Author: Vicky Delany
Series: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #1
Rating: Solid 4 stars
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
Book Blurb: 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.
This was a highly enjoyable first in a series. Probably one of the better ones I've read. The main character is supposed to be a distant relative of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and therefore possesses some of the quirks of the famous detective. She oversees a bookshop that contains all things Sherlock. I liked the premise.
Gemma as a sleuth is entertaining. She doesn't understand why her condescension and deductions annoy people, and it was interesting and amusing to be inside her head as she came to her conclusions. She's logical but likable and very human. She struggles with her nature and wants to be liked. Also, the trivia concerning Sherlock Holmes drizzled throughout the story was great for fans of the original books and all its many spin offs, books,tv series, memorabilia and the like.
The mystery was decent, not terribly difficult. The strength of this story lies in the characters. In the end, I wanted to read more about them. So I will definitely be reading the next in the series.