Title: The Mysterious Madam Morpho
Author: Delilah S. Dawson
Series: The Blud Series (Novella 1.5)
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Format: eBook, 100 Pages
ISBN-10: 1451687680 (Simon&Schuster)
ISBN-13: 978-1451687682 (Simon&Schuster)
Reviewed by: Sheila
Taking place after Wicked as They Come, this original eBook features a mysterious lady and a reclusive mechanical genius who find love and danger in a traveling circus.
An elusive woman arrives at Criminy’s doorstep with a steamer trunk, begging for a position in the caravan to perform her unique new act. She opens her trunk to reveal a menagerie of brilliantly colored butterflies. The woman, who calls herself Madam Morpho, is on the run from a dark past in London, where she was forced to leave her equipment behind and abscond with only her tiny performers. Playing a hunch, Criminy hires Madam Morpho on the spot. Taking her down to meet Mr. Murdoch, the reclusive talented engineer who keeps the carnival’s clockworks running, Criminy instructs them to work together to design and build a groundbreaking new circus for the butterflies. Amid the magical ambiance of the circus and the hint of danger from Madam Morpho’s pursuers, she and Mr. Murdoch soon find that their scientific collaboration has produced chemistry of a more romantic kind.
Quick & Dirty: Steampunk love between a machinist and a butterfly trainer within the mysterious and mystical boundaries of Criminy Stain’s Clockwork Caravan.
Opening Sentence: “You were right again, love,” Criminy said.
A novella set within the world of Sang, The Mysterious Madam Morpho brings us back to Criminy Stain’s Clockwork Caravan and the lovable ragtag band of mongrels and misfits. This is a love story with all the fragility of a butterfly’s wings; tempered in the heat of unbridled passion and forged into an unbreakable bonding of souls.
Madam Morpho, AKA Imogen, is on the run when she approaches the caravan looking for work. Her transgressions leave her little in the way of options if she wishes to remain out of the custody of the Coppers, the local police. Her delicate charges, the now extinct butterflies, will become the newest of Criminy Stain’s attractions. Imogen’s crimes may have led her into hiding within the wagons of the caravan, but her growing attraction to the reclusive Mr. Murdoch encourages her to throw caution to the wind. Imogen’s character shows her ignorance in both her social interactions as well as her new country side surroundings. Her low self-esteem makes it hard for her to see her own worth as a professional and as a potential lover. Though she is definitely in over her head, she continues on proving that her core self is made of steel.
Mr. Murdoch, AKA Henry, is not the most socially adept of people. As the machinist, his hermit lifestyle and lack of manners suits him just fine. That is, until he meets the lovely Imogen. Now, he must find the right words to express his overwhelming desires when he has always been a more “hands-on” kind of guy. While almost everyone in the caravan has secrets, will Henry’s destroy the delicate bond he has with Imogen? How far is he willing to go in order to keep her safe when her own past comes calling?
This may only be a novella, but what it lacks in length it makes up with imagery and intensity. The reader is also treated to a more comprehensive view of caravan life, both in and out of the spotlight. The small group may watch out for its own, they are still people with individual personalities and temperaments. Gossip is just as prevalent in this job as it is in every other line of work out there, along with jealous and envy. How far will these new “co-workers” go to save a new member whose past threatens their happy home?
My favorite part of this story is learning more about the clockwork animals used as entertainment and security. Each animal is a marvelous blend of technology and artistry. The fact that Henry is the genius behind them only adds to depth and complexity of the story.
The reader is treated to an enjoyable journey that weaves through the firelight of the caravan’s mystique, seeing sights that baffle the imagination and inspire the heart. The Blud series is a must read for so many different reasons. Just take my word that it is worth every minute!
“We must talk,” she said.
“Is the magic of the caravan not temptation enough?” he said, throwing his arms wide to encompass the wagons and shaking loose her arm in the process. “Merriment, acts of entertainment, the barest hint of danger. Is this not enough to satisfy you?”
“I am not a fool, Henry, and I have already admitted to you that I know very little of interpersonal behavior, but I must confess that you confound me utterly. Is there some underlying issue that drives you? Or am I simply so unlawful, uncoordinated, overeducated, and plain-spoken that you find yourself thoroughly disgusted by my very presence?”
“Disgusting? You?” He took her shoulders in his hands and held her both too closely and not closely enough. “Are you mad?”
“I do not believe so. Are you?”
For a long, charged moment, they glared at each other. They had paused in front of a clockwork tiger, which roared at tem fiercely, by neither of them so much as turned a head.
“Very well, madam. You wish to talk? We will talk. But I won’t be responsible for the consequences.”
The Blud Series:
2. Wicked As She Wants (April 30th, 2013)
FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books provided me with a copy of The Mysterious Madam Morpho. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. I only get paid in hugs and kisses from my little boys.
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