The epilogue to this book almost caused me to bump this up to a four-star review. Almost. But given that the vast majority of it had me quite comfortably rating it as a 3, I'm going to stay with that. But the ending is just interesting enough to convince to to pick up another.
This is perfectly competent Victorian London steampunk, if not anything that set my personal world on fire. It is also a mystery, with male and female detectives, and if there is the hint of future romance, at least that wasn't the focus of the whole novel.
Men are turning up strangled in Whitechapel, killed, so go the reports, by a man glowing blue. Newbury, curator at the British Museum and Special Investigator for the Empire is called to investigate, along with his plucky young assistant, Veronica Hobbes.
But they are diverted by a blimp crash, in which the passengers appear to have been tied to their seats, and the pilot missing. This leads them to a prominent industrialist who has recently diversified into automatons, which they claim couldn't possibly be acting erratically.
Oh, and there is a zombie (Mann uses "revenant") plague in the poorer areas of London, so you don't want to be out after dark.
If you like steampunk, this seems like a perfectly good journeyman entry into the genre. It was fun, and entertaining, and the mystery sufficiently diverting. And the epilogue adds a new layer to one of the main characters that made them much more interesting to me.