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1887. London, but not as you know it.
The Industrial Revolution went further than anyone could have imagined, and the sprawling, chaotic metropolis of Even Greater London spreads across the southern half of England. The immense Tower casts electricity through the sky, powering the mind-boggling mechanisms of the city. The engineer-army of Isambard Kingdom Brunel swarms across the capital, building, demolishing, and rebuilding whatever they see fit. Queen Victoria is recovering nicely from her eleventh assassination, ruling with the dignity that comes from striking terror into anyone who sees the unholy union of human and machine that one has become. And at the heart of all this sits the country’s first Private Investigation Agency.
Archibald Fleet (formerly of Scotland Yard, currently administratively deceased) and Clara Entwhistle (formerly of Harrogate, currently intermittent crime journalist) hoped things would pick up quickly for their new enterprise. No-one is taking them seriously, but their break will come soon. Definitely. Probably.
Meanwhile, police are baffled by a series of impossible bank robberies. With no trace left of the thieves, and nothing to connect each break-in to the next, their resources are absorbed by the case. Which means that when a woman witnesses a kidnapping, Fleet-Entwhistle Private Investigations is the only place she can turn for help. They’re more than happy to oblige!
But why would this man be a target for kidnappers? As Clara and Fleet dig into the mystery, things go deeper than they could ever have anticipated . . .
From the creators of the acclaimed podcast Victoriocity comes a hilarious novel set in the greatest, most chaotic city in history. Twisty, inventive, and joyously funny, High Vaultage is perfect for fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Tom Holt, Douglas Adams, and Terry Pratchett.
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If you put Sherlock Holmes in a blender with Dickens, and then filtered it through a Terry Pratchett filter - the result is a whole lot of fun
Front Row, BBC Radio 4
Wickedly funny, deliriously inventive, delightfully weird. The Sugdens' Even Greater London is one of the best-realised fantasy playgrounds since Great A'Tuin ambled across the stars with The Discworld on their back
Malcolm Devlin, BSFA-nominated author of YOU WILL GROW INTO THEM
The sheer inventiveness keeps you sleuthing on
The Financial Times
Prepare for an electrifying ride through Even Greater London in this delightfully twisted mash-up of Douglas Adams and Charles Dickens. High Vaultage positively crackles with invention and intrigue and I loved every page. Mark my words: Fleet and Clara are destined to join the waxwork hall of fame for all-time great literary detective duos
Helen Marshall, World Fantasy Award-winning author of GIFTS FOR THE ONE WHO COMES AFTER and THE MIGRATION
If Douglas Adams . . . were still alive and wanted to get into podcasting, VICTORIOCITY might likely be something he'd have written
It is everything I hoped it would be (everything the radio show led me to think it would be) and more: a masterly comic writing and a superb piece of worldbuilding, as perfect a piece of neo-Victoriania as I remember since ... well, since the actual Victorian epoch, which I remember well. You will laugh, you will cry (with laughter), and most of all you will frantically turn the pages. Unlike Queen Victoria, we are most assuredly amused
Adam Roberts, author of THE THING ITSELF and PURGATORY MOUNT