Title: Doktor Glass
Author: Thomas Brennan
A steampunk tale that embraces early Victorian science, rather than entirely rewriting it, Doktor Glass is a fun read. The mystery and suspense feels genuine, the protagonist feels sincere, and while the backdrop isn't the most inventive, it feels more honest than many steampunk stories.
Inspector Langton's wife died just a short time ago, and as he begins to investigate a seemingly unrelated murder, he begins to realize the two may be more connected than he originally thought. Even worse, he's starting to wonder if the rumors of gangs who put the souls of the recently deceased in jars aren't the pseudoscientific sham he originally thought...
What I especially liked about Doktor Glass is that Brennan manages to write a mystery where it doesn't feel like the mystery is entirely generated from the characters' idiocy. I certainly did see some of the things the protagonist didn't, but I never felt like he didn't notice because it was better for the plot that he didn't, or because he was just irrevocably stupid.
I also really liked the fact that unlike many Victorian-set mystery stories, Inspector Langton isn't meant to be the bestest more amazing detective in the world. Nope. He's pretty run-of-the-mill. He just manages to get the right case at the right time, and persist at going forward.
This meant that I was really able to just go along for the ride, just enjoy the book. If you're looking for a fun, easy-to-read steampunk mystery, I'd certainly suggest Doktor Glass.