Thursday, June 10, 2021

ARC Review: The Abduction of Pretty Penny by Leonard Goldberg

The Abduction of Pretty Penny

Leonard Goldberg
Series: The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes Mysteries (Book 5)
Publication: Minotaur Books (June 15, 2021)

Description: A continuation of USA Today bestselling author Leonard Goldberg's Daughter of Sherlock Holmes series, The Abduction of Pretty Penny finds Joanna and the Watsons on the tail of an infamous killer.

Joanna and the Watsons are called in by the Whitechapel Playhouse to find Pretty Penny, a lovely, young actress who has gone missing without reason or notice. While on their search, the trio is asked by Scotland Yard to join in the hunt for a vicious murderer whose method resembles that of Jack The Ripper. It soon becomes clear that The Ripper has reemerged after a 28-year absence and is once again murdering young prostitutes in Whitechapel.

Following a line of subtle clues, Joanna quickly reasons that Pretty Penny has been taken capture by the killer. But as Joanna moves closer to learning his true identity, the killer sends her a letter indicating her young son Johnny will be the next victim to die. Time is running out, and Joanna has no choice but to devise a most dangerous plan which will bring her face-to-face with the killer. It is the only chance to protect her son and rescue Pretty Penny, and save both from an agonizing death.

The Abduction of Pretty Penny is a wonderful new entry in a series that the Historical Novel Society calls “one of the best Sherlock Holmes series since Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell books."

My Thoughts: The fifth Daughter of Sherlock Holmes mystery has Joanna, her husband Dr. John Watson Jr., and father-in-law Sherlock Holmes's Watson and the trail of a missing young actress. Pretty Penny is a rising star at a theater in Whitechapel when she goes missing.

The case takes them into the depths of Whitechapel with it Unfortunates and Gentleman Drifters. It has ties to John's career as a pathologist at St. Bart's because three of the main suspects are also physicians at St. Bart's and amateur actors who were starring with Pretty Penny in a new version of Romeo and Juliet.

The case also marks the return of Jack the Ripper as a new series of brutal murders of Unfortunates has begun and it is feared the Pretty Penny has also become or will become one of his victims. As Joanna and the Watsons track clues including Pretty Penny's favorite candy, her hair pomade, and strange purchases of copper earrings, they learn that the killer is leaving clues and taunting them to find him.

When a letter and some copper cufflinks but Joanna's fifteen-year-old son Johnny in danger, Joanna goes undercover to catch the killer.

There was a lot of historical detail in this one but I felt it fell a little flat when it came to the characters. I didn't like Joanna very much. First, she seemed to me to be arrogant and patronizing and essentially emotionless. Then when Johnny is kidnapped, she breaks down but quickly gets over it and reverts to her calculating and emotionless self. 

Fans hungry for more Sherlock Holmes and historical mysteries will find a taste here. Some of the elements are the same. Comparisons to Laurie R. King's Mary Russell books find this series paling and coming in a distant second though. 

Favorite Quote:
"You may be correct, Watson, but it is a habit of mine to believe all suspects guilty until proven otherwise."

"That is so contradictory to our system of justice."

"But it works well for me."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I like the historical detail coming in. In Holmes own stories so much of London history is included that I found the book interesting on that aspect alone leave aside the detection!


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