Title: The Moonstone and Miss Jones (Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator)
Publisher: Brava (September 25, 2012)
America Jones makes it back to London without Phaeton, and has no idea where he is, only that he is missing and seems to have deserted her. The only message she has received was a short note that said he had been shanghaied in Shanghai, she did not know what that meant or if she even believed him.
America goes to the flat that she and Phaeton rented, as it is familiar and she is sure Phaeton will return if he arrives back in town. On the way, she is attacked by a strange creature with skeleton arms and legs; she gets away with the help of Edvar, the gargoyle that has been by Phaeton’s side since he was a small child. She is told by the creature that there are many more of them in London. Meanwhile, Phaeton wakes up while still in the bowels of a vessel that he does not remember boarding, he only knows that he is soon to arrive in London and as he easily escapes the ship, he heads to the flat and is happy to see that America has already arrived.
America greets Phaeton hesitantly as she is not sure why he disappeared however she believes him when he tells her that he truly was kidnapped and forced onto this ship returning to London. They find out there are strange things going on in London and it seems some entity wanted Phaeton back no matter how he got here. They soon find out that the reason Phaeton is wanted back in town is because the orb (Moonstone) that was gifted to Phaeton by a Goddess has been stolen from Dr Exeter’s lab and according to several, Phaeton is the only one that can unlock the powers.
With the help of Gaspar Sinclair, a man who has been a thorn in Phaeton’s side for years and his team of Nightshade warriors, they piece together what they believe is happening. They find out there is an alternate London called Outremer, that exists and is unraveling and creating havoc in their current London. The Moonstone is the key to correcting the problems and must be retrieved as soon as possible.
Unpredictable danger follows Phaeton, America and the Nightshades while they travel back and forth between the two London’s following leads to the Moonstone. The story grips you from the beginning and does not slow down until the end as the gang tries to prevent a catastrophe. The ending is startling and leaves you wanting more.
What a wonderful gripping steam punk fantasy. I truly enjoyed the story. This is the second installment in the Paranormal Investigation series however it can stand alone as the author catches you up. I enjoyed both Phaeton and America, the chemistry between them is wonderful, and the secondary characters are a joy, the Nightshades are an entertaining group and I am looking forward to seeing them in future books.