Young Canadian Hannah Delaronde assists the very British Sir Reginald Derby as he travels with his steam-powered time machine, solving mysteries. So sort of steampunk Dr Who crime fiction, with a healthy dose of humour.
On this occasion, they’re finding out who murdered a Roman emperor and nicked his purple pearl, while fending off a mysterious cabal who also want the pearl. Their search sees them wandering back and forth through time as they pursue the pleasantly complicated mystery, with a bit of danger along the way. It’s all frankly preposterous and tremendous fun.
The writing wouldn’t win any prizes, but is very readable throughout.