A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas

A Conspiracy in Belgravia

Sherry Thomas

Can Charlotte Holmes find her brother in time--or will he end up as an unidentified corpse somewhere in the belly of London?

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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?


Advance Galley Reviews

3.5 stars While I enjoyed Charlotte Holmes as “Sherlock Holmes”, I did not fully love the mystery at the heart of A Conspiracy in Belgravia. It took me about 50 pages to even fully follow the story line, and I found the mystery and its resolution to be more convoluted than necessary. Charlotte Holmes and Mrs. Watson saved the book for me; I enjoyed both characters immensely. Charlotte’s love triangle was intriguing also. Thanks to Penguin First to Read for a copy of the book; all opinions are my own.

After loving the first Lady Sherlock mystery so much, I knew I had to pick this one up sooner than later and I am thrilled to say it didn't disappoint. I do believe I rated "A Study in Scarlet Women" 5/5 but even at a slightly lower rating, "A Conspiracy in Belgravia" is still a solidly enjoyable installment. Charlotte Holmes is still living with her new friend, Mrs. Watson and together they are still solving mysteries as "Sherlock Holmes." Charlotte is being courted by a familiar face, Lord Ingram's brother, and to prove that marriage to him won't be boring, he gifts her with some clues and mysteries to decipher. One of these clues leads her to a deceased young man who may or may not be Charlotte's illegitimate brother. In addition, she has been hired by Lady Ingram, the wife of Charlotte's one true love (if she ever has such a thing because Charlotte definitely does not NEED a man in her life and clearly realizes it) to find out what has happened to her first love. Can Charlotte investigate this disappearance and remain loyal to her friend, Lord Ingram, at the same time. While I loved this book, it did take a while for it all to weave together. Initially there are quite a few mysteries afoot and while they did all eventually tie in together, it did cause some early confusion for me. However, Charlotte and Mrs. Watson are as interesting as ever and I loved Charlotte's independence and stubbornness and the fact that she doesn't feel the need to change in order to fit anyone's stereotype of how she should act. I am really loving Victorian and historical mysteries and it's a genre I didn't really see myself reading several years ago. The first book was superb and this one doesn't disappoint either. If you like Sherlock Holmes retellings, you really should give Sherry Thomas' series a try.

I loved this book so much! I'm just starting to get into mystery and this was a wonderful introduction to the genre. I have always loved Sherlock Holmes & this new take on the classic did not disappoint. I will definitely be getting the first in the series and be keeping my eye out for the next installment! Would recommend that anyone who loves a good mystery do the same!

Didn't love this as much as the first, it felt like a bridge to another story rather than living entirely on it's own. Overall, still enjoyable and I look forward to the next one.

This is the second book in a series by this author. I was able to follow the book although I hadn’t read the first, and although I found it slow in parts, it kept my interest. I did finally go back and read the first book, and recommend they be read in order, although not necessary. The author did a good job with character description which enabled me to follow along without too much difficulty in the character and plot development. There is more than one story/case to follow, which kept things moving and kept my mind active and guessing, but the one thing I will say that didn’t work for me was the code parts, which I found to be just page filler, and I actually skipped over most of it and it didn’t detract from the story at all. Lady Ingram is the character in which the main plot is centered around, and the way it pans out was actually quite surprising in a good way. If you love Sherlock Holmes and/or historical mystery, this a series for you. I can envision more books in this series.

I had no idea this was a second in a series when started to read it! I felt like I wasn't understanding or missing something. After I finished , I realized I need to read A Study In Scarlet Women . I enjoyed the book, but I am sure I would of enjoyed it better had I read the first. I identified with the character in regards to her love for food! She is a good sleuth and figures things out on her own. She marches to her own drummer. The mysteries are solved , the ending is surprising .I really wanted to write an honest and truthful review. While I liked the book , I admit I was confused on several parts but my plan is to read the first then reread this one. I found it to be well written and the author seems to know the time period well as her writing was spot on. I do like the authors style of writing and am actually looking forward to reading more by her. Glad I was chosen for ARC just because it introduced me to a new author!

