Murder on Cold Street

Sherry Thomas

Book - 2020

"Inspector Treadles, Charlotte Holmes's friend and collaborator, has been found locked in a room with two dead men, both of whom worked with his wife at the great manufacturing enterprise she has recently inherited. Rumors fly. Had Inspector Treadles killed the men because they had opposed his wife's initiatives at every turn? Had he killed in a fit of jealous rage, because he suspected Mrs. Treadles of harboring romantic feelings for one of the men? To make matters worse, he to speak on his own behalf, despite the overwhelming evidence against him. Charlotte finds herself in a case strewn with lies and secrets. But which lies are to cover up small sins, and which secrets would flay open a past better left forgotten? Not to mention, how can she concentrate on these murders when Lord Ingram, her oldest friend and sometime lover, at last dangles before her the one thing she has always wanted?"--Provided by publisher.

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Review by Booklist Review

Award-winning historical-mystery author Thomas presents another engaging entry in her Lady Sherlock series, with the unusual premise of intrepid detective Sherlock Holmes and his loyal sidekick, Watson, reimagined as women. In her latest outing, Charlotte Holmes faces what may her most challenging and baffling case yet. Police Inspector Robert Treadles has been charged with murder, and his wife begs Charlotte to help prove Treadles' innocence. Although the evidence against Treadles appears indisputable, Charlotte agrees to take it on, using both her excellent deductive skills and the additional resources of her network of loyal female colleagues. She eventually cracks the case, while still finding time to resurrect her budding romance with Lord Ingram Ashburton and avoid the long arm of her deadly enemy, Moriarty. While the case itself is intriguing, it is the portrayal of the societal expectations and restrictions faced by women in Victorian times, along with Charlotte's ingenuity in surmounting these obstacles, that makes this such a winning read.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

A locked-room mystery drives Thomas's entertaining if implausible fifth Lady Sherlock whodunit (after 2019's The Art of Theft). When Scotland Yard's Insp. Robert Treadles becomes the suspect in a double murder, his wife, Alice Treadles, consults detective Charlotte Holmes, Robert's sometime collaborator who claims to be acting on behalf of her ill, bedridden brother no one ever sees, Sherlock Holmes. Two London bobbies on patrol found Robert in a locked bedroom in an unoccupied house, brandishing his service revolver. The bedroom's other occupants, John Longstead, who lived next door, and his nephew, Ambrose Sullivan, were shot to death. Both victims worked at Cousins Manufacturing, a company that Mrs. Treadles recently took over. Despite the incriminating circumstances, the inspector's wife believes in his innocence, and Charlotte agrees to investigate, ostensibly in accord with the instructions of her "brother." Developments in Charlotte's love life complement the sleuthing. This may appeal more to fans of lighter Victorian mysteries than to Sherlockians. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary. (Sept.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Kirkus Book Review

Alongside brief pauses for cake, kisses, and intimate confessions, Charlotte Holmes uses her considerable mind to solve two murders and save an innocent man. Having barely recovered from a heist in France, told in The Art of Theft (2019), private detective Charlotte Holmes is asked to assist Inspector Treadles, an acquaintance from Scotland Yard who has been arrested for killing two men. His wife, Alice, is terrified for his life but hiding something, he himself is keeping mum, and the evidence looks damning. As the clock ticks, Holmes must swiftly track the preceding events, assisted by her old friend and recent lover Lord Ingram; her companion, Mrs. Watson; and Mrs. Watson's niece. The novel is sure-footed, its puzzle the most tightly structured and enjoyable of the whodunits in Thomas' series about the gender-swapped sleuth. As the group questions witnesses and ferrets out motives of potential suspects, the narrative changes rapidly from scene to scene around wintry London and from memory to memory. The telling shifts of speakers' bodies punctuate conversations, distilling emotions and speech into physicality. The novel also amplifies the series' theme of the assaults and challenges women face in a world that disadvantages them personally and professionally. More notably, it foregrounds the actions of numerous women to do so. Each is richly drawn, with her own way of resisting societal limitations regarding sex, ethnicity, and class. Holmes herself is as adept at crime-solving as ever, but when it comes to erotic love, she is still considering the ramifications of getting what she has desired for years. With an increasingly beloved detective crew, this Victorian mystery offers thrills and sharp insights into human behavior. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.