Automatic Women is a Steampunk novel set in London in 1888. Jacob Fellows is a thief catcher and works for The Bow Street Firm, which I believe is the author’s take on the original Bow Street runners, the first professional policemen of London.
Known as “Jolly” Fellows, he is called to a theft as a penny theatre by Dr Saxon. Saxon has a set of automated dancing dolls who perform to the music of Swan Lake, but his leading lady, The Swan Princess, has been stolen. Jolly knows little about automated figures and leans on his informers for a name where he can go to begin his enquiries. Jolly meets eccentric Frenchman Jacques Nouveau, who himself owns several life-like automatons. He knows of Saxon and admires the magical qualities of his figures, especially The Swan Princess.
Returning to Saxon’s…
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