Born into an affluent family, Leo outwardly seems like a typical daughter of English privilege in the 1870s: she lives with her wealthy married sister Christabel, and lacks for neither dresses nor trinkets. But Leo has a crippling speech impediment that makes it difficult for her to speak but curiously allows her to mimic other people's voices flawlessly. Servants and ladies alike call her "Mad Miss Mimic" behind her back... and watch as she unintentionally scares off every potential suitor. Only the impossibly handsome Mr. Thornfax seems interested in Leo...but why? And does he have a connection to the mysterious Black Glove group that has London in its terrifying grasp? Trapped in a city under siege by terror attacks and gripped by opium fever, where doctors (including her brother-in-law) race to patent an injectable formula, Leo must search for truth in increasingly dangerous situations - but to do so, she must first find her voice.
This book kind of reminded me of a Jane Austen novel. The problem with that is I am not a fan of Jane Austen. The book was slow and something about the writing style just made the main plot points seem . . . not so tragic or suspenseful. I won't give anything away, but there were a couple of times where I actually had to reread a couple of paragraphs because I didn't even realize something major had happened. That was probably my fault though. There were some sections that were just too slow and boring and I would lose focus because of it and then I would miss an explosion or a death.
I did like the main character though and that's probably why gave it three stars. I really felt for Leo and her stutter. I thought it was interesting that she could mimic anyone's voice (hence the nickname, "Mad Miss Mimic" and I kind of liked the attitude that the imitation of other people was basically a whole separate person inside of Leo. The problem was that Leo never really new what her own voice sounded like. Her sister was trying to basically find her a husband and Leo was desperate for someone who would accept her for who she was. I didn't really care for the love triangle, but I kind of liked the plot. Some of it didn't make sense, but essentially there was a Black Glove group that was terrorizing the city and the government thought banning opium would be the answer. Some things in the plot were predictable. In the love triangle, I could tell who Leo would end up with and I kind of predicted who the bad guy was. But I didn't know why they were doing what they were doing so that was a nice twist. The resolution of the romance was satisfying, but it felt like it took SO LONG to get there. And I still don't understand why the Black Glove group did some of the things they did.
I can see why other people loved this one a lot, but unfortunately it just wasn't for me. The plot and the characters were well done. I just thought the writing style was a bit blah.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Borrow. Personally, I feel like I would recommend this one to certain people even though I didn't love it. I think if you are a fan of Jane Austen novels, you would probably like it.