I picked up a book a few weeks ago and read a few pages but then forgot the title.

Here's what I remeber:

Scene 1, London slums, night:
The protagonist is a girl, dressed as a boy and wearing some kind of respirator to protect herself from the polluted air, tries to kidnap a man. She calls herself a "collector" and tries to deliver her target to her client. The man is heavy and she's running out of time, so she decides to return to 'upper London' where she lives as a benefactor of some monthly pension before the servants find her bed empty. Apparently the elite literally lives above the poor.

Scene 2:
Some kind of rundown airship she uses to get back to her place. The captain is drunk and he hits her when she addresses him incorrectly.

I stopped reading here and that's all I remember.

1 Answer 1


Tarnished: The St. Croix Chronicles by Karina Cooper.

This review for the second book in the series (Gilded: The St. Croix Chronicles) seems relevant.

Cherry St. Croix is an orphan and the heiress of her family's fortune. While her father was not wealthy, but Cherry's guardian has managed the estate well and Cherry will be well off when she comes of age. Since she is not yet 21, she is under the power of her mysterious guardian, Oliver Washmore, and her chaperone, Frances Fortescue. Fortescue, Cherry, her maid Zylphia, and her servants Mr. and Mrs. Booth live in the St. Croix manor house in upper London.

By day, Cherry tries to be a respectable miss in London's high society. Her father's reputation as the Mad St. Croix has turned many people against her, though, and her unconventional ways are sometimes mocked even in the newspapers. The only thing that keeps her from being shunned is the fact that Earl Cornelius Kerrigan Compton has taken an interest in her. Unfortunately, the Earl has left London without telling Cherry, and she is convinced that he was just toying with her. Her chaperone tries to convince Cherry to marry the Earl, but she has many secrets from him and she does not want to lose her independence to any man.

By night, Cherry is a Collector--a collector of bounties for money in lower London. This is dangerous work, especially for a woman, and she does her best to disguise herself as she tries to solve the mysteries her father left behind in the first book. Instead, she runs into a murderer who is savagely killing prostitutes. She tries to chase him, but he disappears into the poisonous London fog.

  • I found the same series but dismissed it. Didn't see anything about kidnappings or airships.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Nov 17, 2019 at 9:44
  • 1
    that's the series!!! thanks @valorum, with your help i was able to find the book. it's the first one of the series, Tarnished.
    – hey you
    Nov 17, 2019 at 9:51
  • 1
    also, congrats finding it despite all that mind-numbing beer. accepted, but perhaps add the name of book#1 to your answer?
    – hey you
    Nov 17, 2019 at 9:54
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    @Randal'Thor - I focused my search on the terms "upper london" and "collector". The fact that she's a teen bounty hunter from the aristocracy seemed like a fairly unique feature.
    – Valorum
    Nov 17, 2019 at 10:42
  • One small suggestion: If it were me, I would have mentioned the author's name somewhere within the text of the answer.
    – Lorendiac
    Nov 18, 2019 at 14:44

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