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Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #2: Janus Affair
by Pip Ballantine
HarperCollins, $7.99, 432pp
Release Date: May 29, 2012
While I am not really into steampunk, this book easily made me a convert. Picture Emma Peel from The Avengers (the real one, the British TV series from the 1960s) with Wild, Wild West (TV show, not movie), equipment and a plot from The X-files and you have Eliza D. Braun and the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.

When Eliza and her partner, Wellington Books, witness the sudden disappearance of Lena, a fellow passenger on Britain’s newest hypersteam train they soon find it is not the only case. Strangely, the Crown has no interest in investigating why people are vanishing in a dazzling bolt of light. Eliza asks for the case because the latest victim had asked for her help just before vanishing but is turned down, both because she is a Junior Archivist but also because she knew the victim. When another lady is attacked, Eliza investigates anyway with Wellington’s help.

I read this in one session and can’t wait for more. I love the characters and the humor is an added plus. I immediately ordered the first in the series, Phoenix Rising, and look forward to many more in this series. Highly recommended - Stephanie L Bannon

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