Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, investigates a puzzling new murder case that implicates Scotland Yard inspector Robert Treadles in the USA Today bestselling series set in Victorian England.
Inspector Treadles, Charlotte Holmes’s friend and collaborator, has been found locked in a room with two dead men, both of whom worked with his wife at the great manufacturing enterprise she has recently inherited.
Rumors fly. Had Inspector Treadles killed the men because they had opposed his wife’s initiatives at every turn? Had he killed in a fit of jealous rage, because he suspected Mrs. Treadles of harboring deeper feelings for one of the men? To make matters worse, he refuses to speak on his own behalf, despite the overwhelming evidence against him.
Charlotte finds herself in a case strewn with lies and secrets. But which lies are to cover up small sins, and which secrets would flay open a past better left forgotten? Not to mention, how can she concentrate on these murders, when Lord Ingram, her oldest friend and sometime lover, at last dangles before her the one thing she has always wanted?
A locked-room mystery drives Thomas's entertaining if implausible fifth Lady Sherlock whodunit (after 2019's The Art of Theft). When Scotland Yard's Insp. Robert Treadles becomes the suspect in a double murder, his wife, Alice Treadles, consults detective Charlotte Holmes, Robert's sometime collaborator who claims to be acting on behalf of her ill, bedridden brother no one ever sees, Sherlock Holmes. Two London bobbies on patrol found Robert in a locked bedroom in an unoccupied house, brandishing his service revolver. The bedroom's other occupants, John Longstead, who lived next door, and his nephew, Ambrose Sullivan, were shot to death. Both victims worked at Cousins Manufacturing, a company that Mrs. Treadles recently took over. Despite the incriminating circumstances, the inspector's wife believes in his innocence, and Charlotte agrees to investigate, ostensibly in accord with the instructions of her "brother." Developments in Charlotte's love life complement the sleuthing. This may appeal more to fans of lighter Victorian mysteries than to Sherlockians.