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review 2019-07-23 01:46
[REVIEW] Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein
Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein

“It's like being in love, discovering your best friend.”

I cried. I'm still crying. This book is so well written but it is heartbreaking. Don't know how or when I will recover.

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review 2019-07-20 22:51
The Return of Sherlock Holmes / Arthur Conan Doyle
The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle

Missing, presumed dead, for three years, Sherlock Holmes returns triumphantly to his dear companion Dr Watson. And not before time! London has never been in more need of his extraordinary services: a murderous individual with an air gun stalks the city.

Among thirteen further brilliant tales of mystery, detection and deduction, Sherlock Holmes investigates the problem of the Norwood Builder, deciphers the message of the Dancing Men, and cracks the case of the Six Napoleons.



***The Summer of Sherlock 2019*** 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle may have been reluctant to raise Sherlock Holmes from the dead, but he certainly provided some entertaining stories after his sudden return.

I confess that I was quite chuffed when I had figured out what was going on in The Adventure of the Six Napoleons before the great detective was ready to reveal the motivation of the criminal. And I still have some nagging memories concerning The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, as I am sure that I have previously encountered this plotline and I cannot remember where! Most likely in a more recent book in which someone has borrowed from the master, but I am being driven mad because I cannot recall the source.

I am so glad that Doyle brought Holmes back if only because we gotThe Adventure of the Dancing Men out of the deal. What an excellent story of code-breaking and villain-catching!

I hold the author to blame, however, for the idea that men should be cold, intellectual, and detached from society. I think that our society would be much better if more men aspired to be John Watson, rather than Sherlock Holmes!

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review 2019-07-20 22:36
A Study in Scarlet Women / Sherry Thomas
A Study In Scarlet Women: The Lady Sherlock Series - Sherry Thomas

With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London. 

When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her.

But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.



***The Summer of Sherlock 2019*** 

”With your penchant for diminishing a man to little more than a shell of his former manhood, it never ceases to amaze me that you managed to receive all the proposals you did.”
She had indeed reaped her fair share, including one from his brother, Lord Bancroft, her favorite proposal of them all.
“It’s my decolletage--when gentlemen stare at my bosom they don’t hear a word I say. I strongly believe that if trees sprouted breasts tomorrow they would soon be wearing wedding rings.”
He chortled.

What a pleasant surprise! Of all the Holmes pastiche that I have read this summer, this was by far the most original and entertaining. I loved Charlotte Holmes, a young debutante who sees no future to be desired in marriage and has difficulty mastering the small talk and calorie control that is expected of her. She accidentally scares many people with her observations and has a tendency to eviscerate the men who dare to approach. Despite this, she received numerous proposals, all of which she has refused to her parents great unhappiness.

Charlotte makes a deal with her father--if she reaches 18 without finding a man she wishes to marry, he will foot the bill for her education as she attempts to become the administrator of a girls school. When Charlotte reaches that age and tries to obtain her desire, her father reneges. 

This novel consists of the adventures of a young Victorian woman discovering a way to support herself and remain independent of the men in her life. Part of this is the development of her alter-ego, Sherlock Holmes. With the widow Mrs. Watson by her side (John Watson, as it happens, was killed and buried in Afghanistan). 

Books like this one are wish-fulfillment stories for those of us women who choose to remain single and support ourselves. I wish there had been more of this kind of imaginative history available when I was a much younger woman. As it is, I still enjoyed it a great deal and I can hardly wait to get my hands on the next book.

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review 2019-07-20 02:58
Unfit to Print (Audiobook)
Unfit to Print - K.J. Charles

The only thing wrong with this story is it was too short and the ending was a bit rushed. That's it. Everything else was perfection. You've got two MCs of color, a cat named Satan, second chance romance, a difference of life philosophies that compliment the MCs and their relationship in a way that helps them both grown and find truer versions of themselves, a couple of missing boys and no douchebags! <3 Well, there's one douchebag, but he came pre-fridged. :D I could've done without the descriptions of the various pornographs, but I was interested in how the MCs navigated their differences and how the story examined what people will do to survive when push comes to shove without demonizing the exploited. 


The narrator, Vikas Adam, did a great job. There were a couple of places where I couldn't tell which character was talking, but other than those few instances, he really voiced these characters well and didn't over-emote when it would've been easy to do so. 

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text 2019-07-19 21:12
The Last of August / Brittany Cavallaro
The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes Novel) - Brittany Cavallaro

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter-break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family’s Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming morethan friends—but still, the darkness in Charlotte’s past is a wall between them.

A distraction arises soon enough, because Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit.

Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty (formerly Charlotte’s obsession, currently believed by most to be dead), whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too.

What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.


***The Summer of Sherlock 2019*** 

The next logical step from where A Study in Charlotte left off. Jamie and Charlotte (Watson and Holmes) alternate between bickering and huddling together for comfort. Mostly under the watchful eye of August Moriarty, who is officially dead and unofficially working for Charlotte’s brother, Milo. 

If I was a high school student who longed to be treated like an adult, this would be the book for me. As it is, I am well over 50 and found it to be a trifle over-the-top for my tastes. Rather like many of the spy thrillers that I read last year during my Summer of Spies. How else would teens end up chartering helicopters and booking hotels in Berlin? 

Jamie Watson retains his great-grandfather’s role as the chronicler, but seems to get beaten up a little more frequently than that medical gentleman. August has been trying, unsuccessfully, to patch up the rift between the Holmes and Moriarty families. I had erroneously supposed there was only one more book--is it bad that I was dismayed to find two of them? I’m unsure whether I will finish the series this summer. There’s an awful lot of Sherlock Holmes pastiche out there and I would prefer to sample other writers rather than finish up this series.

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