Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Cat of the Baskervilles by Vicki Delany

I love Gemma Doyle's mind. I love the way she thinks. Vicki Delany's third Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, The Cat of the Baskervilles, is another treat for those of us who enjoy Gemma. And, this time, Gemma's caught up in a mystery involving theater. A true treat for me.

The local summer theater in West London, Massachusetts has three plays scheduled for the season, but "The Hound of the Baskervilles" will be the highlight. And, Sir Nigel Bellingham has agreed to reprise his role from years earlier. Sir Nigel and the play will be good for Gemma's business, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, and Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room, the tea shop run by her business partner, Jayne Wilson. But, everyone is shocked when Sir Nigel arrives, and turns out to be an aging drunk who is rude to everyone.

Jayne agrees to cater a fundraising tea for over a hundred, and ropes Gemma into assisting. That's why Gemma is on the scene and finds Sir Nigel's body at the bottom of a cliff. And, Gemma takes a minute to hide a piece of evidence, ribbon from an apron worn by one of Jayne's servers. Unfortunately, even without that evidence, the police zero in on Jayne's mother. And, Gemma won't let Mrs. Wilson be railroaded.

As I said, I love Gemma's mind. She has no filter when she tries to reveal her information. But, she's canny in avoiding the wrong conversations with the police. One investigator dislikes and distrusts her, while the other one was almost engaged to her once. And, Ryan knows a little too much about Gemma's ways of thinking.

I also enjoy the humor in this series. Besides the police detective, Gemma has another enemy, the bookshop cat named Moriarty. He likes everyone except Gemma and Ryan, and they often end up with bloody hands.

In addition, I have a major peeve with cozy mysteries in which the amateur sleuth leaves their business. Gemma knows about that problem. "Running a business interferes with one's detective work. Not that I am a detective, nor do I want to be one, but sometimes it seems that I can't help myself." And, later, she admits she's neglecting her store as she snoops. How can I object to the actions of a sleuth who acknowledges her bad behavior?

Pick up an intelligent cozy mystery with a fascinating amateur sleuth and a fun cast of supporting characters. Humor, a touch of romance, and Gemma's intriguing mind. The Sherlock Holmes connection, and theater in this book, add to the enjoyment of The Cat of the Baskervilles.

Vicki Delany's website is

The Cat of the Baskervilles by Vicki Delany. Crooked Lane Books, 2018. ISBN 9781683314714 (hardcover), 291p.

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


Kay said...

And I have an annoyance with sleuths who hide a piece of evidence. Ha! Haven't started this series yet, but hope to at some point.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Oh, this sounds like such a fun read. I must read it. I like the original Sherlock Holmes mysteries, I like cozy mysteries, and I like anything to do with theater. Thanks for an interesting review.

CindyD said...

I wish Vicky would write another in her Molly series - or did the publisher drop it?

Lesa said...

I know, Kay. But, you have to get to know Gemma, who thinks she's always right.

It is fun. Elizabeth. I hope you get a chance soon.

I love the Molly books, too, Cindy. I don't think they were dropped. She's just writing other things as well.

Margie Bunting said...

I love this series (I have this book on hold at the library), as well as Vicki Delany's year-round Christmas series.

Lesa said...

I'm a little behind in the year-round Christmas series, Margie. But, I like it, too.