The Diabolical Miss Hyde was my first book by Viola Carr–pen name for Erica Hayes. I will admit that I was drawn to this book by its cover; I found it to be gorgeous and fitting for the story. The Diabolical Miss Hyde is a wonderful blend of steampunk, mystery, Penny Dreadful (TV show), murder, magic, and romance all entwined into a fast paced story. I loved how Carr wove all of the characters in the story and left it open for a sequel, which I cannot wait for.
The Diabolical Miss Hyde is about Dr. Eliza Jekyll, daughter of the famous Dr. Henry Jekyll. She is a crime scene investigator searching for the “chopper” (a murderer who is killing young women and slicing off their limbs). She is also a doctor for the mentally ill in the insane asylum and is researching ways to cure them with alchemy. She does all this in a world driven by men who look down upon her for being a woman and for doing things differently. She risks being arrested for her ways like her father before her and being burned at the stake by the Royal Society. The other side of her is Lizzie Hyde, the daughter of the famous Mr. Hyde. She is Eliza’s wilder, darker half, who is set free by her Dr. Jekyll’s famous elixir. Throughout the story they battle one another until they realize that they need one another to survive.
Throughout the story we are introduced to a number of characters. My favorites were Hippocrates, Eliza’s faithful mechanical pet/assistant; Inspector Harley Griffin, detective for the police and friend to Eliza; Remy Lafayette, who has a dark past; Sweeney Todd (Malaghi Todd), who is as dark and twisted as ever; and her mysterious benefactor, A.R., who has a secret of his own.
Carr does a wonderful job of incorporating the Jack the Ripper London with the Fey, who are seen as lesser individuals and looked down upon by society. I loved how the story wove everything neatly from the murders to the alchemy to the steampunk London. Readers will love Eliza and Lizzie’s banter and enjoy seeing the events from both point of views.
I will definitely be on the lookout for the sequel because I have to know what happens next. I flew through this story in a matter of days. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. I felt like I was in an episode of Penny Dreadful, which I also love. I would definitely recommend this story to all who love steampunk and enjoy a good monster or two in their story. I will be looking for more books by Viola Carr/Erica Hayes.
Amanda loves spending time at home with her husband and their dog, Oreo. She loves reading, playing puzzle games, beading and watching movies. When she’s not reading, she’s working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HarperCollins Publishers. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.