Book Review: Elementary She Read (Sherlock Holmes Bookshop) by Vicki Delany

Elementary, She Read is the first book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series by Vicki Delany. Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, co owns and manages her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium in the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod. The shop--located at 222 Baker Street--specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body. The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman's suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it's a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

Elementary, She Read is a fun and entertaining read. While managing a Sherlock Holmes themed book shop Gemma thinks much like the fictional detective. She is intelligent, but like most Sherlock based characters is lacking in social graces, which makes her life both highly entertaining and occasionally cringe worthy. I liked  the spirit and execution of the character. I also enjoyed the flighty nature of her great uncle, and her enduring friendship with the forthright Jayne. The mystery is well built, with several layers and twists, some of which were completely unexpected and others that were emotional satisfying. I really enjoy the read, and want to read more about Gemma, and her fellow residents of West London.

Elementary, She Read is a solid beginning to a series, and I am interested in the characters and the town. I think Sherlock fans, of all eras, and cozy or hobby mystery fans will enjoy the read as much as I did. I look forward to seeing where Gemma goes from here.

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