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Body on Baker Street: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery (Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries) Hardcover – September 12, 2017
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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“Cozy fans fond of Conan Doyle are most likely to enjoy Delany’s second whodunit.”
Praise for Elementary, She Read:
"This charming series launch will please Sherlock Holmes and cozy fans."
“A series debut that puts ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Watson’ in a whole new, fun light… this should be a humorous, captivating series that readers will absolutely love for years to come.”
"A great read for mystery fans and a must read for Sherlockians."
―Night Owl Reviews, Top Pick
“[Gemma Doyle] instantly became one of my favorite sleuths…Elementary, She Read is cozy in the best possible way…Holmes enthusiasts will enjoy Gemma’s almost Sherlockian attention to detail as well as the many nods to those who have created pastiches of the world created by Arthur Conan Doyle.”
“An entertaining, light-hearted, and genuinely mystifying adventure…excellent summer reading.”
―Popular Culture Association
“The protagonist, Gemma Doyle, a witty English woman… will delight all but the dourest readers.”
―Smoky Mountain News
"Vicki Delany's Elementary, She Read is an absolute delight. A perplexing mystery with a refreshingly intelligent and witty amateur sleuth, I enjoyed every well-crafted word of this Sherlock Holmes infused tale. A must read for lovers of all things Sherlock Holmes."
–Jenn McKinlay, NYT and USA Today bestselling author of Better Late Than Never
"Vicki Delany is one of my favorite mystery authors and with Elementary, She Read, she has outdone herself. This first book in her intriguing new series features Gemma Doyle, a wonderfully appealing protagonist who runs the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, where delightfully quirky characters and fascinating old books flourish. I loved everything about this story! The Cape Cod setting was enchanting and the intricate mystery kept me turning pages late into the night. Easily one of the best new mystery series on the market."
–Kate Carlisle, New York Times bestselling author of the Fixer-Upper mysteries and the Bibliophile mysteries
“Elementary, She Read is a delight, fast, fun, and full of Sherlockian lore. Cheers for a charming, intelligent heroine as observant as The Great Detective himself.”
--Carolyn Hart, New York Times bestselling author of Walking on My Grave
“Thoroughly delightful. I defy anyone to read this book and not fall in love with the uber-observant Gemma Doyle. She may or may not be related to Sherlock Holmes’ creator, but she’s certainly kin to his most famous detective. The best new cozy series of the year.”
--Laura DiSilverio, bestselling author of the Readaholics Book Club Mysteries and the award-winning The Reckoning Stones
Praise for Vicki Delany:
"A fun Yuletide-themed cozy with an appealing amateur sleuth."
--Library Journal on Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen
"Delightful...a humorous tinsel-covered tale that made me laugh out loud even while keeping me guessing."
--New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay on Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen
"A charming new series...a book lover’s dream."
--New York Times bestselling author Krista Davis on Booked for Trouble (as Eva Gates)
About the Author
Top customer reviews
Delany’s protagonist, Gemma Doyle, runs the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop on Baker Street in West London. West London, Cape Cod, that is—though Gemma is in fact English. She co-owns the shop with her uncle Arthur Doyle, and her friend Jayne runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tearoom.
Gemma has a few things in common with the fictional detective for whom the shop is named. She’s extremely observant, highly logical, sharply intelligent, and often impatient with those less mentally acute…at least if they’re on the police force. She is certainly a T(hinking) type on the Myers-Briggs Personality Type scale, favoring thought (logic) over emotion.* However, Gemma is not as emotionally austere as the classic Holmes. Nor is she a “high-functioning sociopath” like Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock. She does reasonably well in social interactions, though she admits to not really understanding small talk. And she cares about and is loyal to her best friend Jayne.
In other words, Gemma isn’t a caricature or a cardboard cutout; she’s a real character with depth. As the narrator as well as the protagonist, we get to know her pretty well. But since she’s the narrator, we only experience the other characters through Gemma’s observations. And despite her observational prowess, Gemma is curiously blind to some emotional nuances. Her occasional obtuseness means that in some instances, the reader has a different or better grasp of a particular situation or individual than Gemma herself does. It’s the sort of thing that keeps her human, and keeps the books interesting.
I suspect Delany had a lot of fun writing this installment, and I had a lot of fun reading it. Renalta Van Markoff, author of a highly popular Holmesian pastiche series and inevitable murder victim, is eccentric and very definitely over-the-top—just what I said I don’t like, but it works well in this instance, in part because most of the other characters are believable, and in part because some celebrities really are over-the-top. The book is filled with characters from the writing, publishing, and fan worlds, as well as references to other Holmes pastiches, from Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series to the BBC’s Sherlock and Sherry Thomas’s A Study in Scarlet Women. And there are references to the real-world Holmesians, fans whose enthusiasm for and devotion to Conan Doyle’s original stories rivals that of Harry Potter fans–including Gemma’s frequent customer, Desmond, who seems to be the chief suspect in Renalta’s death.
The mystery itself is fairly well constructed, with a number of suspects and a variety of motives. I didn’t spot the probable killer until very late in the game, but I did guess something important about the victim pretty early. Outguessing the author is one of the attractions of reading mysteries for me; I don’t want it to be too easy, but I don’t want to be totally in the dark, either. Delany successfully walks the line between the two, in this mystery as in Elementary, She Read.
I’ll be eager to read the next book in the series, The Cat of the Baskervilles.
A LONGER VERSION OF THIS REVIEW FIRST APPEARED ON The Bookwyrm's Hoard BLOG.
FTC DISCLOSURE: I received an e-ARC of this book for review. My opinions are entirely my own.
What keeps me totally engaged in this series is the uniqueness of the storyline. Gemma is all of us, trying to keep her head above water while at times being socially awkward. The plot was strong, characters charming and interesting, and I was definitely surprised at the end. If anyone is looking for a good read, look no further.
Gemma is a fascinating, yet sometimes annoying character, much like Sherlock Holmes himself. She's well-rounded and complex, but sometimes her mannerisms are just a little too over the top for me. I don't want to give any spoilers away, but there's a particular spot in this book that I wanted to give Gemma a "Gibbs-slap" (from NCIS for you non-tv watchers) to the back of the head to try to get her common sense going again before she attempted something totally idiotic!
I love the side characters too. Jayne and Ryan are wonderful. I'm liking Ashleigh more and more as each book goes on. I even like Louise more and more as the series goes on.
The setting descriptions are always well-done. I feel like there's enough for us to be able to imagine the setting in our mind, but not so much that we're overwhelmed as readers. That's a hard balance to find, but I think Ms. Delany does it well in this book.
The plot moves along well. I had no idea who the villain was until he/she was revealed. As Gemma explained her logic behind her deduction, I could see the way the clues lined up, but the villain definitely wasn't on my radar before that.
All in all, it was a good book. It didn't have that pizzazz that I look for in a 5-star book and Gemma's stupidity in some things caused me to give it a 4, but I still recommend it to cozy mystery lovers!
*** Thank you to Netgalley & the publisher for providing me with an ARC. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. ***
Most recent customer reviews
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