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.
A Curious Incident: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Massachusetts
Crooked Lane Books (January 12, 2021)
Hardcover : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1643854747
ISBN-13 : 978-1643854748
Paperback : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 1643858041
ISBN-13 : 978-1643858043
Kindle ASIN : B0871L11Q2
It’s up to Gemma and Jayne to root out the killer in national bestselling author Vicki Delany’s sixth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery when the winner of a garden tour trophy is left pushing up daisies.
“I am not a Consulting Detective,” Gemma Doyle reluctantly tells 10-year-old Lauren Tierney, when the little girl comes to the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium to beg Gemma to find her missing cat, Snowball. Gemma might not be able to follow the clues to find the cat, but her dog Violet follows her nose to locate the missing kitten in a neighbor’s garden shed. Gemma and Violet proudly return Snowball to her grateful owner, and Gemma basks in praise for a job well done. But a few days later Lauren is back with ten dollars in hand, wanting to once again hire a consulting detective, and this time for a far bigger job: Her mother has been accused of murdering her garden club rival.
Sheila Tierney’s garden, which everyone said was the one to beat for the West London Garden Club trophy, had been vandalized the night before the club’s early summer tour. Sheila confronted her former friend and gardening partner Anna Wentworth in a towering rage, and the women nearly came to blows. Later that night, after having won the trophy for best garden, Anna is found murdered and Sheila Tierney is the police’s prime suspect.
Despite herself, and despite the disapproval of her police detective boyfriend Ryan Ashburton, the game is once again afoot, and Gemma finds herself and Jayne Wilson using their powers of deduction to ponder yet another curious incident.
Is Gemma Doyle a Consulting Detective? A lot of people sure think so. Including 10-year-old Lauren Tierney who wants Gemma to find her missing cat which she did with a big assist from her dog Violet. So when her mother needs help Lauren comes back to Gemma. Her mother, Sheila, is part of the Garden Club and was predicted to take home the trophy but someone had ripped her garden to shreds a few hours before the competition was to begin. She knows Anna Wentworth, her former friend and gardening partner is the one that vandalized her garden. She tracks the woman down and voices loudly her outrage, the two had to be separated before punches were thrown and hair was pulled. Later Anna Wentworth is found dead and Sheila is the prime suspect. So Lauren begs Gemma to save her mom. Ryan Ashburton, Gemma’s detective boyfriend isn’t happy when Gemma and her best friend Jayne start investigating and find there is something very curious about the whole incident.
Vicki Delany creates such strong characters. They are well-developed and continue to grow. Gemma’s relationship with Lauren was a great addition. We learned more about Gemma and are introduced to Lauren who really needs a person like Gemma in her life. I think Lauren has helped soften Gemma’s staunch behavior. Her relationship with Ryan was different this time, he had a few iffy moments that were troubling. I had liked them as a couple but now I am on the fence. I do enjoy Gemma’s neighbor Mrs. Ramsbatten, she has lived a very interesting life. The other new characters in this story developed nicely over the course of this story too.
The mystery was very well-plotted and written. Gemma really has a knack for piecing the clues together or twisting them as the case may be. Very like Sherlock Holmes. She asks the right questions and notices things other people miss. I am always delighted to tag along as she investigates. This time I was kept guessing right up to the end.
I appreciate Ms. Delany’s descriptive writing style. She sets a scene with an expert hand. It is so easy to visualize Gemma’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium and Jayne’s Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. She also really brings life to her characters. They feel so genuine.
A Curious Incident is a wonderful addition to this series. I was entertained from the first page to the last.
Now, I am curious to see what these fantastic characters will get involved in next. A Three Book Problem is screaming at me from my TBR stacks. I promise to get to it soon.
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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.”