her face out-reddened Lafayette’s coat. “Chief Inspector. We were just—”
“Spare me the sordid details, missy. I pay you to work, not pursue your little affairs d’amour.”
Piss off, you rude little rat. Lizzie howled in her blood, and Eliza fought to keep still.
Lafayette bristled, stroking his sword hilt. “Were your French not tellement tragique que c’est drôle, sir, I should take you to task for that insulting plural.”
Honestly. Add “gallant” and “idiotic” to his list of maddening attributes. “Gentlemen, please. Hostility achieves nothing.”
Reeve just grinned bullishly. “Watch it, Captain. This isn’t 1815, and you’re not the Duke of bloody Wellington. I could arrest you, Royal Society or not. Dueling’s a capital crime.”
“Only if I kill you.” A chilly Lafayette smile. “Perhaps I’ll just leave you to bleed.”
“With a dozen armed constables at my back? I don’t think so.” Reeve chewed his cigar. “Now clear off. I don’t remember inviting you to my crime scene.”
Lafayette didn’t budge. “What a pity I don’t need your invitation.”
Let Remy kill the little squeezer, whispered Lizzie gleefully. Better still, let ME tear the rude bastard’s face off. Stuff that stinking cigar up his nose. Squeeze his scrawny neck until his eyeballs bleed . . .
Sweating, Eliza laid her hand on Lafayette’s arm. “Captain, be so good as to refrain from gutting our Chief Inspector, at least not this morning.”
“If it please you, madam.” Lafayette’s stare didn’t defrost. A flat, disturbing, metallic shine. A wolfish shine. Oh, dear. Was it that time again?
Lizzie roiled and thrashed under her skin, and shakily Eliza faced Reeve. “As for the crime scene, sir? Your witnesses claim they saw no one, yet clearly someone was here. There was no forced entry, yet clearly someone has entered. Either your witnesses are lying, and someone let the thief in—in which case a man of your impressive stature will beat the truth out of them directly, I’ve no doubt. Or . . .” She waited.
Finally, Reeve scowled. “Or what?”
She smiled brightly. “Or your witnesses have been duped, and the burglar has covered his tracks with an unorthodox trick.”
Ha ha ha! Lizzie cackled raucously. Stick that in your cigar, weedbrain!
“Makes sense,” put in Griffin airily.
“Unorthodox, eh?” muttered Reeve, with a sharp glance at Lafayette. “Clever of you, I’m sure.”
Eliza widened her eyes. “Good lord, sir, are you ill? Or was that a glimmer of grudging regard?” Beside her, Griffin bit his lip, and Lafayette stifled a laugh.
Reeve bit down on his cigar stub. “Don’t push your luck, missy. I can’t scour the streets for an invisible thief. Wasting my time with impossible notions again.”
“Not impossible, sir. Just highly improbable.”
“Sting me with your wit, will you?” He gave her a hurt look. “Last time I do you a favor.”
Eliza stared, taken aback. Reeve was old-fashioned in more than his condescending attitude. He’d thrived on the old thief-taker’s methods: informers and tip-offs, bribes exchanged in dark corners, and confessions beaten from yowling unfortunates. But that made him stubborn, not incompetent. Impressing the Home Office with a quick result was his idea of a good day’s work. To Reeve, this petty theft was truly an important case. What if he’d honestly intended to help her?
But Lizzie’s rage made her shudder and sweat, her mouth bitter with need for the elixir. She was in no mood to show mercy. “Shall I do your job for you once again? I suggest you put the hard word on your security guards and weasel out the burglar’s accomplice. Otherwise, I believe there’s only one invisible thief of note at work in London, and that’s Harry the Haunter.”
Reeve gaped like a half-skinned eel. “Harry the who?”
“The mythical miscreant who stole the Balmoral Diamond and robbed the Royal Exchange? Perhaps you’d have read of him in your divisional reports, if you weren’t too busy hobnobbing with the Commissioner to pay attention to real detective work.”
She stuffed her optical back inside its leather case and shouldered her bag. “I shall forward my account in due course. Good day, Chief Inspector.” And in a satisfied swirl of skirts, she stalked out.
I would like to be reading this book now, please.
—Please make note of The Mary Sue’s general comment policy.—