This is the first book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series by Vicki Delany. Vicki is also known for her Year Round Christmas cozy mystery series, the first two of which I had read of her work until this past March when I read the third book in the Sherlock series. I had been wanting to get back to this first book which did help me to know and appreciate the main character, Gemma Doyle, so much better. I’ll be moving on to the second book sometime this summer or fall because the fourth one comes out in November.
Vicki also writes as Eva Gates and will have a new Lighthouse Library coming out soon. I’ve been chosen by an online review club to receive a hardback to review.
My Goodreads review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had only read the 3rd in this series so I definitely had to go to the beginning and see how it all started. Gemma is really very impressive with her observation skills, something that not a lot of people possess and I wish that the one police officer, Louise Estrada, would be nicer to her or at least I wish she’d treat her with a little more dignity than she does. Estrada’s partner, Ryan Ashburton, used to be involved with Gemma (would be interesting to read a prequel about that and when she very first came to the US) and I always figure Estrada is either jealous of that or that he got lead detective over her.
In this first case, Gemma found an old and valuable-looking Sherlock magazine in her store but when she and Jayne, her best friend, tried to return it to the woman, they found she was dead in her hotel room. Gemma of course is looked at as the prime and only suspect, especially in Estrada’s eyes. With her keen observation skills, Gemma is well suited for investigating and she figures if she’s going to prove herself innocent she’d better get started. Another body was found, Gemma felt like she was being followed and never mind that her house was broken into early on. Along with her sidekick Jayne and her date Robbie, Gemma managed to crack this case.
I definitely didn’t see the killer coming, what a good plot twist. Gemma is a little bit different than the usual sleuths in cozies seeing how she’s more formal and not really humorous but I still like her. She’s a fiercely loyal friend to have and she’s very intelligent. Jayne is really lucky to have a friend like that–and Gemma is lucky to have Jayne, her business partner and tea shop owner, for a friend as well. Some things weren’t always as they seemed in this book and I really enjoyed following the story and finding out how all the pieces fit together.
I’m hoping that in the future, Gemma and Ryan might be able to get back together and that Estrada will get over her not-very-niceness to Gemma. I’ll be moving along to the next book in the series in hopes of finishing before the 4th one comes out.