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Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. 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 fi Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. 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 Holmes 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.


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Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. 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 fi Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. 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 Holmes 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.

30 review for Elementary, She Read

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    4 stars to Vicki Delany's Elementary, She Read, the first in a new "Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery" series. I've read a few other books by this author, jumping at the chance to read this new series, as I really enjoy her ability to immerse you in the setting of a quaint and charming little town full of memorable characters. And it did not disappoint. Story Gemma is a transplant from England, now residing in West London on Cape Cod in Massachusetts as part-owner of her uncle's Sherlock Holm 4 stars to Vicki Delany's Elementary, She Read, the first in a new "Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery" series. I've read a few other books by this author, jumping at the chance to read this new series, as I really enjoy her ability to immerse you in the setting of a quaint and charming little town full of memorable characters. And it did not disappoint. Story Gemma is a transplant from England, now residing in West London on Cape Cod in Massachusetts as part-owner of her uncle's Sherlock Holmes bookshop and new friend's traditional tea shop. When a busload of mystery loving grannies invade their stores, and a rare edition of a magazine turn up hiding on the bookshelves, Gemma knows something is not right. She tracks down one of the women, but finds her murdered in her hotel room. The police suspect Gemma, as her story of "Good Samaritan to return the magazine" cannot possibly be true. When she learns the woman was serving as a nurse in a very rich family of known Sherlock Holmes book collectors, the story gets even more puzzling. But it's when another death puts her back in the spotlight that Gemma begins to worry she may be put in jail for a crime she had nothing to do with. Using her own highly-skilled research and investigation techniques, Gemma solves the case but almost goes down as one of the victims. Includes a few side stories with her friend Jayne, her former boyfriend the cop and a few interesting neighborhood characters who either love her or hate her! Oh yeah, and her dog and cat who are quite a hoot. Strengths I always enjoy the first in a new series... to see how the author introduces characters, builds a setting and invests in the themes and motifs which will guide the future books. Vicky Delany does not disappoint, as this one looks to be as strong as the "Year Round Christmas" series. Delany has a knack for creating vivid and personable characters. Sometimes you don't really care for the character, but not because the character is poorly written -- it's always because she packs a punch in finding ways for you to hate people and love them at the same time. That's how I fell about the new detective who shows up to crack the case. The woman must have a soft spot somewhere but Gemma can't find it. And I wanted to slap the cop on many occasions for her rude behavior. Good writing makes you feel that about someone in a story. Sherlock Holmes has been done before. But this is done in a lighthearted way, such that it's not over-the-top, rarely boring and usually well-integrated. You learn a little about Doyle, 19th century England and various other historical tidbits all the while enjoying the differences between American and Britain. Plus there are several goofy moments where you can picture the scene happening at some point in your own life. Might even make you want to become a Sherlock-follower yourself! Suggestions The book was consistent, just like all of the rest of Delany's novels that I've read before. It's a good read, full of great characters, but... I want to see Delany push it a little further next time and have a very complex mystery with more players about the town. Introduce more families, show more connections, bring a bit more of England to Massachusetts... Transport us somewhere different where we want to find ourselves lost in. We're right on the cusp, and I'm betting book two in this series will do it. Final Thoughts Good plot. Fun characters. Clever writing. Everything you need in a basic murder mystery with a splash of something new and exciting. A definite read for fans of the author and genre, and a good intro to the cozy for those not ever having the pleasure of encountering one before. Plus... who doesn't love a book about famous authors and detectives?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jaline

