Bite Sized Books // Nick Made Me Do It

28 June 2019

This time around I am reviewing three books that Nick made me read. If you follow her on twitter she has pretty much been rambling about the Lady Sherlock books on and off for the past couple of weeks and as I’ve said before, she did convince me last year to buy the first two books in the series when I first visited New York. I finally pulled my finger out and read them just to shut her up (FYI, it didn’t work) and I have some brief thoughts.


Published: 18th October 2016
Source: Purchased
Genre: Mystery, Historical
My Rating:
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.
This is the first book in the series and let me tell you it is brilliant. The general premise of the series is that Sherlock Holmes is a fictional person created by Charlotte Holmes as a way for her to use her excellent skills of observation and deduction to solve mysteries. For many reasons, she leaves her family home in disgrace and ends up in the company of one Mrs John Watson, a former actress, who helps her in this deception of the public (and a police officer) so she can use her skills to solve a murder or two. But she is also happy to help with a riddle or two for people.

I have to say, I wasn’t sure how another retelling of Sherlock Holmes could really distinguish itself from the many that have been done before. I mean, we’ve all seen Sherlock or Elementary on TV, and if not that then House. We’ve seen the quirky, curmudgeon and the former addict. Even if we’ve not read the books I think it’s safe to say we all feel like we know what Sherlock Holmes is about so this retelling a female Sherlock is pretty damn genius. And Charlotte is not incapable of interacting with people and needing her sidekick John Watson to help in that, in fact, she has learnt how to navigate people. She is pretty damn skilled at it, but instead, she needs someone to help her keep a roof over her head and food in her belly. And having Mrs Watson, a former actress, to help her with this deception be it playing Mrs Hudson, the landlady, or to help play the part of Sherlock’s sister when Charlotte is unable to then she can. It was utterly genius what Sherry Thomas did with this. It made the whole story of Sherlock Holmes feel original.

I cannot say how closely it keeps to the original stories as I’ve not read them but I was cheering that even the books of Sherlock Holmes are referenced As Charlotte's sister hopes to tell a sensationalised version of the mystery we had here. I honestly don’t want to spoil too much but I can safely say this was a genius interpretation of a well-known character in a way which felt totally original with an interesting cast of characters who are not always likeable, but they are all interesting.

Published: 5th September 2017
Source: Purchased
Genre: Mystery, Historical
My Rating:
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 series.

Being 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 inquiries, 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 more personal for Charlotte as the missing man is none other than 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?
The second book in the series is just as strong as the first and I will say it was way more twisty when it came to the mystery. We had a brief mention of Moriarty in the first book but the character really moved front and centre with this one.

I initially thought this one wasn’t as good as the first book. I didn’t get how everything was connecting up as I was reading. It seemed disjointed and a little all over the place. And whilst I found the first book employed multiple POV perfectly to really keep you guessing but also further explore plot points so you really got what was going on this one threw me at first as I didn’t get where it was going. Once the story got going though I was thoroughly impressed and eager to keep reading.

This time around we get to see far more of Lord Ingram, he was significant in the first book in bringing Charlotte into the crime-solving world and offered her assistance but this time around he played a major role. Well, him and his wife and family. I loved the inclusion of Lord Bancroft this time around, he seemed bland but I was really interested in Lord Ingram’s family and since Bancroft previously proposed to Charlotte I wanted to see what the interaction would be like. It’s safe to say it was brilliant. This book explored more of the characters beyond Charlotte. Especially her sister, Livia, and her life stuck at home with their parents and her hopes for the future.

This was definitely a slower build than the first book but I loved all the twists and turns that occurred and I was so thankful I’d gone and bought the third book already when it came to the ending of this one and we all know the ending is the most important part in any mystery because if you don’t want to keep reading and aren’t at least a little surprised by the big reveal then you’ve gone wrong.

Published: 2nd October 2018
Source: Purchased
Genre: Mystery, Historical
My Rating:
Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, returns in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of A Conspiracy in Belgravia and A Study in Scarlet Women, an NPR Best Book of 2016.

Under the cover of “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte draws those in need to her and makes it her business to know what other people don’t.

Moriarty’s shadow looms large. First, Charlotte’s half brother disappears. Then, Lady Ingram, the estranged wife of Charlotte’s close friend Lord Ingram, turns up dead on his estate. And all signs point to Lord Ingram as the murderer.

With Scotland Yard closing in, Charlotte goes under disguise to seek out the truth. But uncovering the truth could mean getting too close to Lord Ingram—and a number of malevolent forces…
Ugh, this third book I couldn’t wait to start reading because have you read that summary?! Lord Ingram is being accused of murdering his wife! You know I was there for Charlotte coming to the rescue in this one and it was even more fun because this time around we have her not playing the role of Sherlock Holmes’s sister, but the role of his brother (have I explained that Sherlock Holmes is bedridden and thus has the aid of his kind sister in his convalescence and this lets Charlotte do all her deducting without folks getting suspicious? No? Wow, you guys must be confused right now). It was so much fun having Charlotte cross-dressing and having some freedom to act like a man to investigate. Especially as it meant her comments are immediately respected by the investigators as a man her word held a touch more weight.

It was another slightly slow starter as we have the set up for Lord Ingram being framed for the murder of his wife and let me tell you I did not know how Charlotte was going to stop him from being framed. All the evidence pointed to him and if he hadn’t been established as being such a good guy in the first two books I would have definitely had some doubts. It was good to see some of our main characters being viewed from new perspectives in this book. We don’t know all that much about Lord Ingram and Charlotte's past together and so I was happy to jump on any small titbit of information to learn about them.

And you know how I was totally surprised at the ending of the last book and was making grabby hands for the next one? Well, this one had the twists of the second book beat because I wasn’t totally surprised by the reveal of that one. You could have knocked me over with a feather with after the surprise in this one but at the same time, it wasn’t unexpected because the clues were all there I just didn’t see them! But I was still making grabby hands for the next book. Is it October yet?


And there you have it. So far, this series has been utterly genius and I want to know who I have to bat my eyelashes at to get the fourth one already. I will say it only once: Nick was right. This is a really good historical mystery series. It has a hint of romance and you know I am shipping it hard, but it’s really the mysteries and Charlotte’s genius which keep me reading. I will say, though, I was thrown every time I saw the US spelling for words in this. I even knew I was reading a book published in the US but it’s crazy how these little things throw you off for a second.

Have you read this series yet, or have I managed to convince you to read? And do you have any recommendations for books which you feel like have a similar vibe to them because I am stuck on what to read next?
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