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A Conspiracy in Belgravia

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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 that 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. It was so much fun diving back into the atmospheric and mysterious Victorian London world that Thomas has created in her Lady Sherlock series Once again Charlotte and her friends were a treat to see and conspire with As a mystery always rich in detail and curiosity slowly unfolds as Charlotte puts her deductive talents into play and figures it all out before anyone else and before the danger becomes too great to those she knows and loves And she does it all while trying to keep it a secret as much as possible from those who don't know that the famous Sherlock Holmes is none other than Charlotte herself Set in a time and place that women were suppose to be almost anything other than clever and ambitious I love that Charlotte doesn't turn away from the challenge to shock those around her and stand tall and true to who she is with little thought to what society will think about it This book this series has some of the most romantic lines that never were Lines that are thought but never spoken out loud Truly swoon worthy and in large part other than the whole this book rocks all by itself already thing it is one of the main reasons I keep coming back time and again to Ms Thomas' writing It is just so well written and so beautiful in both mystery and prose and the tragic love story that might never be I devoured this in a night and was sad that I didn't take longer with it I wanted to both savor and eat it up I sincerely hope the next book will be here before I know it I just can't get enough of this series rich with a mystery that keeps me on my toes and characters that are every bit as fun and intriguing as the story line itself ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

FREE READ á SIGMAENCLOSURES.CO.UK · Sherry Thomas

The game is afoot as Charlotte Holmes returns in the atmospheric second novel in New York Times bestseller Sherry Thomas's Victorian set Lady Sherlock seriesBeing 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 this second installment the Lady Sherlock series officially becomes my favorite historical fiction series of all timeNothing else even comes close Five stars are NOT ENOUGH — I have literally never said that in a review beforedeep breathSherry Thomas is a goddess She has literally given me everything I have ever wanted from this genreInteresting take on a retelling ✔Compelling romantic sub plot ✔Accurate depiction of a time period ✔Whip smart female lead ✔Plots within plots ✔A complex cast of characters ✔Feminism ✔Honestly I could go on and on here This list is really never ending So lemme try to get my shit together and stop fangirlinganother deep breathThe Lady Sherlock series centers around Charlotte Holmes a woman who is so smart that normal mortals struggle with her intelligence Especially since this is set in a time period where women were generally understood to be second class citizens to be lesser than men in every regardWhen I say that this centers on Charlotte I mean that these books are told through multiple third person PoVs The cast of characters are all connected to her in some way but they each have their own voice and story arcs that progress along with the seriesI am invested in each and every one of them Even the characters I don’t really like because through Charlotte’s astounding insight I understand them and want them to understand themselves and become better people when they doCharlotte I think might be my favorite female lead of all time So often when an author delivers us a woman genius they divorce all femininity from the character It subtly reinforces the stigma that intelligence masculinity It prologues the obnoxious belief that women can’t be taken seriously if they like fashion or pretty things or show emotionSherry Thomas thinks that’s bullshitSo she writes Charlotte with a delicious mix of wit and eccentricity Charlotte can tell you what the weather was like in the town you passed through yesterday morning just by looking at you But she also adores ornate gowns dressed with ribbons and bows She takes great pleasure from sugary confections wrapped in pretty parcelsAnd while her cool logic might render her outwardly calm and unshakable she is not immune or allergic to displays of strong emotions in others Despite what the other characters may think It was all too easy at times to believe that she never felt anything that inside her rib cage beat not a heart but the metronomic device of an automaton She’s not unfeeling She has a heart Her emotions just manifest differently than how others expectI adored the first book in this series This one is somehow even better The character growth or maybe not growth but expansion is phenomenal And the plot Yea godsIt starts off simple enough an aristocratic lady searching for her long lost loveA good analogy is that this plot is like a ball of twine In the beginning of this book it’s a tightly woven orderly thing And then it just unravels from there Three uarters of the way through it looks like something a litter of kittens got into and dragged halfway throughout the house You have no idea which strands attach to each other or how to make any sense of it It’s a convoluted jumble that you have no idea how to put back together And then Sherry Thomas takes you by the hand and pulls you away from it to look at it from a greater distance and you realize that there was a pattern there all along One so complex and ingenious that you’re not even mad you didn’t see itSeriously the first time I read the ending of this book I set it aside and muttered “Well shit”It’s no wonder that Charlotte reads like a legitimate genius when she comes from a mind like Thomas’And she does read like one There’s a part early on in this installment where she solves a complex code called a Vigenère cipher that is truly breathtaking And I speak as someone with a background in this As someone who worked in binary and morse Who listened to sueaks and beeps for the government for over a decade and whose job it was to make sense of them for other peopleSo yeah this series will forever hold a special place in my heartI cannot recommend it enough for readers with long attention spans For those who adore the classics Or for anyone looking for a complex yet still fun and captivating set of stories capable of wholly transporting you to another time and placeBlog | FB | Twitter | IG | Pinterest | Tumblr | YouTube Guilt (Abe Glitsky, just by looking at you But she also adores ornate gowns dressed with ribbons and bows She takes great pleasure from sugary confections wrapped in pretty parcelsAnd while her cool logic might render her outwardly calm and unshakable she is not immune or allergic to displays of strong emotions in others Despite what the other characters may think It was all too easy at times to believe that she never felt anything that inside her rib cage beat not a heart but the metronomic device of an automaton She’s not unfeeling She has a heart Her emotions A Kite for Moon just manifest differently than how others expectI adored the first book in this series This one is somehow even better The character growth or maybe not growth but expansion is phenomenal And the plot Yea godsIt starts off simple enough an aristocratic lady searching for her long lost loveA good analogy is that this plot is like a ball of twine In the beginning of this book it’s a tightly woven orderly thing And then it World Without End just unravels from there Three uarters of the way through it looks like something a litter of kittens got into and dragged halfway throughout the house You have no idea which strands attach to each other or how to make any sense of it It’s a convoluted Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, jumble that you have no idea how to put back together And then Sherry Thomas takes you by the hand and pulls you away from it to look at it from a greater distance and you realize that there was a pattern there all along One so complex and ingenious that you’re not even mad you didn’t see itSeriously the first time I read the ending of this book I set it aside and muttered “Well shit”It’s no wonder that Charlotte reads like a legitimate genius when she comes from a mind like Thomas’And she does read like one There’s a part early on in this installment where she solves a complex code called a Vigenère cipher that is truly breathtaking And I speak as someone with a background in this As someone who worked in binary and morse Who listened to sueaks and beeps for the government for over a decade and whose Annies War job it was to make sense of them for other peopleSo yeah this series will forever hold a special place in my heartI cannot recommend it enough for readers with long attention spans For those who adore the classics Or for anyone looking for a complex yet still fun and captivating set of stories capable of wholly transporting you to another time and placeBlog | FB | Twitter | IG | Pinterest | Tumblr | YouTube

Sherry Thomas · 1 READ

With all manner of inuiries 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 personal for Charlotte as the missing man is none other than. Another brilliant installment in this intensely enjoyable series This is extremely character led murder mystery where a huge part of the pleasure and indeed plot hangs on the interactions of Charlotte Holmes and her close family and companions in detectionIt starts the day after book 1 ends and I'm glad I read them back to back as I suspect it might have been a tad hard to follow otherwise These definitely need to be read in order to grasp the interwoven threads which are done magnificently It's also much better edited than the first am glad the publisher raised their game Terrific Cannot wait to find out what happens in the ongoing story I'm off to get #3


10 thoughts on “A Conspiracy in Belgravia

  1. says:

    With this second installment the Lady Sherlock series officially becomes my favorite historical fiction series of all timeNothing else even comes close Five stars are NOT ENOUGH — I have literally never said that in a review beforedeep breathSherry Thomas is a goddess She has literally given me everything I have ever wanted from this genreInteresting take on a retelling ✔Compelling romantic sub plot ✔Accurate depiction of a time period ✔Whip smart female lead ✔Plots within plots ✔A complex cast of characters ✔Feminism ✔Honestly I could go on and on here This list is really never ending So lemme try to get my shit together and stop fangirlinganother deep breathThe Lady Sherlock series centers around Charlotte Holmes a woman who is so smart that normal mortals struggle with her intelligence Especially since this is set in a time period where women were generally understood to be second class citizens to be lesser than men in every regardWhen I say that this centers on Charlotte I mean that these books are told through multiple third person PoVs The cast of characters are all connected to her in some way but they each have their own voice and story arcs that progress along with the seriesI am invested in each and every one of them Even the characters I don’t really like because through Charlotte’s astounding insight I understand them and want them to understand themselves and become better people when they doCharlotte I think might be my favorite female lead of all time So often when an author delivers us a woman genius they divorce all femininity from the character It subtly reinforces the stigma that intelligence masculinity It prologues the obnoxious belief that women can’t be taken seriously if they like fashion or pretty things or show emotionSherry Thomas thinks that’s bullshitSo she writes Charlotte with a delicious mix of wit and eccentricity Charlotte can tell you what the weather was like in the town you passed through yesterday morning just by looking at you But she also adores ornate gowns dressed with ribbons and bows She takes great pleasure from sugary confections wrapped in pretty parcelsAnd while her cool logic might render her outwardly calm and unshakable she is not immune or allergic to displays of strong emotions in others Despite what the other characters may think It was all too easy at times to believe that she never felt anything that inside her rib cage beat not a heart but the metronomic device of an automaton She’s not unfeeling She has a heart Her emotions just manifest differently than how others expectI adored the first book in this series This one is somehow even better The character growth or maybe not growth but expansion? is phenomenal And the plot Yea godsIt starts off simple enough an aristocratic lady searching for her long lost loveA good analogy is that this plot is like a ball of twine In the beginning of this book it’s a tightly woven orderly thing And then it just unravels from there Three uarters of the way through it looks like something a litter of kittens got into and dragged halfway throughout the house You have no idea which strands attach to each other or how to make any sense of it It’s a convoluted jumble that you have no idea how to put back together And then Sherry Thomas takes you by the hand and pulls you away from it to look at it from a greater distance and you realize that there was a pattern there all along One so complex and ingenious that you’re not even mad you didn’t see itSeriously the first time I read the ending of this book I set it aside and muttered “Well shit”It’s no wonder that Charlotte reads like a legitimate genius when she comes from a mind like Thomas’And she does read like one There’s a part early on in this installment where she solves a complex code called a Vigenère cipher that is truly breathtaking And I speak as someone with a background in this As someone who worked in binary and morse Who listened to sueaks and beeps for the government for over a decade and whose job it was to make sense of them for other peopleSo yeah this series will forever hold a special place in my heartI cannot recommend it enough for readers with long attention spans For those who adore the classics Or for anyone looking for a complex yet still fun and captivating set of stories capable of wholly transporting you to another time and placeBlog | FB | Twitter | IG | Pinterest | Tumblr | YouTube


  2. says:

    Clever devious and highly engaging seuel to A Study in Scarlet Women and picking the story up right after that one endedIt would be impossible to discuss the plot without giving away too much of both book 1 and book 2 so I will only say that things get ever tangled layered and interesting and the uniue female Sherlock spin Ms Thomas offers on the original version staples is ever convincing And it is “technically” possible to read A Conspiracy in Belgravia without having read the first book but that would mean losing a substantial part of the main characters’ arcs Intelligent deep and nuanced main charactersThe romance is relegated to the background here as well but it crackles off the page whenever present while the mystery aspect gains ingenuity and guile The writing is brilliant and polished as always with this author with a uicker pace but at the same time evocative of the classic Victorian suspense novelAn amazing series can’t wait for the next one


  3. says:

