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.
I fucking loved this book.
Like, hard enough to go back to that sometimes toxic wasteland of book drama known as Goodreads and talk about it.
Before you get all excited and think, “MAYBE I TOO WILL LOVE THIS BOOK”, you should know that for some reason I seem to be in the minority. Most of the popular reviews for this are negative, and I honestly didn’t even read them, because I didn’t want to, so I have no idea why.
Suffice to say, not everyone likes this book. And that’s fine.
BUT I FUCKING LOVED THIS AND I WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.
The first thing you should know is that I have a long attention span. I grew up on Dumas and Dickens – those glorious windbags – so books that linger on details and delve into the day to day aspects of the lives of the characters in them, ESPECIALLY when those details concern the minutiae of a historic time period, really get my bookish rocks off.
This book has a lot of that. It’s a slow burn mystery, and a slow burn character study. And it is just bursting with feminism, which, if you’ve read any of my rants, you’ll know that I get lady boners for.
Yes, there is the whole gender switch of Sherlock Holmes and the main support characters, but there’s so much more than that. This novel gently subverts so many of the misogynistic themes found in books written and/or set in this time period, and I just loved every subtle second of it. Because I don’t always want to be beaten about the head by feminist themes. Too much of that and a book can start to feel preachy. This was the perfect amount of subversive ‘fuck the patriarchy’.
Oh yes, also brilliantly plotted and beautifully written, but, knowing Sherry Thomas’ works as I do, I wouldn’t expect anything less from her.
I can’t recommend this enough for fans of the classics. Or anyone wanting a slower paced, character-centric mystery set in a world so rich, it’ll make you forget about the shitshow we’re currently living in.