Saturday, August 26, 2017

ARC Review: A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas

A Conspiracy in Belgravia
Author: Sherry Thomas
Series: The Lady Sherlock Series (Book 2)
Publication: Berkley (September 5, 2017)

Description: The game is afoot as Charlotte Holmes returns in USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas’s Victorian-set Lady Sherlock series.

Being shunned by Society gives Charlotte Holmes the time and freedom to put her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, she’s had great success helping with all manner of inquiries, but she’s not prepared for the new client who arrives at her Upper Baker Street office.

Lady Ingram, wife of Charlotte’s dear friend and benefactor, wants Sherlock Holmes to find her first love, who failed to show up at their annual rendezvous. Matters of loyalty and discretion aside, the case becomes even more personal for Charlotte as the missing man is none other than Myron Finch, her illegitimate half brother.

In the meanwhile, Charlotte wrestles with a surprising proposal of marriage, a mysterious stranger woos her sister Livia, and an unidentified body surfaces where least expected. Charlotte’s investigative prowess is challenged as never before: Can she find her brother in time—or will he, too, end up as a nameless corpse somewhere in the belly of London?

My Thoughts: This second Charlotte Holmes novel continues on from the first with Charlotte making her home with Mrs. Watson and continuing to solve problems as the assistant for the reclusive "Sherlock Holmes" whose existence is fabricated. Her next case seems simple enough: find a missing man. But it quickly becomes quite complex.

Lady Ingram, the estranged wife of Charlotte's good friend and mentor, comes to her to find a man that she loved before she married. She tells a story of how they meet once a year in a public place and then go on with their lives. He missed this year's meeting and she is convinced that something bad happened to him. The story becomes more complex when Charlotte learns that Lady Ingram's lost love is her illegitimate brother Myron Finch.

Charlotte begins her investigation which quickly raises more questions than it answers and involves her with old enemies. Meanwhile, Lord Ingram is still living with a wife he no longer loves or respects but can't divorce for a number of reasons. And Lord Bancroft has renewed his proposal to Charlotte and is offering her codes and ciphers as incentives to accept his proposal.

Meanwhile Inspector Treadles is trying to solve the murder of a man found in a seldom used house and grateful that it is a straight-forward case that needn't involve Sherlock Holmes. Treadles is also dealing with a wife of his own who isn't quite fitting into the box he has built for her in his mind.

On the domestic front, Charlotte's sister Livia is attempting to write a novel about Sherlock Holmes which is starting to sound a lot like Arthur Conan Doyle's version. Livia has also met a man in the park who shares her love of literature but who is completely unsuitable to know because they haven't been introduced.

This was an engaging story that managed to braid all of these varied plot threads into an engaging and twisty mystery set in Victorian times.

Favorite Quote:
Matrimony. It wasn't easy to surprise Charlotte, but Lord Bancroft was coming dangerously close to flabbergasting her. "You are most kind. Nevertheless, I remain ill-suited to marriage."

"But you are not ill-suited to me. I would be happy to never be invited anywhere again -- you would serve as a good excuse. I would be happy to never indulge in small talk again -- I have a feeling that you share that sentiment. And I would be busy and away from home a great deal -- not something most brides look for in a groom, but for you it would count as an added attraction, no doubt."

Whatever his faults, he was an intelligent and honest man.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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