Lady Alexia Tarabotti, an old spinster (I guess 26 is old back then), is considered a spinster (according to society and her family) because she is too old and Italian (who knew those were qualifications??) which means she has an Italian's tan skin, a stubborn, outspoken personality and a larger nose. She is also Soulless, nope no soul in her body (which her family does not know) or also known as preternatural, instead of supernatural. She is bored with her life but is always in search of her next meal, preferable treacle tarts. In this “world”, Vampires and Werewolves are known to society and many live should to shoulder with the crème de la crème of the court. So when Alexia comes across a Vampire in the Library, in the home of a party she is attending, she is not overly concerned. All vampires are told about her (and her preternatural state) when they are made, but she is very upset that the tea and treats she had ordered is being interrupted (honestly, who has a party without food). However, this young vampire, seems to know nothing about her and attacks her for his next meal, bad manners indeed. Well Alexia inadvertently kills him, Oops. Enter the Alexia's greatest pain in her... Lord Maccon, who is sent to investigate but he is also the Alpha werewolf in the London territory and Queen Victoria's agent. Alexia finds herself under investigation for killing the vampire, and others as she discovers others have been missing, some even from high society. Her Soullessness, makes her the perfect Vampire hunts, therefore, she is at the top of the suspect list. Now Alexia finds herself hunted in more than one way and by more than one man. And she finds herself searching for the truth before it's too late, guess her lunch will have to wait.
This book is fun and an easy read. The book is based in the mid to late 1800 with smart and witty English Humor, which I just loved. There are some different ideas about werewolves and vampires, most notability is around the soul. In order for a person to be turned into a vampire or werewolf they have to have an over abundance of a soul. If they have just a normal or no soul, they are unable to be turned. There are other differences as well, but I will let you read to figure them out. Alexia being Soulless also gives her power, when she touches someone who is supernatural she takes away what makes them supernatural, for example, the vampire no longer has his fangs, just regular teeth. Hence why she is called a soul sucker. The affect is temporary and she has to be touching them for it to take effect. I loved Alexia as a character, she is fun and full of witty remarks and comments, but is never shy about finding food. She also has a vulnerable side as well, that you see when her step-sister and her mother talks about her (I mean really, 26 a spinster???). Alexia and Maccon also have great banter and how Maccon floats between wanting to strangle her and kiss her at the same time. I also found Alexia's friend, with all her outrageous hats very charming and kind of cute in her naivety and trying to be a lady all the time.
It is a fun easy read and there is some romance within the book, but manly it is more of a mystery and in some sort political book and some may say it gets a touch steampunkish near the end (but that is really not the genre of the story). I have read the second book as well, so I hope to post a review sometime soon.
Enjoy! Oh and don't forget the Tea and Crumpets while you read it!