    In this first book of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, Emma Doyle introduces herself: I am the half owner, manager, head shop clerk, and chief duster of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium in the Cape Cod town of West London, Massachusetts. As well as reprints of the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books, we carry new books representing anything and everything in the pastiche or vaguely derived from the Holmes legend. The store was originally a hardware store, but Gemma’s great-uncle A In this first book of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, Emma Doyle introduces herself: I am the half owner, manager, head shop clerk, and chief duster of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium in the Cape Cod town of West London, Massachusetts. As well as reprints of the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books, we carry new books representing anything and everything in the pastiche or vaguely derived from the Holmes legend. The store was originally a hardware store, but Gemma’s great-uncle Arthur bought it for the address: 222 Baker Street, West London, New England. Gemma is also originally from England and joined up with her great-uncle when her life took a bad turn and she left the old England for the new. Her best friend, Jayne Wilson, is co-owner with her of Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room which adjoins the Bookshop on one wall with a sliding glass door between so customers can freely move between the two. If I were living in West London, I could imagine myself spending hours between these two shops. I can’t imagine anything more delightful than drinking tea, enjoying a pastry, and then browsing through books and other odds and ends – all in the same place! In a rush of people that included a bus tour, a magazine appears out of nowhere – stealthily slipped among some books on one of Gemma’s shelves. She knows exactly where each item should be so she notices it at closing. If this magazine proves legitimate, it could be worth nearly three-quarters of a million dollars! Shortly after, Gemma and Jayne discover a murdered woman – one who Gemma remembers seeing in her bookshop the day the magazine mysteriously appeared. Gemma’s house is tossed, and she is being followed. Yet the police have Gemma in their radar as a first-choice person of interest because she simply knows too much. But Gemma can’t help it that she has hyper-observation. Many times she can close her eyes and visualize an entire scene from her day – in great detail. When a second murder occurs and Gemma and Jayne also discover that body, things take another turn for the worse – and Gemma becomes more intent than ever on solving these crimes and clearing her name. Her ex-boyfriend Ryan Ashburton isn’t helping her much. He is the lead detective on the case but is removed because of conflict of interest. Gemma scoffs – if that’s the case, no police officer is going to have sufficient detachment to solve anything in West London – it’s small, and everyone knows everyone else – friend, enemy, or in-between. Although the title of the book and the series signals “cozy mystery”, this series struck me somewhere between cozy and hard-boiled. There’s definitely a wide spectrum in there and yet, no matter where the label sticks, this is a well-paced, fun, scary, and humourous mystery. It is also smart and crisp – and oh! those sticky buns sound delicious! In a challenge I signed up for in January, I wasn’t satisfied that I would enjoy my first pick for a novel about a bookstore (thanks to my reading friends’ reviews) so when I saw a few positive reviews for this novel, I just moved it into that slot instead. (Thank you, Karen, Dorie, and Kris, especially!) It really isn’t necessary to be a mystery lover to enjoy this book. The characters, the setting, and the storyline alone are all well worth the read. I am already looking forward to the second one in this series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    In this first 'Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery', a new book store manager has to hustle to avoid being arrested for murder. ***** Gemma Doyle moved from England to Cape Cod, Massachusetts to manage 'The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium.' Gemma co-owns the establishment with her 90-year-old great uncle Arthur Clive Doyle, who claims distant kinship with Arthur Conan Doyle - the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Spry Uncle Arthur is often off on excursions (or with lady friends), leaving Gemma in ch In this first 'Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery', a new book store manager has to hustle to avoid being arrested for murder. ***** Gemma Doyle moved from England to Cape Cod, Massachusetts to manage 'The Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium.' Gemma co-owns the establishment with her 90-year-old great uncle Arthur Clive Doyle, who claims distant kinship with Arthur Conan Doyle - the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Spry Uncle Arthur is often off on excursions (or with lady friends), leaving Gemma in charge of the business. Gemma also co-owns the adjoining shop, 'Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room', which is run by her best friend Jayne Wilson. The Emporium and the Tea Room do good business, especially during the tourist season, when customers flock in to enjoy shopping and refreshments. (I wouldn't mind having some of the café's scones with butter, clotted cream, and strawberry jam myself. LOL) Like Sherlock Holmes, Gemma is very observant and has exceptional deductive abilities - which she demonstrates at every opportunity. For instance, when Gemma's beau (at the time) showed up at a restaurant with his best suit, a new tie, a fresh shave, polished shoes, and a sweaty brow - and reached toward his bulging pocket - Gemma pre-emptively announced "Yes, I'll marry you"..... ruining the entire occasion. Thus, Gemma is still single (ha ha ha). One day, a tourist group consisting of 28 bridge-playing ladies visits the Emporium, and - while they're shopping- Gemma notices a small middle-aged woman come in and mingle with the crowd. After everyone leaves, Gemma finds a rare 1887 copy of Beeton’s Christmas Annual - the magazine that published the first Sherlock Holmes story - hidden on a bookshelf. If authentic, the Beeton's would be worth around HALF-A-MILLION DOLLARS! Thinking back on the afternoon, Gemma is convinced the small woman hid the magazine, and meant to retrieve it at a later time. Gemma carefully places the valuable publication in a plastic bag and - to keep it secure - locks it in Uncle Arthur's household safe. Then, having traced the small woman to a local hotel, Gemma and Jane Wilson (à la Holmes and Watson) drive over to speak to her. For various reasons the two friends sneak up to the woman's room - and find her murdered in her bed! Jane goes off to tell the hotel manager and call the police, and Gemma - who fancies herself an amateur sleuth - scurries back to photograph the victim and her belongings. Subsequent investigations reveal that the Beeton's magazine was owned by an elderly gentleman who collected Sherlock Holmes memorabilia. The old fellow recently died, and his nurse (the murder victim) claimed the magazine was left to her. The man's family, however, say it's theirs. Thus, there's a whole parade of people after the precious publication. As things play out Gemma becomes a suspect in the small woman's murder. After all, Gemma discovered the body and 'hid' the magazine in her house. Before long, Gemma and Jane find ANOTHER dead body, and Gemma knows she'd better clear her name.....or she'll end up in prison. Unlike many cozy mysteries - where the amateur detective inserts herself directly into the police investigation - Gemma is ordered to STAY OUT OF IT. Thus, she works on the periphery, eking out information using her smarts and intuition. To solve the case Gemma utilizes her traditional Holmes-like skills: her excellent memory, powers of observation. and deductive abilities. She also uses a smartphone, IPAD, and computer (like the Jonny Lee Miller/Benedict Cumberbatch versions of Sherlock). The story has a variety of interesting characters, including: Moriarty - the wily Emporium cat who loves everyone except Gemma (he smirks when Gemma's almost arrested); Ryan - the detective who has a history with our heroine; Louise -the tough cop who wants to arrest Gemma; Grant - the handsome book collector; Robbie - Jayne's shiftless boyfriend; Andy - the successful restaurateur; Irene - the local journalist looking for a story; and more. I'm a fan of Sherlock Holmes and I liked the references and homages to the great fictional detective. The author also does a great job describing Cape Cod, with its ocean setting; historic homes, tourist shops, and fine restaurants. I enjoyed the book but some parts of the storyline seem a little unlikely, and a couple of characters behave in a less-than-realistic fashion (IMO). This lowered my rating. Still, all in all this is a good cozy mystery, recommended to fans of the genre. You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

