"Bones" is the second of Elizabeth Watasin's Dark Victorian novels. In this outing, someone is literally stealing the bones of the impoverished. All over London, deflated bodies are being found ... with no wounds apparent, but all bones removed.
Newly resurrected artificial ghost Artifice (Art for short) and her companion Jim Dastard are on the job again, this time tracking down the Bone Stealer. The adventures also involve subplot with the wealthy Skycourt twins, Helia and Helene, both of whom seem to know a great deal about Art's previous life (which she cannot remember, for the most part), but neither of them are talking.
While this is a fun romp through alternate history, Watasin also tackles difficult issues of the time, such as the ethics of vivisection. This is not always a light read.
It's clear that Watasin knows her history, and also how to mix things up to add elements of steampunk and alternate realities. She posits a London in which many social elements are radically different for many strata of society ... and one which might have made for a much more positive world today if those differences had been real.
Watasin is definitely no victim of the sophomore slump; this book is as entertaining as the first. I look forward to seeing more from this author.