This book literally begins mere days after A Study in Scarlet Women ends. The case in SiSW is referred to quite a few times in this one - l'affaire Sackville. The new mystery seems very convoluted and involves many surprising people. I love Charlotte's relationship which I can't really talk about but it's really sweet and kind of sad. And then gets a lot more sad! But I really enjoy that aspect of the story. And I really am rooting for them!! Another obstacle has been removed! I found a quote I particularly liked, "God gives us only one life. But with good books, we can live a hundred, even a thousand lives in the time we are allotted on this earth." This was said to Livia when she was reading Wilkie Collins and it resonated with me! I really liked the book and especially the ending and now I have to wait too long for book 3!

This was another clever take on the Sherlock Holmes stories. Charlotte Holmes proves herself to be an astute detective once again and begins to battle Moriarty. I liked the subplot of Charlotte's sister, Livia, developing more of her own life. Telling the story with a female detective allows Ms. Thomas to weave in the manners and social norms of the Victorian age and this adds interest for me. I'll look forward to more in this series.

Charlotte Holmes is Lady Sherlock in late 1800s London. She has been disgraced in the eyes of Society and run away from her family. She and Mrs. Watson use the name Sherlock Holmes as a ruse when meeting with clients. Sherlock is supposedly bedridden and using Charlotte as his willing minion. In the course of the novel, three mysteries are solved. The first involves the wife of Lord Ingram, her first love and benefactor. The second revolves around a set of puzzles that Lord Ingram’s brother has given to her as inducement to marriage. The third concerns a gold-digging house servant who may be poisoning those she serves. I love the idea of a female Sherlock Holmes. But I am unsure if a lady Sherlock would really be so preoccupied with the number of chins she has or whether or not she should butter another muffin at tea. I probably would have enjoyed this book more if I had read the first in the series before this one. There were references that I am sure I missed. I will be watching this series because although it is not great right now, it really has the potential to be so.

I absolutely loved this book. It was everything I was hoping it would and more. This book opens pretty much right where the last one left off. It doesn't waste a lot of time explaining itself and catching people up. I didn't mind that because I had just read the last one. Charlotte is still Charlotte and I love everything about her. I love that she loves to eat and finds nothing wrong with it as long as she doesn't collect too many chins. She is unapologetically herself and I wish I could be more like her. I don't necessarily have a problem being myself but her ability to brush off people's negative opinions of her borders on an art form. She's just so Charlotte and I love her for it. Plot: Charlotte still lives with Mrs. Watson and they have kept up the charade of Sherlock Holmes being confined to his room because of his illness. Things get interesting, however, when one of the people that seek out Sherlock's help is none other than Lady Ingram. Obviously, Charlotte cannot act as Sherlock's sister, so she sends out Mrs. Watson's niece Penelope (great niece? I can't remember). Lady Ingram needs someone found. And not just anyone, but someone she loved before her marriage to Lord Ingram. They have a standing meeting on Lady Ingram's birthday. They will pass one another without saying a thing, just to let each other know that they are alive and well. They don't speak or do anything, just walk by. This year, however, he didn't show. It gets really interesting when Lady Ingram provides his name. Myron Finch. Charlotte's illegitimate brother. While all of that is going on, Charlotte has someone who has proposed to her in the past renew his desire to marry her. All the while there is a very series murder investigation going on that Charlotte is consulted on unofficially/accidentally. There is also a side plot with Livia, Charlotte sister and a man that she meets and begins to bond with. This being a Sherlockian book, all of these things end up being connected. The fun, of course, is discovering how they fit together. I quite literally have zero complaints about this book. It was perfection. What amazes me is how these books somehow manage to be both relaxing and completely engrossing. It feels like not much happens, yet as I was writing the synopsis I realized there was a lot to cover. The writing was top notch and there was the wonderful feeling of familiarity that comes with revisiting characters you have come to know well. I was happy to know that even Treadles is back. I feel like I know him well and I enjoy his parts of the plot. But then again, this entire review is basically one giant ode to the pure amazingness that is this book. I enjoyed every single part of this book. As with the first book, the actual mystery of the book wasn't that important to me. I enjoy the process. I love the interviews, the incognito shenanigans, and the slow trickle of clues. BUT. This book really blew me away because at the very end something huge is revealed that left me gasping. My mind was blown. We are treated to the drama that is Charlotte and Lord Ingram's relationship. There is such delicious sexual tension between the two of them but it is kicked up a notch by the more permanent reappearance of Lord Bancroft, Lord Ingram's brother. I would never call what is between the three of them an actual love triangle, but it is a really fascinating dynamic. It is complex and full of drama without feeling contrived and overwrought. Perhaps my favorite part of this series is the way Charlotte rebels against the constraints of society and navigates her way through them. Charlotte is intelligent enough to realize that the only way she can combat these limitations is to find her way around them. Charlotte and her friends are smart, resourceful, sneaky, and damn creative in getting their answers and I want to be a part of their club. I want to impersonate other people, solve codes, and outsmart villains. Seriously, if you enjoyed the first book, just read this one. I loved this one even more than the first, most likely because it felt like I was visiting old friends. Who wouldn't want that? *I received an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I just finished and put down the book, A Conspiracy at Belgravia and I am flabbergasted. Speechless. Gobsmacked. The ending of the book was not what I expected. The author, Sherry Thomas, did a fantastic job creating an infrastructure, a framework to successfully carry the weight of the book. The infrastructure to manage complicated dialogue, a mystery-sleuth whodunit, and strong willed main characters, especially the protagonist, Charlotte Holmes. The dialogue read & sounded authentic Victorian English, while this is good for the book, at times slowed down my reading. Character development and interactions are appropriately complex to meet the changing needs of the circumstances. However, not having read book one, A Study in Scarlet Women, I felt I missed the backstory, the foundation for book two. The book can sweep you up into the book, to be an active versus a passive reader. Characters flowed around easily and as well as crossed paths appropriately. To really be able to read this book for an amount of time you have to be all in. And luckily the book invites you to do that... When an author can sweep the reader into their world it’s a result of all inputs coming together at once: the framework of the storyline, character development and interactions and strong dialogue. When this trifecta works the story-line works and it worked for A Conspiracy in Belgravia. I truly enjoyed the book as it was a wonderful read. I Highly Recommend Reading the Book especially if you are a Sherlock Holmes fan.