    I've given this an A at AARReviewing mysteries is always a challenge as anyone who’s tried it will know  And with one of this calibre it’s even difficult because I want to tell you just how GOOD this book is but I can’t tell you too much for fear of giving too much away and spoiling your enjoyment  I could just say a “Sherry Thomas is a genius – go buy this book” or b “Don’t waste time here go buy this book”   but that isn’t much of a review so I will attempt – somehow – to do justice to this terrific story and author and will no doubt fail miserably at which juncture you should simply heed the advice given in points a and bNote I think it would be possible to enjoy this as a standalone but I really would recommend reading A Study in Scarlet Women first There are spoilers for that book in this reviewA Conspiracy in Belgravia picks up on the day after the events that concluded the previous book  Charlotte Holmes ably assisted by her closest friend Lord Ingram Ashburton and Inspector Treadles of Scotland Yard has solved the Sackville murder case and learned of the existence of an infamous criminal mastermind by the name of Moriarty  In addition Charlotte worked out that that Lord Ingram – Ash to his friends – had pulled strings behind the scenes in order to make sure she wasn’t left alone on the streets after she ran from her father’s house and orchestrated her meeting with the army widow and former actress with whom Charlotte now resides Mrs John Watson  Charlotte doesn’t like being beholden to Ash especially not as their friendship while generally strong has been sometimes strained since his ill advised marriage six years earlierCharlotte and Mrs Watson have formed a working partnership as investigators using the identity of Sherlock Holmes as a front for their operation  Holmes suffers from a debilitating illness so clients meet with his ‘sister’ – Charlotte – while the detective listens to the conversation from the next room  It’s with some surprise that Charlotte identifies their latest prospective client Mrs Finch as Lady Ingram Ash’s wife  Mrs Watson is concerned about accepting the lady as a client given their friendship with her husband but Charlotte believes her need must be very pressing if it has driven her to seek Holmes’ help and agrees to the meeting – although as Charlotte cannot afford to be recognised the part of Sherlock’s sister will be taken by Mrs Watson’s niece Penelope Redmayne  ‘Mrs Finch’ explains that she is seeking information regarding the man she fell in love with before she married Lord Ingram a young man deemed unsuitable by her parents whose financial situation demanded she marry someone wealthyWhile she and her erstwhile love agreed not to meet or write to each other once she was married they planned a yearly assignation – on the Sunday before his birthday they would both take a walk past the Albert Memorial at 3 pm so they could each see that the other was alive and well This year however her sweetheart did not keep the appointment and she wants Sherlock Holmes to find out why Penelope asks Lady Ingram for as many details as she can provide but when she identifies the man in uestion as Myron Finch Charlotte is stunned Myron Finch is her illegitimate half brotherWhile Charlotte and Mrs Watson set about looking into the disappearance of Mr Finch Charlotte is also mulling over the proposal of marriage she has received – the second one in fact – from Lord Bancroft Ashburton Lord Ingram’s older brother Charlotte is fully cognizant of the benefits marriage to him would bring It would rehabilitate her – to an extent – in the eyes of society and would soften her father’s stance towards her; she could care for her sister Bernadette who has some sort of mental disability and could openly spend time with her other sister Livia and generally return to the life to which she had been born But even though Bancroft recognises and respects Charlotte’s keen intellect he clearly expects her to discontinue her investigations as Sherlock Holmes and she’s not sure that’s something she’s willing to give upAs an inducement Bancroft gifts Charlotte with a set of puzzles which includes a message encoded using a Vignère cipher a fiendishly difficult code that takes Charlotte some days to decipher Once decoded the message leads her to an address in Hounslow North West of London where she and Lord Ingram unexpectedly encounter Inspector Treadles A man has been murdered – and appears to have named his killer before he died Could he perhaps be the missing Mr Finch? Or could he somehow be tied to Finch’s disappearance? Or worse still are Finch and the murder victim somehow tied to the mysterious Moriarty a name which seems to inspire fear in those who know it and someone of whom even the unflappable Bancroft seems to be wary?Well I’m not saying As is clear though there’s a lot going on in this book and I admit that I sometimes had to refer to the numerous highlights I’d made on my Kindle to refresh my memory about something but for the most part the story rattles along famously as Sherry Thomas skillfully pulls the disparate mystery threads together and then unravels them bringing events to a climax I most certainly didn’t see coming Just as impressive as her plotting is the way in which she continues to explore and develop her characters and the relationships between them building on what we know of them from the previous book and rounding them out even We don’t see as much of Treadles in this story but it’s clear that he’s been upset by the discovery of the deceit practiced by his good friend Lord Ingram over Holmes’ true identity and isn’t sure what to make of Charlotte any longer There’s a romance in the offing for Livia who is charmed by a mysterious young man who seems to see and appreciate her for who she is and doesn’t talk down to her or dismiss her interests; and we get to know a little of the circumstances which led to Ash’s marriage to a society beauty he later learned had married him only for his moneyAnyone with any knowledge of this author’s work will already know that her work is highly creative and imaginative; she fashions strong well developed and engaging characters crafts complex interweaving plots and her historical romances are among the best in the genre I should however warn anyone hoping for romantic developments between Charlotte and Ash that things between them don’t progress a great deal if at all The author sheds light on Ash’s feelings towards Charlotte showing he knows her better than anyone and there’s a nice touch at the end where Charlotte both acknowledges this and admits she’s glad it’s Ash who knows her so well and Charlotte well she doesn’t necessarily wish Ash had married her she would just prefer he hadn’t married at all She’s someone who relies on observation and logic and doesn’t have room for sentiment; yet in the face of all the logical reasons she should marry Bancroft a small part of her can’t ignore the fact that she doesn’t find him attractive while his brother is a different matter entirelyThere’s so much to A Conspiracy in Belgravia than I can possibly say here The characters the relationships the mystery all are richly detailed and superbly constructed making this a truly compelling un put downable read I stand by my original points a and b Just go and buy it


