"Alexia finished her repast, gathered up her dispatch case, her latest parasol, and her long woolen coat, and wandered out the front door.
"Only to discover exactly where everyone had gone--outside onto the sweeping front lawn that led up to the cobbled courtyard of the castle. They had managed to multiply themselves, don attire of a military persuasion, and, for some reason known only to their tiny little werewolf brains, proceed to engage in setting up a considerable number of large canvas tents. This involved the latest in government-issue self-expanding steam poles, boiled in large copper pots like so much metal pasta. Each one started out the size of a spyglass before the heat caused it to suddenly expand with a popping noise. As was the general military protocol, it took far more soldiers than it ought to stand around watching the poles boil, and when one expanded, a cheer erupted forth. The pole was grasped between a set of leather potholders and taken off to a tent."
--Gail Carriger, Changeless, an Alexia Tarrabotti novel.
Soulless, Changeless, and the upcoming Blameless are part of the Parasol Protectorate series, a lovely alternate history and comedy of manners set in Victorian England. Supernaturals such as werewolves and vampires, who carry an apparent excess of soul, are fully integrated into English society, but much less is known about preternaturals, those apparently born without a soul and known for negating supernatural powers with a touch. Alexia Tarrabotti is one such preternatural, practical and with no patience for nonsense. Or for large officious werewolves. And yet so much nonsense comes to call...