Delilah S. Dawson is one of my favorite debut authors this year. If you haven’t read her debut, Wicked as They Come (click here to read my review), you must! Delilah’s Blud series is also set in England and has a Steampunk feel to it, but it’s an alternate universe where ravenous animals thirst for blud and some of the human population does also. The Mysterious Madam Morpho (Blud #1.5) is an e-novella set in the Blud world releasing today.
This story begins two years after the events of Wicked as They Come. Criminy Stain, the sexy mo fo blud man in charge of the traveling caravan of magical carnies, and his now wife, Tish from another earthly dimension who travels to the Blud during sleep and can see a person’s future through touch are surprised when a strange woman comes looking for work. Her name is Imogen but she goes by Madam Morpho who has a talent with training butterflies where she can create an amazing show of wonder with them. Criminy likes the Madam and invites her to join his caravan.
Imogen (not her real name) is on the run from an unscrupulous man who feels he owns her, and not only wants to use her for his own enjoyment, but her skill with the butterflies. Imogen lives in fear, but has hopes Mr. Stain can protect her. She meets the reclusive and mysterious Mr. Murdock, a man also hiding for his own reasons. Murdock has a skill with clockworks, metal and brass and is quite handsome. As Imogen gets to know Mr. Murdock better, they become friends and soon he invites her to call him by his first name, Henry, and tells her why he’s part of Criminy’s caravan. Imogen in turn opens up to Henry and why she’s on the run. Henry wants to protect Imogen at all costs. But then Imogen’s former employer finds her and will stop at nothing until Imogen is his again.
The Mysterious Madam Morpho is an atmospheric magical tale with a touch of romance. Delilah excels with the dialogue and creative descriptions of the world of the Blud. The romance is more on the subtle side, and I would have loved to seen more passion between Henry and Imogen because there’s very little here. I also feel this story was too short and could have been much better if it was longer. But overall I really enjoyed this one and it was a pleasure to reintroduce myself to Criminy and Tish and those nasty bludbunnies that would gnaw off a person’s arm if they could.
If you enjoyed Wicked as They Come, you’ll surely want to read The Mysterious Madam Morpho. At .99 cents it’s well worth the price. (Pocket Books)
Final Grade: B+