A Conspiracy in Belgravia was an excellent mystery that lives up to its predecessor and I really enjoyed it. A Conspiracy in Belgravia picks up immediately following the conclusion of the first book, A Study in Scarlet Women. Charlotte Holmes, with the assistance of Mrs. Watson, helps solve a variety of mysteries from murder to a lost ring as the illustrious Sherlock Holmes. Charlotte did not however foresee one of her future clients to be Lady Ingram, wife of her dear friend Lord Ingram. Things go further sideways when Lady Ingram wants Sherlock to help locate her first love who has gone missing, a man who is none other than Charlotte's illegitimate half brother. A Conspiracy in Belgravia works well on its own as the mystery within is contained to this one book, however I feel it's best if you read the first book before picking this one up. By not reading the first book, you'd miss out on some of the character connections and there are several scenes that wouldn't fully make sense if you don't have the entire back story. Charlotte continues to be a character who impresses me. Her powers of deduction are simply incredible and I love watching her puzzle things out. I do like that she's not entirely infallible and does occasionally have to go over things again before she works out the truth. Her relationships with other characters are definitely intriguing as Charlotte doesn't process emotions the same way every one else does. Her relationship with her sister Livia is a prime example of how odd things with Charlotte can be and I wish they'd had more of a chance to interact. I am excited to see where Livia's writings about Sherlock go and hope there's more of that in future books. Mrs. Watson continues to be my favorite side character in the bunch. Her relationship with Charlotte is excellent and their scenes continue to be some of the best ones. Lord Ingram doesn't appear in this book as much as the first, but I loved every time he popped up. His and Charlotte's relationship is certainly an interesting one and I'm curious to see where it will go in future books. Lord Bancroft, Lord Ingram's brother, is a character I'm not quite sure how I feel about yet. Inspector Treadles is probably the character I like the least as I don't appreciate his views on women, but he is likely an accurate representation of the average person in this time period. One of the places these books continue to excel is in the main case Charlotte finds herself involved in. This time around there was a lot to do with code breaking and ciphers which I really enjoyed as I find the subject fascinating. Throughout the book there were several seemingly unrelated avenues Charlotte explored that ultimately tied together nicely and I very much enjoyed the final outcome. I'm being intentionally vague as I don't want to give anything away as I find the mysteries in these books to be some of the best parts. I will say I'm very interested to see where things go with Moriarty and how much of a role he'll have in future books. There was only one small case in this book outside of the main mystery unlike the first book which had several. The case itself was a good one and I was surprised by the outcome, but it felt out of place in the book. Every time they'd stop to work on it, it disrupted the flow of the story and I feel the book would have been better served with only the one main case. Overall, I am very much enjoying Thomas' take on Sherlock and definitely recommend the Lady Sherlock series to anyone looking for a great historical fiction series with some excellent mysteries. I now eagerly await future installments in this series.

