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The Adventure of the Incognita Countess (Conversation Pieces Book 53)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  22 reviews
It's the easiest assignment a British intelligence agent could hope for. Lucy Harker needs only see the secret plans of the Nautilus safely across the Atlantic. As German spies are largely a fantasy of newspapers, she anticipates no activities more strenuous than hiding her heritage as Dracula’s dhampir daughter. Then among her fellow Titanic passengers she discovers the i ...more
Kindle Edition, 82 pages
Published February 10th 2017 by Aqueduct Press
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I can’t say much about this book without spoilers which I don’t want to do because part of the delight of reading it was the unraveling of tidbits from page to page. I loved the reveals.

I can say this is a historical novella that stars an undercover female British agent in a paranormal world that gives us a unique blend of real history, sci-fi, and the extraordinary. I was truly transported back in time to Cynthia Ward’s world of intrigue.

We get vampires, aliens, and spies. Oh my! And a sweet
This was a fun read. Lucy Harker is sent to ensure the safety of some documents in the hands of Major Butt as they travel from England to America aboard the Titanic.

The story is entertaining and clever with a wonderful mash-up of history, historical fictional characters, paranormal and sci-fi. Now I just have to get round to reading Carmilla.
The Adventure of the Incognita Countess (Conversation Pieces Book 53 by Cynthia Ward is a delightful Steampunk mash-up with a lot packed into a 82 page story. I mean, we are on board of RMS Titanic on its ill-fated voyage to New York with Dracula’s dhampir (half vampire) daughter Lucy Harker - who is a spy and monster hunter for the British government – making sure some very hush hush Nautilus plans reach America safely.

But there are also German spies on board who want to get their hands on the
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is different. In the first few pages we encounter War of the Worlds (invasion of the Martians), Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Bond, Tarzan etc as though they were not fictional but actual historical narratives. We sail on the Titanic with a vampire hunter who develops a soft spot for a vampire. A dastardly German baddy (we do make exceptional baddies, if I say so myself *clicks heels sharply*).

It's fun and angsty and a bit twilighty (it's not quite dark). And quite enjoyable.
Riju Ganguly
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This hugely entertaining story was written in the classic Wold-Newton tradition created by Philip Jose Farmer, further refined by Alan Moore and Kim Newman. Our heroine, who is rather unconventional is on a mission which is, appropriately unique. The backdrop is also very-very interesting.
But, how good was the story?
Did it fulfill the basic requirements of new pulp, wherein we expect fast-paced stories told with modern sensibilities?
Yes, the story is compact, enjoyable, full of credible characte
Debbie Notkin
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun steampunk chapbook, featuring vampires and "dhampirs," a voyage on the Titanic, secret submarine plans, and steamy Lesbian sex, among other things. Very entertaining.
Fangs for the Fantasy
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lucy is an agent for the crown charged to ensure important plans being delivered to the American government actually arrive and don’t fall into the hands of a hostile foreign power: especially as tensions rise and Britain’s new Martian technology is in high demand.

As a dhampire, a half-vampire, she is uniquely qualified for this role – and for vampire slaying. Which is complicated when a vampire joins her on the HMS Titanic – and a vampire that conflicts so strongly with what she has been taught
Matt Mitrovich
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at:

I was given the opportunity to review The Adventures of the Incognita Countess by Cynthia Ward, the 53rd volume in Aqueduct Press’ Conversation Pieces series. If I understand this right, Conversation Pieces is a series of unconnected short paperback books that facilitates the “grand conversation” of feminist SF (although there is a disclaimer that the books may not always be SF or even feminist).

This seemed interesting to me because I
K. Aten
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.25 - Curious combination of historical fiction, paranormal romance, and 1950’s sci-fi Martian movie noir

I'm going to start this by saying I was pleasantly surprised and will be purchasing the next book in the series!

This novel was quirky, and despite the fictional familiarity of a few of the characters, Cynthia Ward them all quite an original spin. I enjoyed the characters and the diversity of their backgrounds. I especially liked the fact that some seemed so familiar because I knew them of ot
Dec 05, 2017 rated it liked it
The Adventure of the Incognita Countess is an enjoyable and slightly bonkers pulp adventure. We're to understand that previous to the story, Martians launched a failed attempt to invade the earth and as a result, Britain has access to highly classified Martian technology. Our protagonist is Lucy Harker, a half-vampire MI5 agent who has been assigned a mission on the Titanic (which is powered by said Martian tech), in order to protect a set of secret plans and prevent them from falling into the h ...more
Morgan Dhu
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cynthia Ward’s delightful novella, The Adventure of the Incognita Contessa, is an adventure in exploring the realms of speculative fiction from the late Victorian era, a spy story set in an alternate universe where the British government is working to understand Martian technology following the failed invasion of the British Isles by inhabitants of that planet, and Lucy, the daughter of Mina Harker, works for the head of the British secret service, known as M - short for Mycroft.

