The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician’s assistant. The three young women’s lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.
It’s up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.
Cora is a smart and sassy young woman and a brilliant scientist. Michiko has samurai training, yet was never given her sword because she’s a woman. And Nellie is a bold and beautiful magician’s assistant who isn’t afraid to use her looks to her advantage. The three talented young women strike up a friendship and decide to investigate the murders of two men that they have stumbled upon and the disappearances of several flower girls as the police don’t seem much use.
Blending mystery, steampunk, and heroics – The Friday Society is a promising start to a new series. Fans of Andrew P. Mayer’s Society of Steam novels will want to check out this comparable steampunk adventure. The story is packed with suspense, steam-powered gadgets, adventure and a bit of romance. I couldn’t get enough of this fantastic debut and couldn’t put it down. With plenty of twists and surprises along the way, the complex mystery will appease any adult or young adult reader. I certainly look forward to the next installment.