I very much enjoyed Sherry Thomas’ A Conspiracy in Belgravia. The characters of Charlotte Holmes and her Mrs. Watson are the most well developed and, Charlotte especially, continues to charm and amaze. But I think it might have been some of the secondaries that stole the show in this second installment. I loved getting to know Penelope and Lord Ingram’s brother Bancroft as well as getting a more fleshed out version of Charlotte’s sister Livia. The mystery at hand involves Lord Ingram’s estranged wife and wrapped up quite nicely while also building on the bigger storyline at hand, the antagonist Moriarty and his organization who are at odds with Queen and Country and thereby Charlotte. I did feel the pacing of the book was a bit slow for my taste, it rolled along slowly for a good two thirds of the book but picked up steam during the final third and finished with some surprising revelations. I adore this all female retelling of Sherlock Holmes, there are many retellings out there, and a few with the gender roles reversed in similar fashion. However with Sherry Thomas’ skill at writing this period so well, as witnessed in her many outstanding romance novels, I have to put her rendition near the top of the pack. If there is one disappointment for this reader it would have to be the absolutely glacial pace at which the romance between Charlotte and Lord Ingram is developing. For all the romance this author has written, and written really, really well, you’d never know it in this book. I’m all about the slow burn but this romantic hopes there will be much more to write home about in the next installment. Other than that I enjoyed the book and look forward to part three!

I love this series! I honestly think I liked this second book even better than the first because all of the characters and backstory were set up in the first book, so you can jump right into new mysteries! I also enjoyed how Thomas wove the main case from the first book into the story of this book, tying them together even more than I had anticipated. This book was thoroughly readable and had me turning pages late into the night. I love the Sherlock mysteries and this new spin on them is simply wonderful. I will be waiting impatiently for the next one.

“There is nothing like the pleasure of a good book that pulls you in by the lapels and doesn’t let go until The End. God gives us only one life. But with good books, we can live a hundred, even a thousand lives in the time we are allotted on this earth.” Fall is the perfect time for cozy mysteries. And who is not the king of mysteries but Sherlock Holmes? This Labor Day weekend I wrapped up A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas. Second in a series the book follows Charlotte Holmes, AKA London’s most famous private inspector. Gifted with the talent of observation and deduction, in a sexist society Charlotte is forced to offer her services underground by meeting clients and going into the field for her “bedridden” brother. In her work she is assisted by her assistant Mrs. Watson and Penelope, Watson’s niece. It is not until Lady Ingram shows up in the detective’s parlor, seeking help to find her lost love that Charlotte finds herself between a rock and a hard place. Lady Ingram is clearly a woman in distress, but she is also estranged wife to Lord Ingram, Charlotte’s benefactor and friend. Then the bodies start to appear. Part mystery, part historical fiction, A Conspiracy in Belgravia was a departure from the usual Holmes literature. Notable was the theme of gender inequality in the period, and the massive divide that often separated the sexes. Strong female characters made up the backbone of the story, women who were unafraid to fly in the face of conventionality. Also included were women of all sizes. Charlotte was a woman who unashamedly enjoyed food and drink, a refreshing concept to come across in my reading when we are so often barraged with the ideal of thin athletic women in the media. The writing was lyrical and rhythmic, the sentences flowed with a variety that keeps the plot line flowing. I made a game out of guessing at the details of the case, pulling at the loose threads the author leaves in the fabric of the story, but true to the spirit of a Sherlock mystery I was not able to puzzle out the ending until the last pages. There are some cliffhangers to the novel, and some details that might have made more sense had I read the first book in the series, but for most part the book can be enjoyed as a standalone. The characters are well developed, and while reading the story I couldn’t help but become invested in some of the relationships. I look forward to reading future books in the series, and the story line holds a lot of promise in the terms of growth. Overall I gave the book 4/5 stars, and I believe it is a book that a reader can relate to at any age. Charlotte is unapologetic of her unique personality and intellect, an inspiration to anyone who has found themselves marching to the beat of a different drum (namely all of humanity). *Thank you to First to Read and the author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for a honest review. All opinions stated here are my own.