  4. says:

    Review posted on The Eater of Books blogA Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry ThomasBook Two of the Lady Sherlock seriesPublisher Berkley BooksPublication Date September 5 2017Rating 4 starsSource eARC from NetGalleySummary from GoodreadsThe game is afoot as Charlotte Holmes returns in the atmospheric second novel in New York Times bestseller Sherry Thomas's Victorian set Lady Sherlock seriesBeing 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 inuiries but she’s not prepared for the new client who arrives at her Upper Baker Street officeLady 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 personal for Charlotte as the missing man is none other than Myron Finch her illegitimate half brotherIn the meanwhile Charlotte wrestles with a surprising proposal of marriage a mysterious stranger woos her sister Livia and an unidentified body that 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?What I LikedThis seuel novel was incredible uite possibly even better than A Study in Scarlet Women I don't read nearly enough mystery fiction novels but I'm glad I started reading this one Clearly Sherry Thomas can write anything and I'd enjoy itIn this second book Charlotte Holmes has a new set of cases that are puzzling and strange Lady Ingram has sent a reuest for Sherlock Holmes to find her childhood love who did not meet her at their annual rendezvous There is something peculiar about this reuest and Charlotte knows it's not just the case of a missing man especially when Lady Ingram cites that the man is Myron Finch Charlotte's half brother Throw in a dead man and some business from the previous novel and it is clear that this is no ordinary situation Charlotte and Mrs Watson must find Myron Finch before any unpleasant business catches up to him or themThere are so many moving parts to this story which was fantastic Charlotte takes on several cases and some of them intersect The primary one is that of Lady Ingram but there is also a woman who believes her housekeeper is trying to poison her There is the matter of the dead man whom Charlotte happens upon by chance in some ways In the end all of these plots come together except one I thought it was so neat how everything connected As you're reading the story you wonder about each individual case But then as the climax draws near it becomes obvious that many things are connectedThomas had me guessing about everything right up until 98% of the book when all is revealed Don't get me wrong the author drops information here and there enough to make you think you understand what the mystery is But the big reveal is nothing like I would have expected I must applaud Thomas for how she set up the crime and the mysteryCharlotte is so so clever I can't imagine writing such a clever character being easy She is so perceptive and intelligent nothing gets past her She is so formidable when using her brain Thomas did an amazing job of writing CharlotteThe other characters were eually as well developed and likable I enjoyed reading scenes from Mrs Watson's POV she is a very kind and intelligent woman Most of the book is written from Charlotte's POV but all is from third person so the author had the freedom to have scenes from different characters' POVs It was mostly Charlotte and Mrs Watson Mrs Watson is a fantastic sidekick and I liked seeing her friendship with Charlotte grow and solidify Lord Ingram is a big part of this story though he plays less of a big role as he did in the first book His presence is always noticed even though he is barely in the book in terms of being in the same space as Charlotte He is as honorable and clever as always though of course not nearly as clever as Charlotte He is a good manWe also got to read from Livia's POV and I liked that Livia is a sweet girl and her part of the story was fun to read Fun and sometimes a little wistful but also hopeful She has begun writing the tales of Sherlock Holmes and I think it's obvious that she loves it In terms of romance there is even less of it than there was in book one at least for Charlotte She does get a proposal but not from who we as readers would want that couldn't happen anyway However this proposal thing is dealt with by the end of the book Fret notI won't say too much especially in terms of the mystery Suffice it to say Thomas has written a really good mystery that will be difficult for most readers to crack until the end What I Did Not LikeI would say the only thing I would complain about is the lack of romance I understand why but I want romance between Charlotte and her man I think it'll be possible in the next book but still The setup of the possible romance is so strange But I guess it might move in a good direction in book three Maybe? I don't knowWould I Recommend ItI highly recommend these books to fans of mystery novels This is a historical fiction novel that is purely mystery based And if you hadn't noticed yet it's a gender swapped Sherlock Holmes story It's great for adults or young adults even though it is published under an adult imprint I kept guessing at the mystery until the very end which is the mark of a great mystery novel to meRating4 stars I can't wait to see what is in store for Charlotte next I do hope certain things proceed you know what I'm talking about but I also hope certain things are addressed and brought to light in book three Basically I have a lot of expectations for book threeI just added the cover to Goodreads Isn't it lovely? Expanded cover belowPreorder nowPenguin Random House | | BN | Books A Million | The Book Depository


