Josephine Mann is a twenty-orphan who grew up in the Convent of Our Lady the Star of the Sea until she was old enough to live on her own. She left the convent at sixteen, and bounced from job to job for several years.
When we first meet her, she is living at Mrs. Milligan’s establishment with her cat, Miss Priss, but that is a precarious arrangement, as her landlady is on the brink of evicting her.
She is in need of a new job when she runs into Professor Alistair Conn at a newspaper office–literally. By the end of the meeting, she is his new lab assistant, and the next morning she moves into Ma Stark’s much more welcoming boarding house.
After she inadvertently tweaks Alistair’s current project, Phaeton, she finds herself embroiled in a whirlwind adventure involving airships, trains, steam automobiles and more. Life has become far more interesting than her previous experience!
And then there is the blackmail…
Brash, bold, and bright, Jo’s outlook on the world sometimes makes her an unreliable first-person narrator, but she always tries to tell the story to the best of her ability.