Black Iron

Black Iron is a journey of dark whimsy, a hybrid of heist and political intrigue in the heart of a multi-cultural Old Europe imploding from a civil war within the Catholic Church. Coming Fall 2018.

Picture Victorian England without Queen Victoria, in a world where the Protestant Reformation never happened, the British don't drink tea, and the Colonies are still colonies. Add political intrigue, theft, and schism in the Catholic Church. And make it a comedy. This is the world of Black Iron.

It's 1855, but not as we know it. The schism between the One True French Catholic Church, which has embraced values of tolerance, and the heretical Italian Catholic Church, which still clings to the traditions of zealous persecution, has stoked three centuries of conflict, imploding the dream of European ascendancy. Thousands flee the Spanish Inquisition for havens in Germany, France, Britain and the colonies of the New World.

The face and character of London has been indelibly altered by generations of refugees. Tasked with keeping order and preserving the ecumenical vision of the Holy French Catholic Church in the face of throngs clamoring for "traditional British values," the London police find themselves in an awkward position. And nobody is quite sure how to deal with the technological innovation of animates: mindless laborers crafted from the body parts of the dead.

Amurderous plot with far-reaching implications casts a city torn between renaissance and tyranny as the unwitting catalyst for unspeakable global calamity. The fate of this world lies, as it often does, in the hands of a motley and disparate crew brought together by inglorious serendipity: the Bodger twins, Claire and Donnie, a pair of happy-go-lucky weapons makers and arms dealers; Thaddeus Mudstone, a thief given the job to die for; Lady Alÿs, a French princess out to clear her name; and Commander Skarbunket, a London police chief forced to choose between following his conscience and following his orders.

Ironworks and iron fists will take London, and the Old World with it, to the cutting edge of a treacherous new century. Can the shared purpose of those with such different backgrounds be strong enough to hold back a rising tide of zealous violence? Will the mysteries they uncover be the salvation or death knell of a beleaguered city? You'll have to read to find out. Wikipedia hasn't been invented yet in this timeline.

"The enthusiasm is infectious, and readers will quickly find themselves becoming caught up in the characters, the intrigue, and the slightly altered customs of this well-plotted mystery. A satisfying alternate-history work that doesn’t skimp on adventure." —Kirkus Reviews

"The humour is there in so many ways, especially the dialogue. This is my new favorite book." —Jennie Rosenblum, Hazel

"Veaux and Rickert build their setting seamlessly through the action, with a tone that creates a bold and very British aesthetic... This is a delightful and promising steampunk adventure." —Publishers Weekly