  5. says:

    I totally love this book Charlotte Holmes is such a fabulous character and I enjoyed the book so much that not even half way through did I order the first book in the series I had no problem whatsoever getting into this book However I'm deeply curious to learn about Charlotte's past transgressions that made her being shunned by her family and society And most of all I want to know about her creating Sherlock Holmes And the case she was involved in the first bookThe story starts off interesting with Charlotte being contacted by Lady Ingram to find her first love This case becomes very personal since Lady Ingram of course is the wife of Charlotte's dear friend Lord Ingram A man that she well Charlotte may be very analytic but if there is one man for her would that be Ash Ingram So yes very personal case Still Charlotte being Charlotte doesn't mean that she will let her emotion's rule the case Not even when it's revealed that it's her own half brother the Lady is looking for Then we have the proposal from Lord Ingram's brother Bancroft Made me think of Mycroft of course lol that Charlotte ponders over during the book I found the case interesting and yes I was surprised by the endingNow Charlotte of course like Sherlock Holmes has a weakness and if he needed the seven per cent solution is Charlotte's the seven cookie solution Yes she needs cookies not cocaine Love thatThis is a book that surprised me I did not expect to love it as much as I did I love reading Sherlock Holmes pastiches and this is beside the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie R King my favorite so far And I have only read one book I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review


  6. says:

    Another brilliant installment in this intensely enjoyable series This is extremely character led murder mystery where a huge part of the pleasure and indeed plot hangs on the interactions of Charlotte Holmes and her close family and companions in detectionIt starts the day after book 1 ends and I'm glad I read them back to back as I suspect it might have been a tad hard to follow otherwise These definitely need to be read in order to grasp the interwoven threads which are done magnificently It's also much better edited than the first am glad the publisher raised their game Terrific Cannot wait to find out what happens in the ongoing story I'm off to get #3


  7. says:

