Returning from a Canada postal service strike-induced hiatus, this month's giveaway contest is the for the second of Mark Hodder's Burton and Swinburne series, The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man.
It is 1862, though not the 1862 it should be...
Time has been altered, and Sir Richard Francis Burton, the king's agent, is one of the few people who know that the world is now careening along a very different course from that which Destiny intended.
When a clockwork-powered man of brass is found abandoned in Trafalgar Square, Burton and his assistant, the wayward poet Algernon Swinburne, find themselves on the trail of the stolen Garnier Collection—black diamonds rumored to be fragments of the Lemurian Eye of Naga, a meteorite that fell to Earth in prehistoric times.
His investigation leads to involvement with the media sensation of the age: the Tichborne Claimant, a man who insists that he's the long lost heir to the cursed Tichborne estate. Monstrous, bloated, and monosyllabic, he's not the aristocratic Sir Roger Tichborne known to everyone, yet the working classes come out in force to support him. They are soon rioting through the streets of London, as mysterious steam wraiths incite all-out class warfare.
From a haunted mansion to the Bedlam madhouse, from South America to Australia, from seances to a secret labyrinth, Burton struggles with shadowy opponents and his own inner demons, meeting along the way the philosopher Herbert Spencer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Florence Nightingale, and Charles Doyle (father of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle).
Can the king's agent expose a plot that threatens to rip the British Empire apart, leading to an international conflict the like of which the world has never seen? And what part does the clockwork man have to play?
To enter, leave a comment on this post and ensure that your e-mail is available through your profile or some other means. A winner will drawn out of the top hat at midnight, Sunday July 31st.
Thank you again, one and all, for continuing to support Voyages Extraordinaires: Scientific Romances in a Bygone Age!
And the winner is... Giada M! Giada, check your inbox! To everyone else, thank you once again for supporting Voyages Extraordinaires and look forward to another contest next month!