  4. 5 out of 5

    abby

    Gemma Doyle manages a small, Sherlock Holmes themed book and souvenir shop in picturesque Cape Cod. The store is owned by Gemma's uncle (who believes he is a distant relative of the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), and she's moved from her native England to help out her aging relative. Her best friend, Jayne, runs a tea room right next door. Although Gemma shares the same keen sense of observation as the famed detective Holmes, she never expects to be part of a murder investigation. One day, Gemm Gemma Doyle manages a small, Sherlock Holmes themed book and souvenir shop in picturesque Cape Cod. The store is owned by Gemma's uncle (who believes he is a distant relative of the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), and she's moved from her native England to help out her aging relative. Her best friend, Jayne, runs a tea room right next door. Although Gemma shares the same keen sense of observation as the famed detective Holmes, she never expects to be part of a murder investigation. One day, Gemma finds a valuable magazine in her shop and knows she didn't put it there. When she and Jayne try to return it to its rightful owner, they become embroiled in a murder mystery. Gemma finds herself a suspect, and things are further complicated when her ex-almost-fiance winds up investigating the case. This book walked a good line between cozy and mystery. Although the mystery itself was a bit convoluted and the perpetrator very obvious, this book isn't cheesy-- there are no recipes or flower arranging tips or whatever. I did think Gemma was a bit of a witch to her employee, and I don't like the end justification of it. I also didn't like how the police would discuss the case with her just because she asked-- that's not how things work. And, of course, it's hard to suspend reality enough to believe a Sherlock Holmes store would not only exist but remain profitable. That said, this book is a promising start to a cozy mystery series, and I would be interested in continuing. I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley.