    I am breathless Not to mention sleepless as I had to stay up late to finish this amazing book Sherry Thomas is simply a genius – twisting classic Sherlockian memes into complicated knots and then gradually untying them so that we’re left with a beautiful seamless ribbon of an adventure tinged with romance A Conspiracy in Belgravia is most definitely going on my “playing chess not checkers” shelfThis is the second Lady Sherlock book and as we learned in the first Miss Charlotte Holmes has set herself up as the supposed sister of an invalid brother Sherlock who is brilliant at solving baffling mysteries and who occasionally assists Inspector Treadles of Scotland Yard Charlotte is estranged from her aristocratic parents and lives with Mrs John Watson the colorful widow of an Army officer Together they maintain the facade of an ailing Sherlock living at 221B Baker Street Charlotte interviews the clients while ‘Sherlock’ listens from his bedchamber Only a few people know that Sherlock does not exist including Charlotte’s sister Livia Inspector Treadles and Lord Ingram Ashburton – Ash – Charlotte’s closest friend since childhoodShortly before our story begins Charlotte had helped expose a triple murderer and here I must offer a suggestion read A Study In Scarlet Women first While this book could be read as a standalone I think that a reader’s understanding and enjoyment would be enhanced by reading them in orderCharlotte receives a note reuesting an appointment from a Mrs Finch but Charlotte immediately recognizes the notepaper and realizes that the letter comes from Lady Ingram Ashburton The situation is rather tricky as Ash and his wife are not a happy couple living virtually separate lives under the same roof for the sake of propriety and their two young children Moreover Ash and Charlotte are secretly in love with one another although they would never admit it or act upon it Ash is too honorable and Charlotte is too unromantic to think of love There is a palpable undercurrent of attraction thoughCharlotte accepts Lady Ingram’s reuest but to avoid being recognized by her Mrs Watson’s niece Penelope poses as Sherlock’s sister It turns out that Lady Ingram is looking for help in locating a young man Myron Finch with whom she fell in love before marrying Ash For financial and social reasons they could not marry but they agreed to meet once a year at the Albert Memorial not speaking or acknowledging one another but merely passing to see that each was still alive and well This year however Mr Finch did not appear and Lady Ingram wants Holmes to locate him and discover the reason Imagine Charlotte’s surprise when Penelope repeats this story to her for Myron Finch is Charlotte’s illegitimate half brother a son her father had supported but kept a secret from his wife and daughters Charlotte knows about him because she and Livia routinely snooped in their father’s office when he was out of townCharlotte is in for another surprise that day when Ash’s older brother Lord Bancroft Ashburton pays her a call and proposes marriage For you Sherlockians Bancroft is a Mycroft Holmes sort of character who holds a position in the government and can pull strings when needed Bancroft is the opposite of his brother Ash – cerebral decidedly uncharismatic and obsessively curious about everything and everyone Charlotte agrees to consider his proposal as it does present some advantages for her Marriage to Bancroft would redeem her reputation in society which was ruined when she ran away from home after being deliberately caught in flagrante with a married man It would enable a reconciliation with her family and enable her to offer care for her mentally disabled sister Bernadette and to visit openly with Livia However she would be reuired to give up her Sherlock Holmes persona and distance herself from the socially unsuitable Mrs Holmes Bancroft offers her a consolation though “given that mental exertion gives you pleasure I shall be happy to supply the necessary exercises After all I come across them on a regular basis” With that he gives her a dossier of six envelopes containing the details of unsolved mysteries One of them involves breaking a virtually impossible cipher but Charlotte is up to the job which leads her and Ash to a London house where Inspector Treadles is investigating a murderOf course I cannot resist saying that from there the game is afoot It is far too complicated to even begin to describe how this