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).
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.
***The Summer of Sherlock 2019***
I realize that I’ve read volumes 1 & 2 of this series too close together for my complete enjoyment. This one feels very, very similar to the first volume and if I’d left more time between the two, that feeling wouldn’t be quite so strong. But that’s on me, not the author, for choosing to read them so close in time.
Each book has its own narrative arch, which should be the main draw, but for me, it’s the ongoing details, the relationships that drive my desire to read. And the relationships in this one are stuck pretty much in the same spot as they were in Elementary, She Read. Gemma is still trying not to carry a torch for her cop ex-boyfriend and wondering about the rare book dealer that she’s gone on a date or two with. Her BFF Jayne is still seeing a man who Gemma considers to be a useless sort and a nearby bar owner can’t seem to get Jayne’s attention.
Cozy mysteries like this one really lack the tension factor that I value in a mystery. The stakes just don’t seem to be high enough to keep me engaged. Delany is no slouch as a writer, but she needs to fish or cut bait soon with regard to moving the relationships along or complicating them or something. I find myself wishing for more of something--more tension, more emotion, more complications.
Although the next book is sitting mere shelves away from me in the library, I’m resisting the urge to go sign it out. Despite the desire to see what happens next, I need some time. Absence should make the heart grow fonder, yes?