Body on Baker Street
A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
The amateur sleuths at the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop must call upon the powers of deduction in order to rid Baker Street of a ruthless killer
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 in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.
Cozy fans fond of Conan Doyle are most likely to enjoy Delany's second whodunit featuring Gemma Doyle, the proprietor of a Massachusetts bookstore specializing in Sherlockiana (after Elementary, She Read). Gemma scrambles when Renalta Van Markoff, a bestselling author, asks to hold a book signing in two days. Renalta's romance series, featuring Mrs. Desdemona Hudson as Holmes's lover, has a devoted following, and the event draws a huge crowd. But tragedy strikes when the flamboyant author is poisoned after drinking from a bottle of water Gemma supplied. Suspects include a Sherlockian outraged by the liberties Renalta has taken with the canon and a woman who alleges that Renalta stole the series idea from her. Gemma's unable to resist risky amateur sleuthing, including a scheme to break into police headquarters that will leave readers who haven't bought into the character and the conceit groaning. Gemma's deductive skills fail to impress, given the shaky foundations for some of her conclusions.