Thanks so much to Patrick Canning, who sent me a copy of his book The Colonel and The Bee. It was interesting for me to read a book from a genre I haven’t look into before – Steampunk genre.
Beatrix, a spirited but abused acrobat in a traveling circus, seeks more than her prison-like employment offers. More than anything, she wants to know her place in the world of the halcyon 19th century, a time when the last dark corners of the map were being sketched out and travel still possessed a kind of magic.
One night in Switzerland, the mysterious Colonel James Bacchus attends Beatrix’s show. This larger-than-life English gentleman, reputed to have a voracious appetite for female conquests, is most notable for traveling the world in a four-story hot air balloon called The Ox.
Beatrix flees that night to join the Colonel, and the two of them make a narrow escape–Beatrix from her abusive ringleader, the Colonel from a freshly-made cuckold. Beatrix, feeling the Colonel may have the answers to her problems, pledges to help him catch the criminal he seeks in exchange for passage on his magnificent balloon.
The criminal seeks a precious figurine, The Blue Star Sphinx, but he’s not alone. The Sphinx’s immense value has also drawn the attention of the world’s most deadly treasure hunters. A murder in Antwerp begins a path of mystery that leads all the way to the most isolated island on Earth.
What dangers await the Colonel and the acrobat?
The novel has a little bit of everything – adventures, humour, travelling around the world and a bit of mystery. It’s well written, even though I found it hard to understand sometimes and I needed to use a dictionary. A vocabulary not for everyone but that’s what makes it different and unique in its own way.
The Colonel and the Bee are an unusual team who is after catching a criminal who seeks a precious treasure – The Blue Star Sphinx. They are not the only one who are trying to find the mystic item and they are dragged to more than one dangerous situation.
The treasure hunting brought them to different countries in Europe and around the world. The Colonel’s giant balloon – the Oxford Starladder(The Ox) is what they used to travel. The Ox is fully described and it’s not just a hot air balloon but one of the stars in the story.
If you are interested in fantasy, crime and travelling around the world on a balloon then I’m sure you will like it. I especially enjoyed the dialogues between the Colonel and the Bee and the sense of humour in particular.