Monday, May 28, 2012

The Janus Affair (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #2) by Ballantine/Morris

The Janus Affair is the second novel in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. It has been nearly a year since the Phoenix Rising episode and once again our heroine (Miss Eliza Braun) and hero (Wellington Books Thornhill Esq.) are thrown into a mystery of epic proportions which leads to a clumsy reunion with Braun’s one time lover and a discovery of Books secrets he’s gone through a lot of trouble hiding.

The duo works as Archivists for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences where Braun was placed as a punishment for being a little too overzealous with her bombs and gadgets and not eliminating the person she was sent to kill. Braun isn’t one to stay put in one place for long without running off and getting herself involved in cases for which she should not have access to. Now that she’s got access to the Archives cold cases, she is the female version of Sherlock Holmes on steroids, even going as far as investigating MOPD’s agents’ cold cases without authorization.

In the Janus Affair, Books and Braun witness a woman disappear from a train they are riding on in a flash of light and electricity. Braun immediately gets a bee in her bonnet and drags Books into the investigation against the wishes of her superior Doctor Sound who is carrying enough secrets around to fill the Restricted Files. The mystery soon unravels and Braun and Book realize that someone is trying to stop the Suffragist movement in its tracks. Women who are key components to the fight for women’s rights suddenly disappear in a flash of electricity. The questions are who is responsible and why are they trying to stop the movement from going forward?

Once again our Archivist and his former field agent/archivist in training find themselves investigating things that the Ministry has all but ignored. Eliza once again seems to attract mayhem, chaos, and anarchy wherever she goes. This time however, the cause is near and dear to her heart and she is drawn into the investigation when her former mentor Kate Sheppard and lover Douglas arrive in London.

Eliza, along with the help of Wellington, Alice the housekeeper, and the Ministry Seven, helps unravel the mystery behind the disappearances while secrets about Wellington’s own past finally come out into the light of day. There’s more to Alice than meets the eye as well which I loved reading about.

For those who enjoy steampunk, The Janus Affair is yet another wonderful edition to the cause. I have to say, honestly, that I found this book to be better than Phoenix Rising in scope, world building, characters, and mystery. I absolutely loved the ending of this book and can’t wait until the third book is released.

*ARC Revcd via Edelweiss 04/09/2012**

Title: The Janus Affair
Authors: Pip Ballantine/Tee Morris
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Released: May 29, 2012

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