A Scandal In Belgravia by Sherry Thomas was my first outing with this series. I am a huge lover of the original Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and thought this would be a fun read. It is a fun read, but. I did find that without reading the first book I was a little bit lost at times at the back story to Charlotte Holmes. The mystery itself was also, to my mind, convoluted and some storylines didn't seem to go anywhere (and perhaps will be picked up at a later time in this series). That being said, the characters are fun and the glance back to Victorian England in its heyday was engaging. I loved the updated character crossovers

I had mixed feelings about A Study in Scarlet Women but I enjoyed it enough to want to continue with the series. Sadly, I think this series just isn't for me. It is well-written and I love the world but the plot was very convoluted and I had a hard time really getting into the book.

I adore this mystery series. Charlotte Holmes acting as Sherlock Holmes is a breath of fresh air. From her love of baked goods to her prickly personality and her powerful observations. I love that this series features strong independent women at a time it was no considered acceptable. Livia really stole my heart in this one. You also get more insight into Lord Ingram's affection for Charlotte. And it ended with a revelation that makes me excited for the next book.

Thomas delivers another well-written and complex book. I enjoyed this one more than the first in the series mainly because the set-up of the series has already been accomplished. The mystery was interesting, but the best part of this series is the characters and their interactions.

A Conspiracy in Belgravia is a solid historical fiction novel with a little mystery mixed in. Charlotte Holmes is shunned from society, so she turns to what she does best: sleuthing. She helps people solve all manner of small mysteries but is stumped when a bigger fish comes her way. The wife of one of Charlotte's best friends seeks her help in finding a long lost love. Throw in an untimely marriage proposal and you have an entertaining read. The writing is good and sounds of the time but is easy to read. Historical fiction fans will like this one. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you to the publisher and Penguin First to Read for providing me with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

I love Sherry Thomas' writing and I really enjoyed the 1st book in the series. This story a bit more convoluted then "A Study in Scarlet Women", but I loved discovering everything and making deductions as Charlotte did. The action takes place over 2 weeks and a few more characters are introduced to the overall plot. I, for one, can't wait to see how everything works up, in the end. 4*

I can't speak to how closely this novel mirrors Doyle's, because I haven't read that one. However, I can say that, if it's as full of connected twists as this, I'm gonna give it a miss. ? The biggest drawback in this series is Charlotte herself, who is not developed enough as a character to be interesting. Her main personality trait is that she really really likes to eat (girl, I get it). It's something, I guess, but it's not enough to define her as anything more than by her intelligence and her appetite. ? In terms of other events, there's a lot that is irrelevant to the main plot. Livia's entire unknown suitor storyline could be cut, as well as Inspector Treadle's dumb concern that he's not good enough for his wife. I suspect these are threads that will be picked up in subsequent books, but I don't know that I'm interested enough to commit to reading any more. ?

I'm in a reading slump and it's not fair at all to this book, because I'm only 6 pages in, but already I feel so lost and I'm not wanting to work to understand what a book is talking about, I just want something easy to get me out of this slump. I feel like I came into it at a loss because I haven't read the first one. I didn't think it would be necessary to read the first one, but there are like, 4 different Holmes women being mentioned in the first six pages and that is too much for me to take on right now. I do really appreciate that I was given the chance to read this by First to Read, but I just can't do it right now. I'm going to have to read the first one and then come back to it. I love Sherlock Holmes, so I'm running on the assumption that I'll like this, but I'm going to have to read the first one, otherwise I'll just be frustrated through this whole book wondering which Holmes woman is which.

