This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas
Series: Lady Sherlock #2
Genres: Action, Adventure, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Format: ARC, E-book
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ IndieBound ◊ Books-A-Million ◊ iBooks
The game is afoot as Charlotte Holmes returns in the atmospheric second novel in New York Times bestseller Sherry Thomas's Victorian-set Lady Sherlock series.
Being shunned by Society gives Charlotte Holmes the time and freedom to put her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, she’s had great success helping with all manner of inquiries, but she’s not prepared for the new client who arrives at her Upper Baker Street office.
Lady Ingram, wife of Charlotte’s dear friend and benefactor, wants Sherlock Holmes to find her first love, who failed to show up at their annual rendezvous. Matters of loyalty and discretion aside, the case becomes even more personal for Charlotte as the missing man is none other than Myron Finch, her illegitimate half brother.
In the meanwhile, Charlotte wrestles with a surprising proposal of marriage, a mysterious stranger woos her sister Livia, and an unidentified body that surfaces where least expected. Charlotte’s investigative prowess is challenged as never before: Can she find her brother in time—or will he, too, end up as a nameless corpse somewhere in the belly of London?
I was enthralled with the idea of a female Sherlock Holmes and was beyond thrilled to get an advanced reader copy of A Conspiracy in Belgravia. This story is the second installment in the Lady Sherlock series and it was truly a fun read. The mystery was layered and oh so good! This story starts directly after the conclusion of the first book, A Study in Scarlet Women, and this is a series that is built upon the previous book. I did feel like I was missing some important history by not reading the first book in this series. By the end of this story though I felt caught up and I wanted anyone considering reading this series out of order to be aware that this is a series best read in order.
The premise of the story is that Charlotte Holmes is putting her extraordinary powers of perception and calculation to work under the guise that she is assisting her fictitious brother, Sherlock Holmes, as his oracle of sorts. In this series, “Sherlock” is bedridden due to a malady but can still put his mind to great use. He uses his sister Charlotte to track down clues, interview suspects and people of interest, and other such matters that need to occur in an investigation. In order to successfully keep up this charade, Charlotte utilizes her friend Mrs. Watson and together they have created a very successful ruse.
Charlotte’s character is quite mischievous and calculating. She is the quintessential Holmes character that we have come expect from someone cast in this role. In addition to a fabulous mystery that is layered in its approach, there is a faux romance element, or at least an attempt at one, that is in my opinion quite hilarious. What I adore most about Charlotte’s character is that she does not let her gender define her in a day and age where women were only worth the man they were represented by, be it either a brother, father or husband. She adopted the Sherlock facade only because it was the easiest solution in the Victorian London setting.
I enjoyed the story, found the supporting characters to be well done, loved the mystery, laughed at the humor and want to definitely continue with this series. Was there anything I did not enjoy? Sigh, yes, Charlotte’s character was a love-hate one for me. I appreciate that she is a robust woman with a healthy appetite but I am never one to enjoy characters who fixate on their food, and I mean fixate. Then there is the fact that she likes to count her chins. The amount of times her “chins” came up by either her or the other characters was just a bit too much for me. What the heck did it have to do with anything? I just didn’t enjoy that aspect of her character at all, it was an idiosyncrasy that I could have done without.
I read A Conspiracy in Belgravia in one day, the story just flowed. I did not want to set it down because I found the plot twists kept me completely engaged. I was a bit turned off my Charlotte’s character and she may drive me away from this series but the cliff hanger at the end of this story is the reason that I must continue. I am hoping that Charlotte’s character will improve and that maybe she will have something else to fixate on in the next book. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind that she enjoyed her food and was happy with her body, I just think that for me too much of the story was dedicated to that, it was unnecessary. Overall, great story and an exciting read.
*Thank you to NetGalley & Berkley Publishing Group for this eARC of A Conspiracy in Belgravia*