Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Sherlockians who also love romance novels will best appreciate Thomas's third Lady Sherlock mystery set in Victorian England (after 2017's A Conspiracy in Belgravia). Charlotte Holmes works as the world's only consulting detective under the name Sherlock Holmes, resorting to the contrivance of interviewing clients in her Baker Street sitting room on behalf of her brother, who's confined to his bedroom with an illness. The prologue, which features Charlotte's half-brother, Myron Finch, who has been posing as her family's groom and is a former minion of Moriarty, "a man of dangerous aims," builds to a dramatic encounter between Charlotte and Moriarty. The main narrative flashes forward several months to the case of Lord Ingram Ashburton. Ingram, who's smitten with Charlotte, becomes the prime suspect in the murder of his estranged wife, Lady Ingram, who became a fugitive after Charlotte exposed Lady Ingram's role in the death of three agents of the Crown. Those who find Thomas's creative reimagining plausible and don't mind anachronistic language will have fun. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary. (Oct.) c Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
When Charlotte Holmes helps her half-brother escape from the men who are after him, she senses a plot in motion. Her sister Livia is an unwitting pawn who annually visits Mrs. Newell, a distant relative. But when the cisterns fail at Mrs. Newell's house, all her guests move to Lord Ingram's Stern Hollow estate. Livia is aware that society speculates that Charlotte and Ingram share more than friendship. When Livia and two of the worst gossips in London find Lady Ingram's body in the estate's icehouse, the chief inspector sent from Scotland Yard does everything in his power to prove that Ingram killed his wife while Charlotte goes undercover as Sherlock Holmes's brother to discover the truth about the murder. This third book in the series picks up exactly where A Conspiracy in Belgravia ended, which may be confusing to readers who have not read the earlier entries. Atmospheric and leisurely paced, with careful development of an elaborate story line, the title also offers a thought-provoking view of the expectations and roles of women in Victorian England. VERDICT Thomas's fans and readers of the Conan Doyle canon, especially The Valley of Fear, will appreciate the intricately crafted mystery, although others may find it difficult to follow. [See Prepub Alert, 4/19/18; "Editors' Fall Picks," LJ 8/18.]-Lesa Holstine, -Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
In the third Lady Sherlock novel, a murder tests the dispassionate sleuth's deductive mind and enigmatic heart.Every new mystery in this gender-swapped retelling of Holmes has been drawing together the chess pieces of a complex game involving the disgraced gentlewoman and detective Charlotte Holmes, the ominous Moriarty, the upright Lord Ingram, and his icy wife. Here, Thomas opens with the scene that ended her last novel (A Conspiracy in Belgravia, 2017) before leapfrogging to a dramatic event. The gap in time is deliberatefor once, the reader doesn't know everything that Holmes does, and it heightens the suspense in her race to save the life of someone in whom we are heavily invested. As she looks for clues at Ingram's country estate, she is in constant proximity to the man she cannot have, ratcheting up their sexual tension. Her sister, gossiping busybodies, and an ambitious chief inspector are all interested in competing outcomes, complicating the investigation further. Inspector Treadles grasps some of what is unfolding, but his certainties about the appropriate role of women were shaken in the earlier novel, and he's no longer sure of the correctness of his values. Finally, Ingram's spymaster brother is playing for higher stakes than his family knows. Clues seem to mount in the wrong direction, the action shuts out the reader once more, and then a flashback to the elided incidents satisfyingly clarifies what Holmes has suspected and plotted all along. The resolution, as well as the spell cast by Thomas' language and clever use of disguise to reveal a devastating understanding of human flaws and desires, leaves one with a good book hangover.A novel in which you cannot wait to find out what happens nexteven as you do not want it to end. For everyone who wants their mysteries spiced with plentiful twists and a delicious dose of sexual chemistry. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.