No Rest For The Wicked - Book Review

No Rest For The Wicked

Author: Phoebe Darqueling
Genre: Fiction - Science Fiction
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Date Published: April 4, 2019
ISBN-10: 1684332451

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Book Review of :  No Rest For The Wicked


No Rest for the Wicked by Phoebe Darqueling will keep the reader up all night wondering what happens next. Is this amusing mystery, a historical fantasy better classified as Steampunk? The author’s spectacular talent for immersing her readers in melodramatic adventure and the suspenseful plot is a delight. The straightforward tale has back story skillfully woven in to add depth.

Darqueling understands the culture of her Old West setting. She drops the reader into 1871, California along with saloons, bandits, rabble-rousers, gamblers, henchmen, murders and ghosts. The heroine, Viola Thorne, is an experienced, independent, strong-willed saloon owner who is also a reluctant medium. Viola thought she had escaped the problems surrounding her special talents by running from her past in New Orleans to hide out with a new life in Sacramento, California, but a ghost’s spectral aura disrupts her life.

Viola must dress in long billowing skirts with a bustle, but she could hitch up her skirts to reveal pantaloons and ride her horse astride. Her long-sleeved, tight high-necked bodice pushed “her flesh all the way up to her chin”. Gloves protected her from touching others, or they would “see’ ghosts, too.

The author’s characterization is distinctive. “The murky stink of Salty’s stubby cigar arrived…” before him. His new three-piece suit belied his hard living. The reader can easily visualize the action. After a bar brawl, Viola comments, “either the dime novels got it terribly wrong, or they simply don’t make outlaws like the used to.’’ That bar fight and the imaginative plot is reminiscent of Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and others in the comic western movie Los Tres Amigos. “Humans didn’t blaze the way ghosts did, but pearly rippling …” introduces ghosts to the story. From bar fights to ghosts on a steam train to Chicago, the comic mystery intensifies as Viola, a sensitive grifter makes her way with a widow, a young valet and an incorporeal ghost she cannot lose.

The author’s use of literary devices adds to the story. An outlaw enters the saloon sparing for a fight ‘trailed by at least a dozen men who pooled around the entryway like the contents of a giant upturned inkpot.” “She let loose a string of language so colorful it would give a rainbow a run for its money.” “…her heart thundered like a salesman’s fist on the front door.”

No Rest for the Wicked is recommended as a fun read. The reviewer looks forward to the sequel, book two, Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained published by Black Rose Writing.

About Phoebe Darqueling

Gears, goggles and glamour; Corsets, crafts and creativity; Sci-fi, silliness and steampunk; Dirigibles, dancing and DIY; Physics, phonics and phoenixes; Bustles, balloons and beads; Lace, leather and life; Fantasy, feathers and flaws; Paper, piercings and pirates!

For the past 5+ years, my husband, tiny dog and I have been living the lives of vagabonds and bouncing between places as far off as Bulgaria and as familiar as my childhood state of Minnesota. I’m currently living in the Black Forest of Germany, which has really been getting me interested in fairy tales lately. After that? We’ll see which way the wind is blowing.

What do I Write?
I became interested in Steampunk starting in 2009, which rekindled a long-dormant love of writing fiction. I started my first blog on Steampunk in 2012, but in 2017, I left it to become the second editor for, the world’s most popular Steampunk news site. During 2017, I coordinated and contributed to the Collaborative Writing Challenge’s 7th project with a Steampunk theme called Army of Brass. In 2018, my horror re-telling of Pinocchio entitled “The Marionette” was featured in in The Queen of Clocks and Other Steampunk Tales anthology. I’ve started working on the second book in a Gaslamp fantasy series about a con woman forced out of retirement when her past comes back to haunt her…literally. Until it’s published, you can read excerpts from the first book, No Rest for the Wicked.

My geek girl tendencies don’t stop there. I’ve been known to dabble in a variety of fantasy off-shoots, including contributing “The Vigil” to the Chasing Magic anthology and lending my pen to the collaborative fantasy novel, Esyld’s Awakening. I’m currently working on a standalone contemporary fantasy novel that pits a movie crew against the fairy tale creatures they awaken while shooting on location in the Black Forest (Working title: Grimmer).

I also occasionally lend my pen to contemporary romance under the pen name M.E. Anders. You can read a short story called “Next Time” as a companion to the Collaborative Writing Challenge’s novel, The Map. "

Visit for more information on Phoebe Darqueling


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