A fire at Scarlet House, one of the oldest properties in the Cape Cod town of West London and now the headquarters of the local museum, kick-starts Delany’s well-plotted fourth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery (after The Cat of the Baskervilles). A fundraising auction is quickly organized to offset the cost of repairing the building at Mrs. Hudson’s Tearoom. Before Kathy Lamb, a member of the museum board and designated auctioneer, can bring down the hammer on the first lot, she’s strangled in the tearoom’s storage area. Following in the footsteps of the great detective, Gemma Doyle, who manages her great-uncle Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, investigates. However, as she observes: “As well as not having a retail business to interfere in the pursuit of his cases, or customers to interrupt his thinking, Sherlock Holmes hadn’t been trying to have a love life either.” Each of the many suspects has at least one plausible motive. Delany’s liberal sprinkling of references to real pastiche novels and reference books makes this cozy a treat for Holmes buffs. Agent: Kim Lionetti, BookEnds Literary. (Nov.)
Praise for A Scandal in Scarlet:
“Well-plotted...Delany’s liberal sprinkling of references to real pastiche novels and reference books makes this cozy a treat for Holmes buffs."
“Gemma is a delightful sleuth, and the tidbits of Sherlockiana will engage both cozy fans and Holmes devotees.”
“Suggest for fans who enjoy humor in the Sherlock Holmes pastiches or readers of Carolyn Hart’s ‘Death on Demand’ mysteries.”
“These books are so much fun and so well-done, it is clear that Delany is in love with her characters as much as her die-hard fans are.”
"Fairly light with plenty of danger and intrigue...Another Sherlock Holmes-inspired treat with a delightful sleuth, deductions, and danger."
—Manhattan Book Review
Praise for the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mysteries:
“A great one!...As always with this series, the story is rich with everything from history to scenery to sarcasm, with even the feline stealing a scene or two along the way.”
—Suspense Magazine on The Cat of the Baskervilles
“A pure treat for dedicated mystery buffs by a true master of the genre.”
—Midwest Book Review on The Cat of the Baskervilles
“Delightful...sure to please fans of Holmes pastiches and bookstore mysteries.”
—Library Journal on Body on Baker Street
“A twisty plot and an engaging main character. This series will appeal both to cozy readers and to Holmesians.”
—Booklist on Body on Baker Street
“A light-hearted and delightful romp...A perfect novel to read to while away a rainy afternoon with a cup of tea or to keep you company on vacation.”
—Seattle Book Review, five-star review on Body on Baker Street
“A perplexing mystery with a refreshingly intelligent and witty amateur sleuth, I enjoyed every well-crafted word of this Sherlock Holmes infused tale. A must read for lovers of all things Sherlock Holmes.”
—Jenn McKinlay, NYT and USA Today bestselling author of Better Late Than Never on Elementary, She Read
“Vicki Delany is one of my favorite mystery authors...I loved everything about this story! The Cape Cod setting was enchanting and the intricate mystery kept me turning pages late into the night. Easily one of the best new mystery series on the market.”
—Kate Carlisle, New York Times bestselling author of the Fixer-Upper mysteries and the Bibliophile mysteries on Elementary, She Read
“Elementary, She Read is a delight, fast, fun, and full of Sherlockian lore. Cheers for a charming, intelligent heroine as observant as The Great Detective himself.”
—Carolyn Hart, New York Times bestselling author of Walking on My Grave
“I defy anyone to read this book and not fall in love with the uber-observant Gemma Doyle...The best new cozy series of the year.”
—Laura DiSilverio, bestselling author of the Readaholics Book Club mysteries and the award-winning The Reckoning Stones on Elementary, She Read
“Huzzah for Vicki Delany who’s created vivid characters, a setting that will whet the appetite of mystery readers, and a who-dun-it well worth investigating.”
—Kylie Logan, nationally bestselling author of Gone with the Twins on Elementary, She Read
Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, is walking her dog late one evening when they see the Scarlet House, a local museum, is on fire. When the museum needs to host a fundraiser, Gemma's friend, Jayne Wilson, co-owner of Mrs. Hudson's Tearoom, offers to hold an auction there. Just before the auction starts, the chair of the Scarlet House board, Kathy Lamb, has an argument with one of the shop owners, Maureen Macgregor. When Gemma finds Kathy murdered in the backroom, all fingers point to Maureen. Although Gemma and Maureen dislike each other, Gemma thinks the police have picked the wrong suspect. Kathy had her share of people who didn't like her, including her ex's new wife. Even Gemma, with her uncanny ability to analyze people, finds there are too many suspects. Then, a second murder destroys Gemma's theories. Cozy readers who appreciate a quirky, idiosyncratic sleuth will enjoy Gemma's attempts to have a romance with a police detective while beating him at the detecting game. VERDICT Suggest for fans who enjoy humor in the Sherlock Holmes pastiches or readers of Carolyn Hart's "Death on Demand" mysteries.—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN
Sherlock Holmes is reinvented as a curious bookshop owner.
British-born Gemma Doyle and her wealthy great-uncle Arthur share a home on Cape Cod, where Gemma is the owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop. Jayne Wilson, her best friend and sometime sidekick in crime solving, is a partner in Mrs. Hudson's Tearoom. While walking her dog, Gemma spots a fire at Scarlet House, a historic dwelling built in 1648, and calls 911. Her good deed involves her in yet another murder (The Cat of the Baskervilles, 2018, etc.), much to the dismay of Detective Ryan Ashburton, whose on-again, off-again relationship with her is definitely on. After Gemma and Jayne agree to host an invitation-only auction at the tearoom to raise money for the expensive repairs needed to Scarlet House, all goes swimmingly until Kathy Lamb, chair of the Scarlet House board, is found strangled among the valuable items donated for the auction and kept in the storage room at the back of Mrs. Hudson's. The storeroom's outside door is unlocked, but the murder weapon, a pink rope strung with miniature teacups that was being used as decoration for the auction, suggests that the killer may well be among the bidders. Gemma channels her inner Sherlock by casually chatting with the suspects and examining the physical clues. Kathy was not totally welcome as the new chair. Many thought she was using the position to help her get over a nasty divorce and a contentious relationship with her ex's wealthy wife, Elizabeth Dumont, whose first husband died under suspicious circumstances. Those casual chats turn up a lot of information about past and present animosities that eventually lead to another murder for the brainy Brit to solve.
Each new entry in this series has been better than the last. Delany's down-to-earth heroine wraps up this investigation with even more than her customary panache.