Blameless ~ Gail Carriger

  • Title: Blameless
  • Author: Gail Carriger
  • Series: Parasol Protectorate #3
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Format: Paperback
  • Source: Library
  • Reviewed by: Olga
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:  Quitting her husband’s house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London’s vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires — and they’re armed with pesto.

Review:  An enjoyable romp, although logic is lame at times. Alexia, estranged from her husband and under a death sentence from the vampires, leaves England for Italy.  But the vampires’ minions find her everywhere. How? The author doesn’t specify.

On the other hand Alexia, resourceful as always, comes out of those encounters invariably the winner – with the help of her friends and her stuffed with armaments parasol. Some of her escapades are so absurd that you can’t help laughing, even though the heroine is in mortal danger. She even has time to fall in love with pesto. Delicious.

I agree with some reviewers that in the end, she lets her husband Conall off the hook too easily, forgives him too willingly, but that is a comparatively small fault for the otherwise delightful book.

Besides Conall, although responsible for the before-mentioned estrangement, suffers from it terribly, possibly even more than his wife because, of his guilty conscience. His drunken monologue is piercing, evocative, and hilarious simultaneously:

“She is wedged”—he pointed two thick fingers at his head as though they formed a pistol—“here.” Then rammed them at his chest. “And here. Canna shake her. Stickier than”—his power of metaphor failed him—“stickier than … cold porridge getting all gloopy on the side of a bowl,” he finally came up with triumphantly.

What an eloquent description of love.
Unlike her hero, the author’s power of metaphor never fails. When Conall is drowning his sorrow in formaldehyde and his second is trying to reason with him:

It was like trying to have a conversation with a distracted and very soggy scone. Every time he pushed in one direction, the earl either oozed or crumbled.

Or this one, probably my favorite:

The house stood as a solo bastion of cheer, battling valiantly against the London sky, which had undertaken its customary stance halfway between an indifferent gray and a malnourished drizzle.

I wish I had written that!

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