murder ties into the search for Myron Finch but it does In the incredibly skillful hands of Sherry Thomas though the intricate plot works and everything falls into place at the end Not only is the adventure marvelously structured the characters are fascinating Charlotte is logical and unromantic and yet she hesitates to marry Bancroft given that she finds his brother attractive We feel great sympathy for Ash trapped as he is in a miserable marriage to a deceitful woman who only married him for his money Little sister Livia meets a mysterious young man who seems to like her despite her oddities and uirks We also learn about the tribulations of Inspector Treadles a man happily married to an heiress but living on a detective’s income He has women problems His wife admits that she would like to run her father’s business and the “magnificent boon to his career” Sherlock Holmes “turned out to be a woman with loose morals and no remorse”Once again Thomas inserts little factoids from Conan Doyle’s Sherlock stories Livia is finding her inner muse and begins writing her own mystery story about a massacre in Utah related to a religious cult Sherlockians will immediately recognize elements of A Study in Scarlet And the arch criminal Moriarty makes his presence knownI read this on my Kindle making lots of notes and highlights and flipping back to read some passages again It is not an effortless read even for someone who loves complex mysteries But the effort is well worth it Sherry Thomas is superbly talented and it shows in every page of this book I cannot recommend it highly enoughOne thing Just when you think you have it all figured out – there is the last line of the book Wow I did not see that coming Can’t wait for the next one


  8. says:

    When I started the series I was apprehensive of how successful my favorite HR writer is going to be navigating the uncharted territories of historical mystery My fears were put to rest as I loved the first installment and this one even a tad betterThe story picks up right after book one ends And rather than describing the plot which would be difficult to do without spoilers I want to share what I felt navigating the story The best analogy I can come up with is viewing a painting by an Impressionist At the beginning if staying too close to the painting all you see is small broken vivid brush strokes of oil paint They appear to be randomly selected unorganized going in different directions and in no way related to each other Take a few steps back and your eyes will have to adjust to its blurriness you start to see the purpose of these strokes They start making sense Take steps back and you reach the perfect end distance where it all comes together and you can truly appreciate the shimmering effect of these not so random strokes marvel at the whole picture they present and you want to see That’s exactly the experiences I had while reading the story And the best part of the story? Miss Charlotte Homes herself of course Oh if I can hug a fictional character I would hug her Although on the second thought since she would prefer not to be touched I would bake a delicious pastry to satisfy her ever present sweet tooth The pastry would be light enough so she wouldn’t have to worry about reaching the maximum number of tolerable chinsCharlotte's superb mental abilities and lack of emotional empathy to other are the most fascinating aspects of her character It seems there is a proliferation of stories with female detective set in Regency or Victorian times These women are smart capable andtoo anachronistic of the times Not Charlotte In Charlotte’s characterization Sherry Thomas's talent shines through Charlotte has a brilliant mind amazing ability of deduction She solves almost impossible problems able to connect what appears to be random things and events and does it better than any man around her but is able to do all of this within the boundaries of Victorian England female and not just any Victorian female but unmarried and socially ruined oneThe author didn’t just insert Charlotte into Sherlock’s area of expertise she made a character completely different from the well known man Charlotte has to be creative in her investigation in order to preserve the illusion of Sherlock Holmes to the man on the street and the policeAnd although the mystery is solved at the end there is so much of family and relationship dynamic left to explore Can’t wait for the next installment


