Things are still crazy in my life, though I did finally get one weekend with no catastrophes happening and am feeling better because of it. But when things are nuts, you need something light and fluffy to read. My go-to author for fluffy fun, for a while now, has been Gail Carriger and her Parasol Protectorate books.
In this case, the fluff is often literal. The Parasol Protectorate and Custard Protocol books (and associated offshoot short stories and novellas) are supernatural steampunk, and as such deal with vampires, werewolves, and ghosts as well as the special people who can either negate their abilities or mimic them. As I recently acquired the first book of the Custard Protocol, and it is a generational sequel to the first series (dealing with the daughter of the main character of the Parasol Protectorate), I decided to reread the first series before delving into the new one.
It’s hard to describe just how much I love these books. Yes, they’re silly and fluffy and, at their heart, romantic adventures, but they are well written with wit and a love of wordplay that makes my little English Major heart purr. They have been the perfect antidote for the stressful month I’ve had. As a lot of it has involved sitting in hospital rooms, waiting, and my mind was too frazzled to knit, it was just the ticket. Like the main character, Alexia’s, beloved cup of good tea, it soothed. There is a Comedy of Manners aspect to the stories that I’ve always loved (the Regency era novels of that sort have always been among my favorites), with added supernatural elements, political intrigue, and, of course, cephalopods enough to satisfy the most devoted lover of steam-powered octopodes.
Plus, werewolves in waistcoats (and occasionally kilts) with lovely Scottish burrs. Mmm.
They are also wonderfully diverse when it comes to gender and sexual orientation but, at least with the first series, racial diversity could use a little work. (As they deal, primarily, with upper class, aristocratic English households, this is unsurprising.) However, from what I have read of the first bit of Imprudence, it looks like The Custard Protocol may include some more racially diverse characters. I will, of course, review that series when I have read it. I’m jumping right in.