A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
Had anyone told the Honorable Harrington Sackville that the investigation into his death would make the name Sherlock Holmes known throughout the land, Mr. Sackville would have scoffed.
He had never heard of Sherlock Holmes. But more importantly, he despised the idea of death. Of his death, to be precise--others could die as they wished.
He loathed old age almost as much: that long, vile decline into helplessness halted only by the final breath, falling like a guillotine blade.
This is the second book I've listened to about Sherlock Holmes - theme for April for our mystery group. It's the first book in Sherry Thomas' series and it was very ably read by Kate Reading. I had heard about this one a while back from other bloggers and thought it would be fun to try. And, I really liked it. Plus, I discovered that the author lives here in my area, Austin. Might have to think about that for the future and the group.
A Study in Scarlet Women turns the Holmes story upside down a bit. Yes, Sherlock is indeed a woman, Miss Charlotte Holmes, youngest daughter in a family of four daughters (which sounds a little Pride & Prejudice-like). She is lovely to look at, but she doesn't care about that. She really likes her treats (food-wise) and is not a 'skinny Minnie'. Which is OK too. And her mind - razor sharp, mostly, though she doesn't know everything and does make miscalculations at times. It was fun watching for the various other 'regular' characters and trying to guess where they might turn up.
I also feel like there was a hat-tip or two to other favorite mystery authors of mine, all older and having been around a long time. For example, there is a police inspector that is married to a woman that came from a family much higher in society that his (Anne Perry's Thomas Pitt) and there was a character named 'Monk' (again, Anne Perry). There was mention of policemen riding bicycles as they investigate (Maureen Jennings' Detective Murdoch). And there was a mention of a 'Curse' and 'Pharoahs' (Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody). Those were fun. As I said, this is indeed a series and the 2nd, A Conspiracy in Belgravia, was published last fall. Can't wait to read it! If you like Sherlock and a bit of 'girl power', this one is recommended.
With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.
When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her.
But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.