  9. says:

    It was so much fun diving back into the atmospheric and mysterious Victorian London world that Thomas has created in her Lady Sherlock series Once again Charlotte and her friends were a treat to see and conspire with As a mystery always rich in detail and curiosity slowly unfolds as Charlotte puts her deductive talents into play and figures it all out before anyone else and before the danger becomes too great to those she knows and loves And she does it all while trying to keep it a secret as much as possible from those who don't know that the famous Sherlock Holmes is none other than Charlotte herself Set in a time and place that women were suppose to be almost anything other than clever and ambitious I love that Charlotte doesn't turn away from the challenge to shock those around her and stand tall and true to who she is with little thought to what society will think about it This book this series has some of the most romantic lines that never were Lines that are thought but never spoken out loud Truly swoon worthy and in large part other than the whole this book rocks all by itself already thing it is one of the main reasons I keep coming back time and again to Ms Thomas' writing It is just so well written and so beautiful in both mystery and prose and the tragic love story that might never be I devoured this in a night and was sad that I didn't take longer with it I wanted to both savor and eat it up I sincerely hope the next book will be here before I know it I just can't get enough of this series rich with a mystery that keeps me on my toes and characters that are every bit as fun and intriguing as the story line itself ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


  10. says:

    Wow I really enjoyed the first book and the second one was a disappointment compared to that I think Thomas tried to bite off than could be reasonably followed in this book Maybe some of it could have been pushed to a third book Having Charlotte Holmes and Mrs Watson taking on cases having Charlotte solving ciphers for Lord Bancroft and the follow up to Moriarty and the half brother we heard about in the last book all thrown together didn't make for an engaging read Don't even get me started on Inspector Treadles and his nonsense about women The man goes around ticked that the brilliant Sherlock Holmes is Charlotte Holmes And then is even unhappy when his wife admits she wishes she could run her father's business After the events in book #1 Charlotte and Mrs Watson are still doing their detective business as Sherlock Holmes However things become awkward when Lord Ingram's wife comes asking for help in finding her first love There's a lot of hand waving away why Charlotte agrees to work on this case but ultimately that case leads to a larger mystery that I didn't think was put together very wellCharlotte is still uite good at deducting But you do read a lot about what she eats her tea and how hungry she is at all times Why Thomas switched Holmes addiction to Charlotte being an over eater or glutton I honestly don't know what she is doing with this is baffling to me She could have her addicted to something else and or just not at all Since you already set up that Sherlock Holmes is not real and that Charlotte's sister Olivia is going to write stories about the man who cares that you try to mirror every little thing in those stories I can't really get a handle on the other characters Mrs Watson barely felt in this one We do have her teaching Charlotte about self defense which I liked Olivia Holmes is in and out of this one She's not really integral to the plot but having her get romantic notions about someone that may be in danger made me just sigh I am guessing based no how this book ends he will pop up in the third book Lord Ingram and CharlotteI don't know Due to the events in this book one wonders what will happen next I actually liked the idea of Charlotte getting married to Lord Bancroft have fun reading about what happens next At least it would have moved the book to a different place than I think most readers would have expectedThe writing didn't grab me like in the first one and the flow was not good The only parts I found interesting where getting Charlotte's and Mrs Watson's POV I would recommend Thomas cut down on the back and forths to Inspector Treadles in the next one She could have left him out entirely and nothing would have been missed since he ends up just being a minor player in this I think we only see him since he will have a larger role in book #3 The ending felt vaguely unsatisfactory since you have a lot of revelations that didn't uite make sense to me at all I even re read some of the sections again and just gave up I think books like these have to leave clues that readers can pick up on as well Otherwise it's not really fun to read You just have the author throwing out twists


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