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 Homes 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.
Fans of Sherlock Holmes will delight in the sleuthing duo of Gemma and Jayne in Elementary, She Read, the clever and captivating series debut by nationally bestselling author Vicki Delany.
The mystery and bookshop themes have been done repeatedly but Delany manages to make it fresh and decidedly hers. Even using the Sherlock Holmes theme was done with taste and became its own unique character. She is so descriptive you feel like you’re actually there walking through her bookshop which made me wish it was real and I could visit to hang out with a cup of tea from next door.
The main character Gemma Doyle seems to have tapped into Holmes’ spirit as she displays magician like deductive reasoning skills which she’s able to use to see things around her in a way most don’t. This gives her the ability to solve mysteries before the police like her famous literary predecessor.
I love that this book showcases a smart, independent female role model in a character role most often relegated to men. The techno references are perfect for the modern era.
I read A LOT of mystery books and normally can figure out where the author is going before they announce the “whodunits” but this book actually had me guessing through the twists to the very end though not one guess I had was right. I loved finally getting to read a book that wasn’t obvious from page one. Once I started it I couldn’t stop until the end because the not knowing was driving me crazy!!
The ending was great so I am very much looking forward to the sequel.
Buy on Amazon: http://a.co/7LBwdKS
*synopsis and pic from amazon.com