Nyssa Glass and The Cutpurse Kid and H. L. Burke

Nyssa Glass and The Cutpurse Kid and H. L. Burke

This is the third Nyssa Glass story I’ve read. They’ve become my go-to stories when I’m looking for an enjoyable and quick read, and have yet to disappoint.

Nyssa Glass and the Cutpurse Kid lives up to the promise of the series with a self-contained story that builds on the previous tales. It delivers a trouble-filled adventure with easy-to-love characters. Nyssa and Ellis are good people who do the right thing even when it requires helping someone who has done them wrong, whether a mother who believes rumors or a boy who stole from them.

Establishing themselves as respectable shop-owners offering repair services for all things electric and mechanical is harder than Nyssa and Ellis expected. Their circumstances reflect those of Nyssa in her first story, or would if they could only get some customers. It’s not enough to reach safety from the false charges laid against Nyssa. What funds Ellis brought with them will not last forever, especially after purchasing the shop and attached house. And hiring a housekeeper Nyssa has grown to appreciate despite her initial awkwardness.

It would be a mundane beginning if not for Nyssa and Ellis’s attempts to navigate their courtship, something which offers adorably excruciating conversations and embarrassed moments throughout. Their love for each other shows in both action and word, but though they are more worldly than most, they’re sheltered in terms of relationships, making them awkward.

Nor does Nyssa leave her tinkering behind or Ellis his wild inventions. The repair shop is not window dressing for the story. Nyssa works on repairing and stripping parts from mechanical objects purchased from the junkman while Ellis plays with electricity with startling, and effective, results. The continued innovation necessary to make Ellis able to get around offers some wonderful suggestions that either already exist or absolutely should.

The ongoing themes of chosen family and making the right choices persist while everything starts to go wrong from the moment a pickpocket snags Ellis’s pocket watch. Or maybe when Nyssa’s uncle appears and demands his cut of her life. It’s bad enough she’s running from false charges. He knows things the police might take seriously, but Nyssa’s determined not to give in to his demands. If she can hold firm, he must give up and go away, or so she believes.

The story has parallels both to the first book and Nyssa’s background, but it’s far from the same. There are many twists to keep this one on a fresh track. Then there are the friends they’ve made in this and previous books who are willing to stand up for them. Nyssa and Ellis are far from alone.

I enjoyed spending time with fun characters and seeing how they overcame the obstacles, whether gossip, stairs, or something much worse. While the steampunk elements are not as grand, they are present, and Nyssa’s conflict between her current position in life and where she fell after her parents died is critical. I suspect Nyssa and Ellis will never settle into the mundane life they crave, and I plan to be there to see how they conquer each challenge.

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