Sunday, September 24, 2017

Book Review: Body on Baker Street: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, Book 2 by Vicki Delany

Body on Baker Street: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
by Vicki Delany

I had no idea who the villain was until he/she was revealed. As Gemma explained her logic behind her deduction, I could see the way the clues lined up, but the villain definitely wasn’t on my radar before that.

What’s not to love about this series – a Sherlock Holmes themed bookstore, a tea shop, and murder!

Body On Baker Street provides an entertaining read.

In addition to a solid mystery, Delany provides delightful references to Sherlock Holmes throughout—from the store’s street address and merchandise; to a cat named Moriarty and a dog named Violet; to the mention of other books with Sherlock themes.

Subtle wit, great characters, and nods galore to everyone’s favorite Baker Street detective – these are the qualities that make Body on Baker Street a must read.

I could not put this book down. One of her best yet in my opinion.

This has been a great read, everyone had motives and with some funny characters this book will make you remember the great Arthur Conan Doyle books!

I love this series! I love Gemma and her quirky little bookshop selling Sherlock Holmes books, merchandise, anything connected with Arthur Conan Doyle, along with lots of other mystery books set in Sherlock’s era.

The ending is dramatic and tense and even if you’ve figured some of it out, will still surprise you.

After only two books, I am totally in love with this series. I love Gemma, Jayne, Uncle Arthur, Ryan, Grant, and so many other folks around town–and let’s not forget Moriarity, the bookshop cat!

Book Information:

A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, Book 2
Cozy Mystery
Crooked Lane Books 
September 12, 2017
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683312994
E-Book ASIN: B06XW3K7F5

About the Book:

Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table―dead.

Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man in Body on Baker Street the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.

My review of book 1, Elementary, She Read can be found on Amazon.

My Review:

Body on Baker Street is a great addition to Vicki Delany's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series. When Renalta Van Markoff, a famous author, drops all of her engagements and wants a book signing at the last minute, Gemma makes it happen.  She puts up posters, spreads the signing via word of mouth, and makes sure to have a bunch of the authors books on hand and ready to go. The town is excited to have such a spectacular author visiting them - well, most of the town.  After Donald Morris and Renalta get into a verbal sparring match after Renalta's speech, Renalta falls face town on the table during the subsequent book signing event. Donald is the prime suspect having not only threatened the author to her face but also spreading his views around prior to Renalta's arrival.  Gemma knows that Donald didn't do it but proving that is a bit harder than she anticipated.  

 The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series is wonderful and keeps getting better.  I really liked book one but I love book 2. Full of quirky characters, red herrings, and twists and turns, I was kept fully engaged and sitting on the edge of my seat throughout the entire novel. There are a multiple threads developed within the mystery that seem unrelated then, masterfully, everything comes together into an "A-ha" moment.  I enjoyed every bit of Body on Baker Street.

Gemma is painfully observant but unlike in book one, it isn't to the point that she tends to alienate herself and the people around her. She does, perhaps do it on purpose when one specific police officer is involved though.  Her bluntness isn't intended to be malicious most of the time and that's what makes her character quirky and lovable. She pulls some hair-brained schemes that put her in a lot of danger but ultimately the bad guy/gal is caught. Our cozy mystery heroine lack common sense sometimes but it all works out in the end.

The supporting characters really round out this great cozy mystery. Gemma's best friend Jayne is her reluctant partner-in-crime but she has Gemma's back regardless of the situation. Ryan is one of the police officers assigned to the case involving the death of  Renalta Van Markoff. He and Gemma have a history that sometimes gets in the way of the investigation. The chemistry between them is definitely there, even if the pair try not to acknowledge those feelings.  I hope to see a bit more development between the two of them in the next book. They don't have to get right back into a relationship but I'd like to feel by the end of the book that they are make headway. I like them together and don't mind romances that don't take over the book but are there in the background. It makes the characters more realistic to me.

The plot was laid out well and the character development and world building continued on nicely. I did NOT suspect who was behind everything or the reason. The author did a great job masking all of that and bringing in other contenders who fit the bill, too.

I enjoyed Body on Baker Street and can't wait to see what Gemma gets involved in next.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of the book provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

My Rating:

Meet the Author:

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. Under the name of Eva Gates, she writes the Lighthouse Library cozy series for Penguin Random House. Her latest book is Body on Baker Street, the second in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane.

Vicki is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

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  1. Every time I read s review on this series, I want to run out and purchase this series. Thank you for your awesome detailed review!

  2. New series to me. Really enjoyed the description of the book and I'm looking forward to reading more about the Sherlock Holmes Bookstore.