A Wedding in Winchester (A Charlotte Holmes Mystery) Paperback – April 6, 2021
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- ASIN : B091WJBJ2J
- Publisher : Independently published (April 6, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 218 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8732596489
- Item Weight : 10.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Customer Reviews:
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A WEDDING IN WINCHESTER is Book 5 in his Charlotte Holmes Mystery Series and once again Sardar finds the perfect balance between humor and mystery – a trait that he has mastered. His characters are inspired by the ever-popular Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Watson stories, but here the fun begins: Charlotte Holmes is the female version detective and Dr. Watan is the Indian physician version of Dr. Watson. And to add interest, this book is presented a Book 1 of The Kensington Quartet! More suspense.
Sardar’s concern for keeping his readers up to date is evidenced by his inclusion of the cast of characters that populate this series and a more in depth description of the story’s narrator – Dr JS Watan (his Dr. Watson persona!) who opens this novel with a note in 1912: ‘I did not think that I would pick up my pen again to make entries in these journals, the last entry being in 1903 in my home in the Balbir colony which seemed to be the final curtain on my relationship with Charlotte and Branwell Holmes. These words testify to the lie I have penned above as it was not the final curtain on my relationship with those two, there was an encore which I had not envisioned…’
The plot is best shared as follows: ‘A post-modern re-imagining of the Great Detective as Charlotte Holmes, a traumatized polymath, and her companion Dr Watan, an Indian doctor, as they investigate plots, coups and conspiracies during the British Raj in India. Annabelle Holmes, elder sister of Charlotte, is getting married but the bridegroom is missing and our heroes must solve the mystery to ensure the wedding goes ahead. Dark family secrets are revealed and brutal truths confronted in the opening book of the new arc.’
This is brilliant prose, a superb mystery with tongue in cheek humor that makes the novel not only exciting to read but also one of the more entertaining tales in print! Highly recommended. Grady Harp, May 21
Although the series is named after Charlotte Holmes, a brilliant yet erratic polymath; the narration is in the first person, in the voice of Dr JS Watan, an Indian doctor; and the catching story takes place in London, in 1912.
This is a mystery book with an amazing and in-depth plot that left me on the edge of my seat with every turn of the page. It will definitely keep all readers guessing too!
Dr. Watan's circumstances have changed. He's married again (but not to a Russian spy this time). His interaction with his new wife is restricted a handful of letters near the beginning of the book, then she fades away.
Dr. Watan is in England to further his training. His meager pay (by British standards) is barely enough to keep in fed and housed with the balance being sent to Rita back in India.
The first chapter opens with him meeting a young lady (Emily) who reminds him of Charlotte. She even carries a sword umbrella (ella, ella). He just met person he helped deliver back at Redoubt in Bombay.
He learns quickly that while Charlotte's daughter does not hate him, her mother still carries a deep and simmering grudge against him for choices he made in the previous book.
He encounters Branwell who had a run in with a band of pickpockets. Dr. Watan attends him in the hospital and sews him up. The members of the Holmes family seem slow to thaw out resentments.
The wedding in the title of the book is between Annabelle, Charlotte and Branwell's sister, and a (gasp) merchantman named Parsifal Bennet, the owner and proprietor of Parsifal's Joyful General & Haberdashery Emporium. I can only imagine what kind of a URL his website would have.
In continuing family business they (the Holmes') encounter their estranged mother, Lady Priscilla Carvary, president of the Merry Widows of Windsor Club, and another family member from the past, one Moorpeake.
Meanwhile, Count Zorkin and the Russian (Czarist) police are (separately) hunting for a promissory note drawn on a Jewish bank. This leads to an omnibus chase from one side of the Thames to the other culminating in a very satisfying resolution to all of the threads in the story.
One of the most significant lines in the book (and in the series of books) comes near the end from Branwell who says "Hmmm," he reflected. "perhaps we deserved it, Cawnpore and Allahabad and all that. I'm starting to be a little troubled by our rule of India. It benefits us greatly but I'm not sure it benefits you equally." Significant!
By the way, miraculously, at the end of the book, Branwell and Becky are still happily married.
Even better news comes from the author that there are more books in this series coming!
The author is engaging, warm with his words and expressive when talking about the characters.
Asif M. Sardar is adept in his writing. I enjoyed every new page more than the previous one, as the author introduces new and interesting elements in his writing.
The storyline is easy to follow and the characters are not complicated but distinct. I enjoyed following the main characters from the first page to the last.
This is an entertaining book for both young and old readers. I definitely recommend this amazing mystery book!