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Karen J Carlisle is an writer and illustrator of speculative fiction - steampunk, Victorian mysteries and fantasy. She lives in Adelaide with her family and the ghost of her ancient Devon Rex cat.
She has started various other long-term affairs with fantasy fiction, (tabletop) role-playing, gardening, historical re-creation and steampunk – in that order. From the age of nine, she longed to be a writer.
Karen has had articles published in Australian Realms Roleplaying Magazine and Cockatrice (Arts and Sciences magazine). She has written short stories, SF/comedy, non-fiction articles and speculative fiction. Her short story, An Eye for Detail, was short-listed by the Australian Literature Review in their 2013 Murder/Mystery Short Story Competition. Hunted, was featured in A Trail of Tales, as part of the 2016 Adelaide Fringe.
Karen has always loved chocolate - dark preferred - and rarely refuses a cup of tea.
She is not keen on the South Australian summers.
L. E. Doggett
on Jan. 22, 2017 :
A good solid read even though it may not seem that way with only three stars. But I hardly ever give more than four and this might be a three and a third.
Good action scenes, interesting plot with good twists and the characters all stay in character. Viola is an intriguing, brave and smart hero. Doesn't give up and is stubborn too.
It is only around 95 pages so it doesn't go into as much detail as longer tales but still you can see the action as she tries to find out who is doing what and why. This one has different POVs including the bad guy, so we know more than she does which I don't mind.
For a good fun read I recommend this book, it was entertaining. And there is of course a next one.
(reviewed 11 months after purchase)
David Lee Summers
on Sep. 07, 2015 :
In short, Doctor Viola Stewart confronts Jack the Ripper. What sets this one apart is the protagonist. Viola Stewart is an "Oculist" -- a Victorian eye doctor -- who not only makes glasses, but practices Optography -- capturing images from the eyes of the recently deceased. Although she lost an eye in a previous adventure, she's smart, courageous, confident, and it turns out may have a past with the Ripper. While Stewart and her friend Doctor Henry Collins, a medical examiner for the London Police, trail the Ripper, a shadowy organization works to overthrow Queen Victoria. A satisfying steampunk novella.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
on June 06, 2015 :
The novellas if Karen Carlisle do not disappoint. Viola Stewart takes off again, Henry Collins in tow. This novella is one tale, a more somber and personal adventure for our heroine. As a definite fan I enjoyed this more macabre gaslamp story in the seedier side of London. Dr. Stewart's optical, investigative and physical talents are in full display. The pacing is even, with the right amount of tea sipping dialogue between the more exciting moments. I'm very happy to get one longer tale, especially so soon after the first novella was released.
If you love steampunk, gaslamp fantasy, Victoriana done right and a plucky protagonist...pick up the adventures of Viola Stewart!!!
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)