In the second installment of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series, Gemma Doyle has a wonderful opportunity present itself: a popular author wants to do a signing session at her shop. A bestselling author. Gemma works quickly to make the shop ready to accommodate all of the fans and the author herself is a little over the top. Jayne helps out with making sure that Mrs. Hudson’s tearoom has enough food to accommodate the extra patrons as well.
The author, Renalta, along with her team request water bottles for the event. Renalta has arthritic hands so she requests that the lids be loosened for her ahead of time.
Some red flags happen along the way from a woman claiming to have had her book idea stolen to a rabidly obsessive fan causing disruption at a dinner.
During the small speech made before the signing, Donald Morris causesa scene over his outrage at Renalta ruining the canon of Sherlock. The bookshop is packed so many witness this exchange. After Renalta puts Donald in his place, she begins to do her autograph session. After the signings Renalta falls down dead.
Gemma quickly realizes the water was the most likely culprit. She quickly sniffs and sure enough smells burned almonds. Cyanide. The water was left unattended multiple times during the event and many people had access as well as opportunity to tamper with them.
Donald is the first one to be suspected. The police pounce on him as the number one suspect. He appeals to Gemma to find who really committed the crime.
Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied PA Linda who turns out to be a bigger player in everything than previously expected, to her frustrated publicist, Kevin, who is in love with Linda. Then there is the publisher, an attractive rare book dealer, the obsessive fan and the woman who claims Renalta stole her book ideas. Then of course there is the group of fans of the original Sherlock that Donald is a part of whom believe Renalta bastardized the original content and as gone too far.
It’s up to Gemma (and Jayne too!) to clear Donalds name without offending the investigators on the case. Ryan puts himself on the line for her again in this installment and Gemma ets told more than once to butt out of things. She can’t.
Delany weaves another exciting tale, her descriptions of outfits and food on point yet again, that keeps this cozy mystery a page-turner all the way through the final page.
The cover art on this one is beautiful just like the very first installment. I adore the attention to detail. Not only is the cat Moriarty included, but prominently displayed in the shop window art is the very first book in this series. Clever addition. I love the inclusion of the Sherlock bust again. Bravo to the cover artist!
Check this one out if you are a fan of cozy mysteries, modern re-tellings/Sherlock, or if you want to dive into an engaging page-turner. This series does not disappoint!
I am a sucker for a good mystery. I loved the very first book in this series when I reviewed it. I am including my review on book one: