Reviews: The Adventures of Viola Stewart

The Adventures of Viola Stewart

Available as separate eBooks or paperback compilations: ‘Doctor Jack & Other Tales’, ‘Eye of the Behold & Other Tales’, and ‘The Illusioneer & Other Tales.’

Three Short Stories – eBook #1


Latest review:
“This book presents three Victorian-style short stories featuring Viola Stewart at different phases of her life – one as a child, two as an adult. Throughout, she is clever, vivacious and scientifically minded, creating a sense of positive connection and admiration in the reader’s mind. It is easy to see how the young girl with a toy dirigible grew into the optician with a scientist’s eye for detail…
The stories are interesting and entertaining, leaving the reader keen to know more of Viola Stewart.”
Book Squirrel (2020)

‘Enjoyed and reviewed. What a fun discovery! The Adventures of Viola StewartThe Editing Pen (twitter). Read the full Amazon reviewA great introduction to Viola Stewart -The Editing Pen. (2017)

Going to keep an eye on this author’s next works
A very short taste of Viola Stewart, a steampunk world of danger and intrigue, and the dark threats that loom there…
I love the interconnectedness of the stories, and the feeling of whimsy mixes well with the creep of impending doom. A sweet introduction to the world of steampunk.”
G R Gingell (author of Spindle, Masque)

Karen J Carlisle is penning a delightful series that combines elements of Sherlock Holmes, The Perils of Pauline, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
“Who should follow the Viola Stewart series? Anyone who enjoys Sherlock Holmes, right off the top. There is plenty of similarity between this amateur detective and the master of the genre. Steampunks, of course, and fans of sci-fi and alternate history might enjoy some of the devices that have sprung from the agile mind of Ms. Carlisle.”
Jack Tyler (author of Beyond the Rails)

More reviews for The Adventures of Viola Stewart: Three Short Stories can be found on Amazon, Goodreads and Smashwords.

Recommendation by My Wonder Emporium

Doctor Jack  – eBook #2: novella


Latest Review: All of the Viola Stewart narratives are excellent, but I wanted to review the first in the series, Doctor Jack. This is the story that intoduces the series protagonist, Viola, and when what an introduction it is. Viola is not your typical Victorian woman.” – Lynne Lumsden Green (Cogpunk Steamscribe) Click for FULL REVIEW

“The novellas of Karen Carlisle do not disappoint. Viola Stewart takes off again, Henry Collins in tow. This novella is one tale, a more somber and personal adventure for our heroine. As a definite fan I enjoyed this more macabre gaslamp story in the seedier side of London. Dr. Stewart’s optical, investigative and physical talents are in full display. The pacing is even, with the right amount of tea sipping dialogue between the more exciting moments. I’m very happy to get one longer tale, especially so soon after the first novella was released.
If you love steampunk, gaslamp fantasy, Victoriana done right and a plucky protagonist…pick up the adventures of Viola Stewart!William Jackson (Author of  The Rail Legacy series) via Smashwords.

‘I loved the way the author approached the character of Doctor Jack…‘ – Susan J Rehorek

Karen J Carlisle has created a captivating steampunk series with her heroine, Viola Stewart – a widowed optician with a talent for detecting.
This book has the same comforting familiarity of picking up a Conan Doyle or an Agatha Christie but enough uniqueness in terms of plot and character to keep us on the edge of our leather armchairs throughout – you know by the end of the second page that you are both ‘in safe hands’ and ‘in for a thrilling ride’ – Most of us have heard the tales of Jack The Ripper but this new version goes beyond the common knowledge to reveal a chilling world of Grey-clad conspirators in which Viola must keep her wits about her if she is going to uncover the truth and survive.” – Lou Pulford/Penny Blake. (2016)

Good action scenes, interesting plot with good twists and the characters all stay in character. Viola is an intriguing, brave and smart hero. Doesn’t give up and is stubborn too.
It is only around 95 pages so it doesn’t go into as much detail as longer tales but still you can see the action as she tries to find out who is doing what and why. This one has different POVs including the bad guy, so we know more than she does which I don’t mind. For a good fun read I recommend this book, it was entertaining. And there is of course a next one.” – LE Doggett (via Smashwords) (2017)

Doctor Jack & Other Tales Journal #1:paperback compilation ebook #1 and #2

‘Set in London during Jack the Ripper era it’s nicely put together. I don’t always have the historical details in my head but Carlisle does and I trust her. I follow her author page on Facebook and I know she researches things to the nth degree. So I look at some of the history within these pages and I know it’s accurate….’

‘I also like Carlisle’s hero, or heroine if you wish to be pedantic. It’s lovely to have a female protagonist who isn’t afraid of things, one who follows her instinct, who gets into the potentially dangerous situations and only sometimes needs someone to pull her out of trouble.’
Suzie Eisfelder (full review at Suz’s Space, May 2017)
(Note this book has been republished with updated title)

More reviews for The Adventures of Viola Stewart: Doctor Jack (novella)
at Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords

Eye of the Beholder – ebook #4: novella


I was deeply reminded of Miss Marple whilst reading this. Not only is Viola Stewart the most unlikely detective, but her wit and her perception are also razor sharp!
Carlisle’s writing style is fast paced and easy going making In the Eye of the Beholder a very relaxing read. Costumes and settings are described in lush detail so that one can almost feel the Victorian era seeping from the page. Steampunk elements are scattered subtly throughout which make the writing accessible to whodunit fans that have are not familiar with the Steampunk genre” – NOA Rawle

Carlisle dealt extremely well with the steampunk element of the stories by making them a part of the fabric of the world’s reality, rather than letting it overwhelm the story as some authors have. In Viola’s world, a mechanical appendage or steam-powered plectocycle were seemingly as everyday as a carriage or a cane.
Once the initial three stories have set the stage, Eye of the Beholder lends a touch of the feminine Gothic to the reading experience, leading the audience to wonder on the nature of myth and its power over the scientific world. A compelling read with only one real fault – not long enough!”
Indie Fiction Review 2016

This adventure was even more gripping than the first with a more intricate plot that kept us guessing throughout as to who the villain actually was and how the murders were being committed… and although Dr Jack did not resurface this time, there was enough mention of The Men In Grey and Violet’s missing sister to keep that over-arching plot alive and kicking.
Karen J Carlisle maintains that comfortable style with a distinctly ‘gas-lamp’ feel that just reminds us so much of sitting down with a good Sherlock Holmes mystery or one of Agatha Christie’s short stories – perfect atmospheric reading for a cosy afternoon on the couch.”  – Lou Pulford/Penny Blake. (2017)

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eBooks AVAILABLE from:
Amazon and Smashwords and Kobo, iTunes, Barnes & Noble,
Angus & Robertson Bookworld (Aust)
Print books available from
AmazonBarnes & Noble, Book DepositoryBooktopia,
Angus & Robertson Bookworld (Aust), Fishpond
or via Direct sales at various events

Reviews: The Adventures of Viola Stewart was originally published on karen j carlisle