  5. 4 out of 5

    LORI (Dollycas) CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts This series is off to an amazing start! We meet Gemma Doyle, relative of Sir Authur Conan Doyle??? She says no, but her Uncle’s name is Arthur so you just never know. She and her uncle own the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium at 222 Baker Street. The also own half of the tea shop next door run by Gemma’s friend, Jayne. Both shops are very popular with the tourists. While setting the store to rights after a rush of customers, something Gemma is very particular about, she fi Dollycas’s Thoughts This series is off to an amazing start! We meet Gemma Doyle, relative of Sir Authur Conan Doyle??? She says no, but her Uncle’s name is Arthur so you just never know. She and her uncle own the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium at 222 Baker Street. The also own half of the tea shop next door run by Gemma’s friend, Jayne. Both shops are very popular with the tourists. While setting the store to rights after a rush of customers, something Gemma is very particular about, she finds what appears to by a valuable magazine, said to contain Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes story. In a way similar to the great sleuth, Gemma deduces who left the magazine and where the person is staying. But by the time she and Jayne arrive all the find is a dead body. Gemma has a little history with one of the detectives but the other detective seems to dislike her immediately and names Gemma the prime suspect. Gemma decides to use her own special skills to clear her name and find the real killer herself. I will say at first I wasn’t a fan of Gemma. She is very Holmes-like in her manner and that can be off putting. But just like Holmes the more you get to know her the more she grows on you. She can be very driven by things that interest her, forgetful about things that are not her immediate concern, and just can’t help herself when her unique observation skills help her to read a situation and burst out with all the facts as she sees them or give her opinion whether wanted or not. We see through her friend Jayne that being Gemma’s friend is sometimes difficult but she is still a treasured friend. Jayne is definitely Gemma’s Dr. Watson. The author has created these a great characters and a core of supporting cast that I am anxious to get to know even better. I love the setting. The authors description of not only the wonderful bookshop but of the entire area sounded delightful. A place I would love to visit. As for the mystery, that is excellent as well. Many viable suspects with motive and means. I thought I had the right person more than once but the plot kept twirling and proving me wrong. That final twist was one heck of a surprise. I never saw it coming. I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. In fact we had our own Moriarty the cat, along with his brothers Sherlock and Watson. I have loved all the movies and most of the television shows. Because of that I know the author has to be a huge fan and/or has done her research diligently to bring this story to life. From the characters to the merchandise in the bookshop and the mystery itself, it is all a modern day tribute to the grand sleuth. The first book in a new series always has a lot of expectations. Introduce the characters and make them engaging, give readers a great setting and a top-notch mystery too. Well Vicki Delany has done that and more with this book. She has exceeded all my expectations by far. She has given me a paradise worthy escape! You don’t want to miss this story!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Robin Reynolds

    *received for review from the publisher through Cozy Mystery Review Crew* This book sounded so good that I was really excited to get it and looking forward to reading it. And it was good, but not quite up to my (admittedly high) expectations. The first person narrator, Gemma Doyle, runs a book store/gift shop devoted to Sherlock Holmes and items related to Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Sherlock canon. Not because she is a particularly devoted Sherlock fan, but because her uncle, who IS a pa *received for review from the publisher through Cozy Mystery Review Crew* This book sounded so good that I was really excited to get it and looking forward to reading it. And it was good, but not quite up to my (admittedly high) expectations. The first person narrator, Gemma Doyle, runs a book store/gift shop devoted to Sherlock Holmes and items related to Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Sherlock canon. Not because she is a particularly devoted Sherlock fan, but because her uncle, who IS a particularly devoted Sherlock fan, started the bookstore and she joined him in the business later. But Gemma is a bit like Sherlock. She has acute powers of observation, and there are many conversations wherein she shows off, er, demonstrates said powers of observation by pointing out things the other party to the conversation did not notice or missed. She often comes off as a bit...lofty. Her friends seem to just accept it and aren't put off or insulted by her. But I found her a little irritating at times. She tells us, more than once, that she's offered or attempted to help out the local police investigate crimes in the past only to have her offers rebuffed. It's been many many many years since I've read any of the Sherlock books, and my only recent experience with him is through the Benedict Cumberbatch TV show (which I do love). So I don't remember if Sherlock himself, the book Sherlock, came across the same way. But since those stories were narrated by Watson, I think that probably helped temper it. Maybe if Gemma's best friend, Jayne, were the narrator here...I just didn't find Gemma to be a very sympathetic character and so I had a little trouble liking her. That being said, I did like Jayne, and I liked Ryan Ashburton, the local police detective who also happened to be Gemma's ex. And the mystery was good. I was completely in the dark about who the culprit was in the end and it came as a complete surprise.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Monnie