Disclaimer: I received a free advance review copy of this book from the publisher. 3.5 stars. I was really looking forward to this book because I enjoyed the first one so much. However, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. I still love the world and characters, but the plot was muddy. Writing that many story threads has to be incredibly difficult, and some of them were seemingly forgotten, either that or they made no difference to the end and were dropped. And the resolution at the end was both too convenient and too unbelievable. Without being too spoilery, I can't believe he let her go, knowing the danger she presented. That sentence won't make too much sense until you read the book, but there's no spoiler tag, so I don't want to ruin the surprise for anyone.

I really like the Lady Sherlock Series. The first book was on my to read list for a long time but I never got around to it. It just so happens that I finished it the day I found out there was to be a second book and a week before this ARC became available to me. I will say this is a book that helps with having read the first one. There is not a lot of recap for new reads so you miss the initial back story and development of these characters. Sherry Thomas does a great job at taking the original characters of the Conan Doyle series and transforming them into these female versions. Having a female Sherlock, Watson, and even Conan Doyle creates an interesting view of Victorian Society. These brilliant, independent characters work within the constraints that their world puts on them in such a way that it is a nice hybrid of Victorian and Twenty-First Century sensibilities. I am very interested to see what is in store for Charlotte Holmes next.

I was provided this ARC from Penguin Books and First to Read for my honest review. I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't get into it. I love Sherlock Holmes and the style of writing consistent with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but this book did not accomplish that for me. I was successfully confused as to what was going on and who was who. I was unable to keep up with the plot line or the character development. I did not finish this book because of those factors. I had hoped for a much better novel that provided the adventure and intrigue one expects from Sherlock Holmes.

This is the second book in the Charlotte Holmes series and I am eager to find out where Sherry Thomas will take her characters next. Charlotte solves domestic problems and mysteries as the sister of an ailing Sherlock Holmes with the assistance of Mrs. Watson. While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I would have benefitted from reading the first book in the series, which introduces the characters and sets the scene for the events in this book. However, as the story progressed, I was drawn into the investigation and was able to piece together the events from the previous book. In this case Charlotte is hired by the wife of her benefactor. Before her marriage, she was in love with an unacceptable suitor. They still rendezvous once a year just to see each other. He did not show up this year and Lady Ingram needs to discover why. When Charlotte discovers that the suitor is her half brother, she is determined to discover his fate. With an unwanted suitor of her own, codes to be broken and murders to be solved, Thomas has crafted a novel that should satisfy any Sherlock fan.

I enjoyed this book. The mystery unfolded slowly and deliberately, just like in the first book of the series. Charlotte is a very interesting character, and it is intriguing to read about her, and all of her friends and associates. The evolution of "Sherlock Holmes" builds quite nicely. I would definitely recommend reading the first book before this one, even immediately before this one. The way the author backhandedly drops little clues and takes her time revealing information would be almost impossible to follow without reading reading book one first; I even had a hard time remembering details, characters, and events because I read the first book several months ago. This "mysteriousness" on the part of the author may frustrate some readers--it was hard to keep up with all the Moriarty subplot--but it does fall in line with the world the author is trying to create, as well as the nature of Charlotte. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an interesting mystery, fans of Sherlock Holmes, fans of Victorian London, or those who enjoy a strong female heroine who refuses to conform. But I would caution reading the first book in the series before tackling A Conspiracy in Belgravia.

The last three books I have downloaded from First to Read have appeared on my Adobe Digital Elements, Nook and Ipad in a type that is way too small to comfortably read and I have not been able to enlarge the font in any of the three formats. I don't know what is different with the past three books, but this did not happen in any of the earlier books I have downloaded from First to Read. At any rate, I would love to read this book and any others you have to offer, as long as there is a way to comfortably read them and a simple way to download them.

