Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
About the Book:
The show is coming to town on Cape Cod. The West London Theater Festival is putting on a stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Gemma Doyle is excited and participating with her friend Jayne Wilson, whose mother, Leslie, just happens to be volunteering with the company. Leslie arranges a fundraising tea party at the home of the festival organizer, catered by Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. The tea is a rousing success, but Sir Nigel Bellingham, the famous star cast as the lead of Sherlock, goes missing. And Gemma finds him at the bottom of the cliff. Dead.
Before the tea, Sir Nigel had come by the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop, only for Gemma to realize that he’s not at all suited to the role. But as Gemma and Jayne investigate, the list of suspects just grows longer. Long past his prime, Sir Nigel was second to a younger actor who had first been given the role. The festival’s executive director also expressed that he had been hired over her objections. Then there are the slew of people to whom Sir Nigel was rude. They all have motive, but then a scrap of Leslie’s apron caught on a bush by Sir Nigel’s body is found. And the police are set to pounce as she becomes suspect #1.
I am enamored with the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series. I love the concept of a bookstore that caters to lovers of Sherlock Holmes. I'm not a devoted fan but I do love me some Robert Downey Jr. and his portrayal of Holmes and Jude Law's Watson. A bookshop of the nature would be very interesting to visit.
The Cat of the Baskervilles a wonderful third book in a series that just keeps getting better with every book. The book is full of quirky characters, red herrings, and twists and turns. The reader is kept fully engaged and sitting on the edge of their seat as they meet the cast of the theater production of The Hound of the Baskervilles. The lead is none other than famous star, Sir Nigel Bellingham. Except, Sir Nigel isn't at all who one would expect to be playing such a prominent part in the production. He's an alcoholic and quite rude.
When an elaborate tea party is organized on his, and the rest of the cast's, behalf, Sir Nigel disappears and is later found dead in what appears to be anything but normal. Statements are made and suspects are gathered, including Leslie, who happens to be Gemma's business partner Jayne's mother. There is evidence to indicate she was in the vicinity but as Gemma explores the murder, it appears others have motive. There are a multiple threads within the mystery and many characters who could very well have taken Sir Nigel's life. The author does a great job weaving the mystery in a way that doesn't clue the reader into who committed the act.
The character development continues in The Cat of the Baskerville. Gemma is painfully observant to the point that she tends to alienate herself and the people around her. She does so without malice and that's what makes her character quirky and lovable. The supporting characters really round out this great cozy mystery. Gemma's best friend Jayne is her reluctant partner-in-crime but in the end she has Gemma's back. Ryan is one of the police officer's assigned to the cases in all three books in the series. He and Gemma have a history that sometimes gets in the way of the investigation. The chemistry between them is strong, undeniable, and believable. I enjoy their dynamics and love 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 world building was as great in this book as it was in the first two. I was able to visualize everything that was described and I felt like I was there at the bookshop, tea room, and tea party. The author did a great job masking who committed the murder and bringing in other contenders who had motive. I really enjoyed The Cat of the Baskervilles and highly recommend the entire series to lovers of cozy mysteries.
I was given a copy of the book to read.