by Vicki Delany
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.
Amber’s review of book 1, Elementary, She Read can be found on Amazon.
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.