I really want to say I enjoyed this story simply because it is an interesting idea. A woman playing Sherlock Holmes sister and solving crimes and everyday oddities. But I can't. The very first paragraph is confusing. You have Inspector Treadles, a man that has been shown to be incompetent by a fallen woman, during a time period when women were thought to be inferior and the best he can come up with, even in his own thoughts, is "Sherlock Holmes". He is jealous and hurt that he is losing a dear friend and he has no emotion but disdain? I don't swear by choice but even in my own mind when someone hurts my feelings and I am jealous I am likely to call said person a bastard. Charlotte herself is a confusing character. She is a fallen woman but it's not made completely clear what her great scandal is. By the fourth chapter your luck to have found out she is in love with Lord Ingram. And let's not mention that she is supposedly in love with this guy but shows more passion for food than for him. She's practical and non-sentimental by nature and yet she is so in love with food she has a double chin? Now you have the character Lord Bancroft. This makes even less sense. You have a fallen woman, a woman in love with your own brother and you ask her to marry you? For what so she can see your brother everyday and wish she was married to him? But let's get into this mystery guy Myron Finch. Charlotte thinks about her family in chapter two. She mentions sisters and her parents. Nothing about an illegitimate brother. Her parents are so worried about appearances and yet dad his a sin by another woman? He isn't even mentioned until page 53. And as if that wasn't bad enough Charlotte's sister Livia is having a Season. She is in the park with her druggy mom Lady Holmes. She is in London with her PARENTS. Lord Henry and Lady Holmes. But on page 73 you find out her father Lord Henry had a fiancee that died and that he was thought to have killed her. This from parents that are respectable and only want to keep up appearances? Are they divorced? Because it doesn't sound that way. So we can assume that Lord Henry is a bigomist. Why go on? It's not worth finishing. I normally would not write or even dare to criticize someone else's ideas and imagination, but you can't start a story with characters you yourself are not sure about. Make up your mind. Is Charlotte practical or sentimental? Is Lord Henry married or not? Is the Inspector just stuck up or does he really feel anger and hurt? If this isn't the finally written copy then I will read it again when it is but this is just not worth reading without a rewrite. I apologize if it seems harsh, but it is not for me to define your characters it is for you to do.

OMG! OMG! OMG! Let me just say, I never give false praise. I'll give decent reviewed, but rarely five stars and praise. I just finished the second book in this series. It has been years since I absolutely loved everything to do with a book. I'm so picky; I almost always have at least one thing to bitch about. But I absolutely LOVE this series. Now I have book hangover, and nothing will be as good as this. My only advice is to read this with no expectations. Don't read this as if you're expecting exactly a Sherlock Holmes novel. I seriously love this series.

A Conspiracy in Belgravia, the sequel to A Study in Scarlet Women, takes the same characters we know and love – Charlotte, Lord Ingram, and Mrs. Watson, and develops them even further. Charlotte must face a difficult decision and at the end of the novel not only is a dangerous foe revealed, but their lives are changed irrevocably forever. After Charlotte Holmes fell from society, and then rose again as ‘Sherlock Holmes’ she has been using her skills to help solve cases big and small. However, this new case will be unlike any other as Lady Ingram approaches the esteemed detective in order to find her missing first love. Seems simple enough – except that this mystery man turns out to be none other than Charlotte Holme’s illegitimate half-brother. Not only is there drama within the Sherlock Holmes world, but Charlotte herself receives an unexpected proposal, a mysterious stranger, and an unidentified corpse. Entranced by the character of Charlotte Holmes, I was so ready to dive back into her world and deductive skills. I was not disappointed. She remains, as ever, my favorite re-imagined Sherlock. Her love for food is unrivaled and these were some of my favorite quotes from the book. It also makes Charlotte seem more human like, as food is on her mind frequently. (I find some authors forget about food entirely! On another note, I greatly enjoyed learning more about ciphers from Charlotte this book). This book deals with a topic extensively: marriage and securing one’s future. I vastly appreciated this discussion because Charlotte, Livia, and Lady Ingram all represent different angles of this question: how does a lady secure her future? Lady Ingram has already, but the disappearance of her lover reminds us of the sacrifices one must make to be secure. What options do women have in this time period? Charlotte’s marriage proposal calls into question the exact same questions. What is she willing to sacrifice for her, and potentially her sister’s, future? Retellings can be difficult, especially with such a famous character as Sherlock Holmes. I am constantly pleased with how Thomas explores the possibility of imagination. This continuous dance is taken on in this sequel by uncovering more aspects of the legendary tale. It is a fantastic game, while reading, to see where the pieces from the story will interact with the infamous Sherlock. How does Thomas defy our expectations? We too are detectives in this endeavor. But while I was enchanted again by the characters of Charlotte, Livia, and Mrs.Watson, the multiple perspectives shifting did not allow me to concentrate fully on Charlotte. This technique resulted in a parting feeling of displeasure, because I felt that her story had felt incomplete. It was not, in terms of the details and events, but I did not feel as if I knew her well enough – unlike in the first book. Additionally, this book required a bit more patience because there were so many threads of the plot coming together which was admirably masterful, but tedious to piece together. However, once the strands started interweaving, the plot and action picked up because puzzle pieces kept clicking together. But in the beginning it felt a little here and there, scattered, and a tad confusing. With this in mind, I must stress that at the end the plot comes together with dazzling speed and brilliance. I am still reeling from it, almost as if I was quickly reeled in from fishing – it feels a little like whiplash. If you were a remote fan of the first, you must pick up the second, as Charlotte’s story and her family develop significantly in this novel. A new foe is revealed and another plot twist at the end. You leave the book in a different world than you began and there are so many possibilities for Charlotte Holmes. I am eagerly awaiting the next because Charlotte remains one of my favorite Sherlock retellings.

