The game is afoot as Charlotte Holmes returns in USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas’s Victorian-set Lady Sherlock series.
Being shunned by Society gives Charlotte Holmes the time and freedom to put her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, she’s had great success helping with all manner of inquiries, but she’s not prepared for the new client who arrives at her Upper Baker Street office.
Lady Ingram, wife of Charlotte’s dear friend and benefactor, wants Sherlock Holmes to find her first love, who failed to show up at their annual rendezvous. Matters of loyalty and discretion aside, the case becomes even more personal for Charlotte as the missing man is none other than Myron Finch, her illegitimate half brother.
In the meanwhile, Charlotte wrestles with a surprising proposal of marriage, a mysterious stranger woos her sister Livia, and an unidentified body surfaces where least expected. Charlotte’s investigative prowess is challenged as never before: Can she find her brother in time—or will he, too, end up as a nameless corpse somewhere in the belly of London?
The first in Thomas's Lady Sherlock series, A Study in Scarlet Women (2016), offered a clever a premise: that Sherlock Holmes is a fabrication created by Miss Charlotte Holmes and her coterie of accomplices, including Mrs. Watson, in order to allow her to practice her skills as a detective in the male-centric world of Victorian England. Potential clients are told they must consult Sherlock through his "sister" because of his ill health. In this entertaining sequel, Lady Ingram, the wife of Charlotte's friend and benefactor, Lord Ingram, needs help with a delicate matter that she wishes to keep secret from her husband. Lady Ingram's true love, whom she declined to marry because he wasn't rich enough, has failed to show up for their annual rendezvous at London's Albert Memorial. Charlotte takes on the case, but what seems like a straightforward search for a missing person soon spirals into something altogether more complicated and sinister. Could Professor Moriarty be involved? Thomas writes with brio and creates appealing characters. Sherlockians may get a kick out of Charlotte's sister, Livia, an aspiring writer, who wishes to write a story based on Charlotte's exploits a story that sounds a lot like Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet.
A splendid sophomore endeavor
“...I ‘m surprised when people are not me. I’m shocked when they are not them.’ “ You mean we are so much who we are that it’s staggering when we do something truly out of character’...”Yes. Normally when people are shocked by someone it’s because they didn’t know that person sufficiently well. We are asked to judge one another on such things as parentage, attire and demeanor as substitutes for character. So we know others primarily by how they present themselves in public, which is often the furthest thing from what they are.”
Miss Charlotte Holmes and Mrs. John Watson are at it again. This time, the clues and the story don’t really add up and everyone seems stumped as both personal and professional mettle are tested. Add to the equation that their lives might be in danger and the plot thickens.
Aided by Watson’s niece as well as her history with the Ingrams past and present, Holmes is in the middle of a puzzle that lives depend upon. And her new confidence in her abilities makes for changes in the lives of all concerned. Answers, when they come, are quite intriguing and alter the course of everyone that Charlotte cares about.
In true Thomas style, the author engages the reader with clues and mazes that test our patience and knowledge befitting Holmeisan logic, and leave us wanting more puzzles, more insight, more action, and more books!