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Defy or Defend

Dimity's Book in A Delightfully Deadly Story

A vampire hive descending into madness. A beautiful spy with a sparkly plan. The bodyguard who must keep them from killing each other.

New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger brings you a charming story of love, espionage, and Gothic makeovers set in her popular Parasolverse.


Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott, code name Honey Bee, is the War Office’s best and most decorative fixer. She’s sweet and chipper, but oddly stealthy, and surprisingly effective given the right incentives.


Sir Crispin Bontwee was knighted for his military service, but instead of retiring, he secretly went to work for the War Office. Mostly he enjoys his job, except when he must safeguard the Honey Bee.

Neither of them are vampire experts, but when Nottingham Hive goes badly Goth, only Dimity can stop their darkness from turning bloody. And only Crispin can stop an enthusiastic Dimity from death by vampire.

In a battle for survival (and wallpaper), Dimity must learn that not all that sparkles is good, while Cris discovers he likes honey a great deal more than he thought.

Spinning off from the Finishing School series, featuring deadly ladies of quality, this story stands alone but chronologically follows Poison or Protect. It’s Cold Comfort Farm meets Queer Eye meets What We Do In The Shadows.

Delicate Sensibilities?

Contains fraternizing vampires and one very curious young lady, who asks about it, sometimes in detail but mostly in retrospect. May also involve excessive use of velvet, melodramatic poetry, and the strategic application of interpretive ballet.

Defy or Defend special extrasGail’s articles, thoughts & tidbits on this book


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Defy or Defend was an Amazon #1 bestseller in Steampunk Fiction!

Looking for content & trigger warnings for this book? Please check StoryGraph

Praise for Defy or Defend

“Defy or Defend is a completely wonderful and welcome addition to the larger world of the Parasol Protectorate. As always, the author gives up quippy dialogue, great fashion, silliness galore, and unexpected treats. ”

Bookshelf Fantasies

“A fun, fluffy and utterly enjoyable story that melds espionage with home renovations and saucy romance!”

Tansy Rayner Roberts
(Author of the Mocklore series)

“I recommend the book to fans of Gail Carriger's other supernatural Victoriana books. I also suggest it's a pretty good place for a new reader to dip their toes in, since the book stands alone well and introduces the particular flavour of Carriger vampires (and werewolves, but less so).”

Tsana’s Reads

“I love Dimity, I love Crispin and his morality, and I love how much a change of scenery can change not only a person, but their outlook on life as well. If you’re looking for more of Gail Carriger’s writing, or just want to know what happened to the girls after Finishing School, then you need to read this book next!”

Tiny Navajo Reads

“This book was such a delight. Watching Dimity at work, cheerfully setting the [un]dead to rights and bringing, er, life back to dark and dangerous places kept the pages turning--especially with a worse kind of death overshadowing all.”

Shelley Adina
(Author of The Magnificent Devices Devices series)

“Defy or Defend was perfect from beginning to end: the romance, the mission to save the hive, the friends from other Parasolverse stories, and as always with Gail Carriger’s books, the humor!”

Rally the Readers

“Pure JOY. Should be injected into your veins as the cure for 2020. I am madly in love with the softest vampires in the history of the British Empire. Protect at all cost! Their human companions - delightful! The unexpected cameos - divine!”

Random Books of Known Origin (@RandomBks)

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