by Gail Carriger
New York : Orbit, 2011.
As this is the fourth book in a series, there will necessarily be ***spoilers*** for earlier titles in the series. I highly recommend starting with Soulless, and catching up from there. :)
Lady Alexia Maccon nee Tarabotti receives a rather strange, somewhat garbled, message from a ghost near poltergeist stage (ie., not very lucid): the queen is threatened. The last time the Queen of England was nearly assassinated implicated the former pack of her husband, Lord Maccon. Alexia is eight months pregnant, but she won't let a little thing like waddling get in her way, so she dives headlong into an investigation. Meanwhile, her husband and a few co-conspirators have a rather unorthodox proposition regarding the unborn child, in a move to end the vampire assassination attempts on the baby - and, as an unfortunate side-effect, Alexia.
This fourth book was as witty and clever and ridiculous as ever. If you've read the other books - and I do recommend you read them in order, as there is both plot and character development along the way - you know the sort of story to expect at this point. I enjoyed learning some of the back stories of the characters as Alexia delves into the past of her husband and his former and current werewolf packs. My reaction to the book is a bit ambivalent, primarily because knowing what to expect was both its strength and weakness. I knew exactly what I was in for, and I still didn't entirely engage with the story, not being quite in the mood for this brand of silliness when I was reading. I will, of course, still gobble up the sequel as soon as it comes out.