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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

Currently reading

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ann J. Lane
Wizard and Glass
Stephen King, Dave McKean
River of Blue Fire
Tad Williams
Richard Ford
Progress: 36/420 pages

Elementary, She Read / Vicki Delany

Elementary, She Read - Vicki Delany

Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop--located at 222 Baker Street-specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Holmes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body. The highly perceptive Gemma is the police's first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare-books expert, the dead woman's suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it's a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.




***The Summer of Sherlock 2019*** 

I am not usually a fan of the cozy mystery--I tend towards the darker Scandinavian style detective story, rather than the sweetness & light. But I couldn’t put this particular cozy down!

Delany is a good writer and she has crafted a fun, fast moving little story here. Gemma Doyle (a maybe relation to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) has taken on a Sherlock Holmes book store and gift emporium both to help her uncle and to support herself. She is rather logically driven (rather like a certain detective we all know) and gets herself involved in an apparent murder in her small town. (It’s always in a small town, isn’t it?)

There’s her best friend as her Watson-like sidekick, but there are also potential love interests, the former boyfriend and the rare book expert. Not to mention the trials of getting and retaining staff and finding sources of strawberries for the tea-room attached to the bookstore (run, of course, by the BFF). There’s enough complexity to make it interesting without bogging the story down in the details. 

There are a few spots where one has to consciously deploy the “willing suspension of disbelief,” but maybe that’s just me. However, I immediately requested the second book in the series from the public library, so the author is definitely doing things right!