On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
I don’t know how I did it but when this book was up on NetGalley I requested it and when it came time to read and review it, I couldn’t find it on my Kindle or in my Amazon account. Then last week when I was there looking for another book it popped right up on the screen. I knew it was going to be this week’s Flashback Friday read immediately.
Body on Baker Street: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Paperback: 320 pages
Kindle ASIN: B06XW3K7F5
Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table—dead.
Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man.
Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are back and again find themselves in the middle of another murder investigation. This time an author, Renalta Van Markoff, comes to the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium for a book signing and dies while signing a book. All eyes fall on the man, Donald Morris, that questioned her about her content during the Q & A Session. He is a huge fan of the original Sherlock Holmes and cannot abide by what she has done with the characters. Gemma knows he has strong beliefs about Holmes but she knows he wouldn’t kill anyone. She again teams up with her friend Jayne for a little sleuthing of their own.
Gemma is a unique character, very independent, strong, and super observant. She notices things everyone else seems to miss and she has no trouble at all speaking her mind, not only giving her opinions but pointing out the facts as she sees them. She can be a little much at first but readers quickly realize how much like Sherlock Holmes she really is. Jayne is the perfect Watson to her Sherlock and together they make a wonderful team.
The new cast for this story was very well fleshed out. The larger than life Renalta Van Markoff, her mousey personal assistant, Linda, and her protective publicist all come to life quickly in these pages.
The bookshop the author has created for Gemma is fantastic and it is described in great detail making it very easy to imagine in my mind. I love that is has a tea room connected. It is the perfect place to pick up a book and venture next door to read while enjoying a pot of tea.
The mystery was very well plotted and written but I had an alternate theory pop into my head almost immediately after the victim died and that theory was never realized in the story which surprised me. Instead, there was a clear set of suspects that emerged and there were several twists and turns before the actual killer was revealed. Once I let my theory go I narrowed down my suspects and figured out whodunit right before Gemma. But I was wrong about the motive 🙂 It was a fun mystery to read and follow along with Gemma. I will say Gemma is like a dog with a bone when she sets her mind on something. She puts herself into dicey situations because of that.
I love Gemma and Jayne and am Sherlock Holmes fan so this story/series really shines for me. I don’t think you can go wrong with any book by this author. She is a great storyteller who does her research to bring her readers fabulous stories. This one is no exception.
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers. Most recently, she is the author of the Year Round Christmas cozy mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime and (writing under the pen name of Eva Gates) the Lighthouse Library mysteries also from Berkley and the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries for Crooked Lane Books. Find out more about Vicki Delany on her webpage here.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”