House of Sable Locks, Elizabeth Schechter, www.circlet.com, 276 pages, $4.99, ISBN: 978-1-61390-090-1, reviewed by Barry Hunter.
This is one of the more unusual titles I’ve seen from Circlet Press. They are well known for their erotic and steampunk titles and have published some of the best-selling retellings of alternate lifestyle adventures of Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes and Shakespeare.
This novel is the story of a house that caters to everyone and each of the floors is for different tastes. The second floor is for those who like women; the third floor is for those who prefer men. The fourth floor is home to The Succubus, with whom each visitor meets on their first visit, but never meets again. That is until she meets William Sotherby.
William is the son of a master Articifer, who helped develop artificial intelligence. Lady Helena Smyth is also an Articifer who, along with her late husband, helped create the Cerebral Engine that is used in running the automatons that inhabit and service the clients in the House of Sable Locks. A problem develops with The Succubus and William is called on to help solve the problem. William finds a surprise as he corrects the problem and makes some improvements as well.
Add in William’s story of his adventures in India, an overbearing guardian, and a series of murders make this a story of brutality, carnality, betrayal and love that plays out in a well told and interesting story that giving to many details would spoil the surprises that are there to be discovered by the reader.