Zombie, post-apocalyptic and dystopian books are like shoes - you can never have enough.
I'm going to start this review with a disclaimer. From the synopsis of this book I had a very different expectation than was the reality. This is not really a book about zombies at all, but more of a steampunk mystery that includes spirit-hunters and necromancers.
Because of that expectation, I didn't really start to enjoy this book until somewhere around the 200 page mark - I found the first half, although it starts with an actioned-packed scene, wasn't really going anywhere. The main character, Eleanor, spent a lot of time investigating and trying to find out where her brother was, whilst trying to avoid the slightly (ok, more than slightly) annoying Clarence.
Eleanor herself was a good main character with a balance of bravery and smart-arsedness, but not of the arrogant kind - more of a slightly rebellious teenager who still wants to do the right and proper thing as much as possible and as the book progressed I liked her more and more. I enjoyed the blossoming romance between Eleanor and Daniel, and he was probably my favorite character of the whole book.
The writing is fairly straightforward, if a little heavy on the exclamation points, and the formality of the dialogue was realistic to the timeframe, if some of the relationships (such as that between Clarence and Eleanor) progressed much faster than would have been normal, or socially acceptable in the 1870s.
In the end, I did enjoy Something Strange and Deadly, and probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't started out with different expectations. If you enjoy reading historical mysteries with a bit of steampunk and romance thrown in for good measure, I'm sure you would enjoy this one.
Read more of my reviews at The Aussie Zombie