It's no secret that I'm a great fan of Circlet Press. They embrace science fiction and fantasy with the same ardor as erotica, creating a home for unique, imaginative tales The Viscountess Investigates is exactly the reading experience I've come to expect from them.
The Viscountess Investigates is set in parallel worlds. One is a modern world, but not exactly this one. A magical blindfold exists that hides BDSM practices from the vanilla world, so a slave might walk around naked with his mistress and not be seen. It hides buildings, pony girls, and every other high fantasy BDSM practice you've ever read about. Past the blindfold are Dominions, alternate worlds that are solely high fantasy BDSM. One Dominion is a prison to punish bad slaves, another is Victorian London, and then there are the floating worlds of Japan with their modern and historical regions. The portals between these worlds allow people to move from one to another in sort of folded space. Each of the portals are different-- I loved the entrance to the Floating Worlds, but won't tell you so you can enjoy that discovery yourself-- yet all require sexual energy to open.
This is a murder investigation, so that gives the Viscountess and her submissive slave Severin an excuse to move through these worlds, talk to a few people, and fuck many more. And yes, the mystery gets solved, but I doubt you'll read this book for the mystery element.
Because this is high fantasy BDSM, the sex is of the non-stop, balls-to-the-wall, everything and the kitchen sink plus a bag of chips, don't try this at home variety. No one seems to have limits. Everyone is multi-orgasmic. Everyone is a masochist or a sadist but they're all loving every second of it. It's so over the top that no one could ever feel threatened by it. It's just good, naughty fun.For that reason, The Viscountess Investigates strikes me as a worthy successor to A. N. Roquelaure's (are we still pretending Anne Rice didn't write them?) Sleeping Beauty series. I'd strongly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of that style of erotic storytelling.