Lucy’s mission
Tom Johnson
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Great Story Telling”

Lucy Harker is an agent of the British Empire’s Secret Service Bureau, and when she’s given an assignment nothing earthly – or unearthly will stop her. The HMS Titanic is about to make its maiden ocean voyage a few years after the Martian’s attempted invasion. On board is an American military officer carrying documents Britain is sharing with America on alien technology. The officer has booked passage on the Titanic, and Lucy’s job is to shadow him for protection of those do
Dawn Vogel
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
(Originally posted at Mad Scientist Journal, 11/22/2017)

The Adventure of the Incognita Countess by Cynthia Ward is a brilliant epistolary short novel featuring Lucy Harker, the daughter of Mina (Murray) Harker and Count Dracula. With a cast of characters drawn from all over Victorian-era literature, coupled with the maiden voyage of the HMS Titanic, the story is both familiar and innovative. Puzzling out just who some of the characters actually are is just one of the many perks of this story.

Cynthia Ward brings us an international mystery in The Adventure of the Incognitia Contessa (Aqueduct Press, 161976119X, 2017) “Conversation Pieces #53” or should I say inter-galatic? Hmmmmm….

What is supposed to be a simple mission turns very complex for our Lucy on multiple levels and I am surprised this book is not also labeled as “mashup fiction”. There will be characters you have seen or heard of before involved in this case which was a delight for me.

Ward combines these familiar characters
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
That boring cover hides a rollickin' good time!

The plot is a little bananas. Yes! Dhampirs (half vampires) and full vampires, the Titanic, icebergs, German and British spies, and so much more. What else could there be, you ask? Martian heat ray technology, Tarzan, the influence of Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes, the unsinkable Molly Brown, woman-loving-woman action (sadly off screen), and even more I’m forgetting now.

This is a very short, fast paced novel with a whole lot of delightful steampunk d
Matthew X Gomez
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
What happens when a half-vampire operative of the British Empire goes undercover to protect secret stolen plans on their way to America via the Titanic?

A rollicking great read is what!

The bones of this novel have a lot in common with say Alan Moore's "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," taking inspiration (and sometimes a bit more) for its background, complete with references to TARZAN, DRACULA, 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, and CARMILLA, but the heart of the story is that of a young woman torn
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Queer female vampires, secret agents, Martian technology and Sherlockiana? You bet! Lucy Harker, daughter of Lucy and Dracula, adopted daughter of Mycroft Holmes, encounters and falls for the beautiful vampire, the Countess Karnstein (Carmella) aboard the Titanic while on assignment for the British Government. Literary references abound as the plot advances swiftly to its denouement. Enjoyable read!
Ry Herman
For most of its length, this novella is great fun, mashing up pulp and Victorian SFF classics into a spy thriller that works remarkably well. But it takes a sharp downturn towards the end, unfortunately, when too much action and information is delivered by means of expository reports, leeching the drama from the events and dragging down the pace. Nonetheless, the characters are intriguing and the sequel might well be worth checking out.
Amy Wolf
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The author, acclaimed for her many published short stories, here weaves a longer tale involving vampires, sexuality, and the maiden/last voyage of the Titanic. Historical detail has been painstakingly researched (I am a Titanic buff) to weave this clever alternate history. Ward's writing is always reliable, and in this story, she leaves you to wonder what will happen next! A must-read for historical fiction and vampire fans!
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A marvelous mash up of the best fictional streamline classics!

Dracula, Martians, Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan and a hat of other characters fictional and historical grace this tale of streamline intrigue set on the a Titanic powered by alien technology. I loved the premise, the plot and the main character. A must, must read!!!
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent start to a fun novella series about the daughter of Mina Harker and Dracula acting as a secret agent of the British Empire before WW1. This one features a ton of veiled references to classic pulp characters aboard the Titanic. I enjoyed every page.
Alexander Pyles
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally published here.

This was a fun little novella set in an alt-earth steampunk-esque world, where Martians have invaded and been repelled, yet with the influx of foreign tech have changed the technological landscape. We find Lucy Harker, a dhampir (half human/half vampire) and an agent of the Crown, who been asked to hop on a first of it’s kind ship, the Titanic to ensure the secret plans of the Nautilus don’t fall into a foreign power’s hands.

Told in a the spirit of crossover fiction, wh
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