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

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.

I cannot open the downladed documemnts in the formats provided either with my NOOK, Computer or Samsung-Kindle unit. I have downloaded all possible Adobe versions of software. I get the following message : Adobe Acrobat Reader could not open "URLLink.acsm" because it is either not a supported file type or because the file has been damaged (for example, it was sent as an email attachment and wasn't correctly decoded). The acsm file is all that I receive when I download. I would need another file type to partcipate, please.

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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