Saturday, March 11, 2017

Elementary, She Read

Author:  Vicki Delany
Series:  A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date:  March 14, 2017

Description:  Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop--located at 222 Baker Street--specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body. 

The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman's suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it's a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

My Review

As a fan of Ms. Delany's Year Round Christmas mystery series, I was excited to be offered the chance to read and review the first book in her new series with Crooked Lane. Let me just say, fans and newcomers alike will not be disappointed.  This book delivers in what promises to be a fresh and unique new series.

To begin with, the protagonist, Gemma Doyle, is a intelligent, highly observant, witty, amateur sleuth who is a bit of a non-traditional cozy character.  She and her best friend Jayne compliment  each other in the perfect manner.  The secondary cast of characters are interesting and quirky as well.  All of this is rounded out nicely by the enchanting Cape Cod setting and the delightful atmosphere of the Sherlock Holmes Bookstore and Emporium.  

Ms. Delany has crafted a complex mystery with plenty of twists and turns to keep her readers guessing.  If you have read enough of my reviews, you will know that no matter how many cozies I read or how hard I try, I am typically stumped by the identity of the killer/culprit in the mysteries I read.  So it should come as no surprise that I was completely in the dark about the identity of the killer in this story.  It was a total surprise and one I just didn't see coming. Ms. Delany has written a story that will keep the reader guessing and turning pages to see if they are correct.

Sometimes, you read a book that just grabs you and engages you as a reader right from the start.  That is how I felt about this book.  I think that cozy mystery fans are going to fall in love with Gemma and the rest of the cast.  This is a highly entertaining story with wonderfully crafted characters, an enchanting location and a complex mystery that will leave readers very satisfied and wanting more.  I know this reader does and I will be back for the next book in this series.

I voluntarily read and review an advanced reader copy of this book provided to me by the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, through Netgalley.  This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts expressed are my own.

1 comment:

  1. I have to read this series. Thanks for sharing your review.