RogerBW's Blog

A Conspiracy in Belgravia, Sherry Thomas 12 March 2019

2017 mystery, second of the Lady Sherlock series. Charlotte Holmes is doing well her disguised life as "Sherlock" the consulting detective, but her latest client comes from rather too close to home.

Although there are cases that are started and closed within the span of this book, they are tied to the ongoing narrative; I'd definitely recommend reading this as part of the series. To say "a married woman looks for her first love, met before her advantageous marriage" or "a woman suspects her father's housekeeper of poisoning her" means little until one finds out who these people are, and how the cases are connected to the background strands of this setting; the stories are much more about the people than they are about deduction and clue-spotting, though there's a reasonable amount of that too.

The language can still be a little odd; someone "alit" from a carriage, and there's a mention of "T, the most commonly used letter in the English language". Ah well.

Things are sluggish at times, and the book could have done with some moderate cutting; the main mystery is probably excessively complex, since this complexity adds word-count more than it shows us how brilliant Holmes is. It's a little rougher than the first book, and one significant character barely meets the rest of the cast, which seems like a waste. I hope that some of these threads may be resolved in the next volume. Followed by The Hollow of Fear.

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