Title: Nefertiti’s Heart
Author: A. W. Exley
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Version Read: ebook galley
Publication Date: February 14th, 2013
Categories: crime, mystery, mythology, romance, , steampunk
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley. This in no way reflects my feelings towards the book or the book’s review.
Summary (Goodreads): Cara Devon has always suffered curiosity and impetuousness, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently.
London, 1861. Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the strange death of her father – sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts, an eight inch long brass key hammered through their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to immortality.
Her Majesty’s Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she, somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti’s Heart, a fist sized diamond with strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life, notorious crime lord, Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she could figure out his motive.
Self-preservation fuels Cara’s search for the gem. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.
Set in the steam era and full of mystery and intrigue, I thoroughly enjoyed Nefertiti’s Heart. Cara is a refreshing heroine, and I really enjoyed her and her take on the world. I’m so glad I took a chance and requested this galley.
I quite enjoy anything to do with Egyptian mythology and the parts of the novel that deal with that are well researched and very interesting. The expansion on the known ‘mythology’ of Akhenaten and Nefertiti is very interesting, and the Heart itself is a spectacular piece of creativity. It’s link to the serial killer and indeed Cara were extremely well written.
The main mystery – the one of the serial killer unravelled itself throughout the books, with interesting little tidbits and clues at the start of many of the chapters, and I worked out the bad guy pretty soon after he entered the picture. That said, the mystery surrounding the killer was intriguing and quite well done. It was also wonderfully linked with Cara’s past.
The other interesting aspect of the book is Cara’s past, and Nathaniel’s work to help release her from the memories that still haunt her from it. Viscount Nathaniel Lyons (Nate) himself was an enjoyable character – very realistic too. He’s morally questionable and quite a bit of a bad ass, but a very intriguing guy also. I really enjoyed Cara and Nate together, especially as her guards came down and they were both more open with each other. The ‘sexytimes’ was pretty descriptive so if you aren’t into that there a quite a few later pages that you’ll be turning in this book, but it wasn’t particularly over the top either. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone under 18 either.
The steam-era and steampunk themes in the book were nicely done. They were parts of the everyday world (although mostly of the rich) but weren’t so overdone that the story was lost in them. My absolute favourite steampunk thing in the books, apart from the horses, were the mechanical butterflies. Just utterly gorgeous and a nice piece of fancifulness in the story.
I had lots of *flaily hands* and *yay* moments, as well as a few *hmm, that’s interesting* moments too. I would recommend this for anyone who likes a little steampunk with their mystery, and who doesn’t mind the odd steamy romance (especially since it isn’t an insta-love, it does take some time).