The second in the series for Charlotte Holmes and her invisible brother, Sherlock. I loved the first book, A Study in Scarlet Women, and was incredibly eager to read the sequel. The sequel is a disappointment. It is not a stand alone book; even though it's only been a year since I read the first, there were details that I have forgotten. If I hadn't read the first, I would have been lost. Very little really happened here; this was a set-up for meeting Moriarty, although what Moriarty is in this series I have no idea. All of this series depends on knowing the original Sherlock Holmes nomenclature, so it has become fan fiction rather than stories in their own right. That's disappointing and unexpected. It needn't have gone that route. Ultimately, I had expected Charlotte to be unorthodox and in this book she is so consumed with food and clothing that she becomes very normal. I grew tired of reading about her food obsessions and the number of her chins. What happened to her brain and her creativity? In this book she is clearly not agile of body, but could she not have other obsessions, than those of food and reading? I stopped reading this book several times out of boredom. I received my copy from Penguin's First to Read Program.

This is the second book in the Lady Sherlock series, where Charlotte Holmes, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, solves crimes as well as smaller domestic puzzles. I can't say too much about the plot of this book without spoiling the first in the series, but I will say that I think I enjoyed this one even more than the first. Charlotte continues to be an eccentric, brilliant character who manages to escape society's pressure to be a lady and marry a gentleman. The mystery here is complicated, in a good way, in that there are several questions she seeks answers to at one time. In fact, we don't learn the answer to one person's fate until the very last page. This book comes out September 5th; both this one and A Study in Scarlet Women are paperback originals. I received a free copy from Penguin and am happy to give my honest review.The only draw back to reading this book prior to its publication is that now I will be waiting quite a while for book #3!

As someone who has always enjoyed the tales of Sherlock Holmes as written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, venturing out into different writers' takes on a much beloved character is a bit more difficult for me but I do like to give them a chance and sometimes wind up pleasantly surprised by them. This is my first foray into the world of one Miss Charlotte Holmes, a female Sherlock Holmes. I didn't feel like I was missing anything from not having read the first novel in this series. Rather, it was very easy to grasp these new versions of well known characters and the new characters included in this series. The plot for this one in particular centers around Lady Ingram's request for Sherlock Holmes to find her first love, a man Charlotte is shocked to find is actually her half brother. I found it to be very intriguing. The story just pulls you in and keeps its grasp on you the whole way through. It does have its rather bumpy moments plot wise, but it was such a well crafted story otherwise that it didn't really take away from anything whatsoever. It was an enjoyable and thrilling read. I'm definitely looking forward to more from Ms. Thomas.

This was a well-written and well researched entry in the Victorian detective series Lady Sherlock. The manners and settings were consistent and intriguing, but I thought the plot skipped around more than I liked - not to the point of being incoherent, but with side jaunts that did not advance either character or plot to any degree. I extend thanks to the First to Read program from Penguin Books for the pre-publication copy of A Conspiracy in Belgravia.

 


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