Classic detective literature meets vampires and steampunk London in Colleen Gleason’s new Stoker and Holmes series, featuring budding detectives Mina Holmes (Sherlock’s niece) and Evaline Stoker (Bram’s half-sister). With love interests, time travel and murder, The Clockwork Scarab has all the elements of a must-read not just for teens but for anybody who loves any of these genres.

Mina and Evaline begin as somewhat prickly, reluctant partners, brought together by a summons to the British Museum at midnight. Their partnership is forged by the formidable Irene Adler—yes, “the woman” from the Holmes story, “A Scandal in Bohemia.” Miss Adler, working for the British Museum under royal command, calls for Mina and Evaline to place themselves at service to the Crown and help solve the mystery of why the daughters of London society are disappearing.

Murder, of course, is in the wings. Quite close, in fact. In the very midst of their briefing, the three discover the body of a young woman in the halls of the Museum. Standing over her, knife in hand, is a handsome young man dressed rather strangely. As Mina will soon discover, he is wearing the telltale footwear of any self-respecting 21st-century time traveler, “decorated with an odd swoop-like design on the sides.”

And so the fun begins. Told in alternating points of view by Mina and Evaline, The Clockwork Scarab is an exciting YA debut for Colleen Gleason, who is best known for her adult paranormal romance series. The novel is sure to be crowd-pleasing, and an Educator Guide linking the book to the new Common Core Standards is also available.

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