Elementary, She Read: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
by Vicki Delany
1st in Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (March 14, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop–located at 222 Baker Street–specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.
The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman’s suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it’s a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.
Creating a Character: Gemma Doyle and the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Series
By Vicki Delany
When I first came up with the idea for the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, I planned on creating a standard cozy in which the main character owns a book store that specializes in anything to do with Sherlock Holmes.
But by around page two, she began to morph from a pleasant young woman into a modern Sherlock Holmes. I guess you could say that Gemma Doyle took over control of her character from me, the supposed writer.
I’m glad she did, as I’ve had a lot of fun trying to imagine Sherlock as a modern young woman. She’s as intelligent, as quick-witted, and as perspective as The Great Detective, but I have made her (found her to be?) softer and not quite as abrasive, although she can still be lacking some of the, shall we say, finer points of social skills.
The book store is located at 220 Baker Street, in West London, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. I’ve stocked it with all the novels and short story collections of the Holmes pastiche, the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books, modern essays and interpretations, as well as a shelf full of gaslight mysteries and tons of Sherlock memorabilia. It’s been rather surprising to me to discover just how much of that stuff there is. It really would be possible to have an entire store with nothing but Sherlock Holmes.
Gemma Doyle has, unlike Sherlock Holmes, actual friends. One of whom is Jayne Wilson, who owns Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room located next door at 222 Baker Street.
She also has romantic interests. She was on the verge of getting engaged some years ago, but the proposal never happened.
In this scene, she remembers why their engagement never came to pass:
“You’re wearing your best suit and a brand new tie, if I’m not
mistaken. You’ve gone to the trouble of shaving after work
which you normally don’t do. You’ve even polished your
shoes. You have a touch of sweat on your brow but this room
isn’t hot. Somewhat to the contrary, I think. They’ve turned the
air conditioning on too early. The bulge in your jacket pocket is
the size and shape of a ring box. You gave the waiter an
unobtrusive nod that had him grinning like a fool, and if I’m not
mistaken, he’s bringing the champagne now, Veuve Clicquot,
Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany
Now, he’s back in town. And he’s the lead detective for the local police.
When Gemma finds a rare old copy of the world’s most expensive magazine, Beeton’s Christmas Annual of December 1887, hidden in the shop, she can’t help herself from investigating.
And the game, most definitely, is afoot.
About the Author
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. She is the author of twenty-three published crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, and the Year Round Christmas Mysteries. Under the pen name of Eva Gates she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series.
The first in Vicki’s Sherlock Holmes bookshop series, Elementary She Read, will be released in March 2017 from Crooked Lane Books.
Vicki lives and writes in Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.
check out the other blogs on this tour
March 13 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW
March 13 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
March 13 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – SPOTLIGHT
March 14 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
March 14 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – REVIEW
March 15 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
March 15 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
March 16 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW
March 16 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
March 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
March 17 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
March 18 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW
March 18 – Girl with Book Lungs – GUEST POST
March 19 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
March 20 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
March 20 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
March 21 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
March 21 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
March 22 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
March 22 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW
March 22 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
March 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
March 23 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
March 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
March 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
March 24 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
March 25 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
March 25 – Island Confidential – spotlight
March 26 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW
March 26 – Girl Lost In a Book – REVIEW