The main character of this book is Alexia Tarabotti, a 26 year old spinster and self-proclaimed "English prig" who was born without a soul (i.e. a preternatural). Alexia finds herself killing a rude and ill mannered vampire while drinking tea at a party, and inadvertently finds herself in the center of a mystery through a series of humorous and sometimes unfortunate events.
I actually really enjoyed the light hearted, humorous tone of this book. It was almost like Wodehouse meets Stephanie Meyers. Humorously poking fun of British society while telling a tale involving supernatural romance, vampires and werewolves. It even had some steampunk elements to it which was a lot of fun for me since I haven't read much of anything in that genre. I also REALLY liked the main character Alexia. I found her funny and totally relatable. She is an outspoken, intelligent woman who is full of insecurities because of the standards of beauty and behavior imposed on her by the society she lives in. Two of my favorite quotes from Lord Maccon regarding Alexia:
"In his humble experience, the world had yet to produce a more vexingly verbose female."
"He figured someday he might win an argument with this extraordinary woman, but clearly today was not that day."
So why only three stars? While I did find this book endearing, entertaining and funny, I also unfortunately thought the plot fell a little flat. As did the rest of the characters... outside of Alexia, none of the other characters were very likable. With the exception maybe of Lord Akeldama and his hilarious terms of endearment for Ms. Tarabotti :). The mystery was not all that mysterious, it was easily predictable, and just left me wanting more. In a word.. Meh. I do however, appreciate that this book stood on its own even though it's part of a series. I did like it, but I'm just not sure that I liked it enough to read the rest of the series.