    Note: I read this book last month, but the publisher has asked that reviews be held until the month the book is released. Somewhere it must be written that heroines (or heroes) of so-called cozy mysteries must be the most obnoxious and interfering people on the face of the earth. I realize that without those characteristics, the plots probably wouldn't go much of anywhere - but boy, does it ever get under my skin. Gemma Doyle, the heroine here and co-owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Empo Note: I read this book last month, but the publisher has asked that reviews be held until the month the book is released. Somewhere it must be written that heroines (or heroes) of so-called cozy mysteries must be the most obnoxious and interfering people on the face of the earth. I realize that without those characteristics, the plots probably wouldn't go much of anywhere - but boy, does it ever get under my skin. Gemma Doyle, the heroine here and co-owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium in tiny West London, Massachusetts, is no exception (in fact, I'd go so far as saying she's more annoying to me than most). That aside, the story here is well thought out and moves along quickly, on the whole making for a book I really enjoyed (honest!) That enjoyment comes partly because I'm a bit of a Sherlock Holmes aficionado myself, especially when he's portrayed spot-on by actor Benedict Cumberbatch - one of the reasons I was delighted to get an advance copy, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Then there's mention of a lighthouse (a favorite photography subject for both myself and my husband); and the fact that Gemma drives a red Mazda Miata - one of my top three dream cars - made me decide she might not be so bad after all. It was also fun to watch the plot unfold as a result of Gemma's uncanny Holmes-like deductions - even when she continues to make them despite clear warnings that she would do well to put a sock in it. At one point when she discovers that someone may have been lurking outside her home, for instance, she muses that someone might be suggesting that she back off. Oh really - you mean someone like the entire West London police, or your best friend Jayne who co-owns the tea shop next to your bookstore, or the ex-fiance who dumped you because he no longer could take your meddling ways? For better or worse, though, better folks than I have told her she's too nosy for her own good, so I'll move on to the story - and for sure it's a doozy. Amid a crowd of women on a bus tour who visit the book shop one day is a "street" woman carrying a paper bag. Gemma's intrigued, but the woman gets lost in the crowd and forgotten until later, when Gemma discovers what appears to be an extremely valuable magazine hidden on a shelf. Certain that the disheveled woman left it there, Gemma uses her powers of deduction to track her down. To that end, she's successful - but when she and Jayne enter her hotel room (the door to which is conveniently unlocked to allow Gemma and Jayne unfettered but surreptitious entry), they make a startling discovery: The woman is dead. That, of course, only provides fuel to Gemma's sleuthing fires; and when she finds that she and Jayne are considered persons of interest in the murder, she's even more determined to get to the truth (being suspected murderers, after all, is bad for both their businesses). The lead detective on the murder case, Ryan Ashburton, happens to be Gemma's ex-fiance, who bolted outta Dodge to take a job in a larger town when they broke up. He's been back for a while now, which comes as a surprise to Gemma (a tidbit that, given West London's small size, made me conclude that her powers of observation are a bit selective). Thankfully, he doesn't believe Gemma is capable of murder, but after she sticks her nose in one too many places - and (gasp!) finds yet another dead body after sneaking onto someone else's private property, he's yanked off the case because his prior relationship has the potential to unduly influence his investigation (yikes, what took them so long)? Lest I, like Gemma, be chastised for treading where I shouldn't go, I'll keep other details of the investigation - and the for the most part surprising outcome - to myself. The only thing I'll say is that this is an excellent series debut that I'm sure fans of cozy mysteries - and Sherlock Holmes - will enjoy. "The game is afoot" (Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Abbey Grange), so go for it!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Gemma Doyle is English, but has moved to West London, MA to help her Great Uncle Arthur run his bookstore and emporium. The shop is located at 222 Baker Street and sells all things Sherlock Holmes -- everything ranging from books and magazines to busts and movie posters. Right next door, Gemma's best friend Jayne has a tea shop, Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room. Gemma loves everything about her new home, except maybe the shop cat, Moriarty, who doesn't seem to like her one bit. I am a BIG Sherlock Holmes Gemma Doyle is English, but has moved to West London, MA to help her Great Uncle Arthur run his bookstore and emporium. The shop is located at 222 Baker Street and sells all things Sherlock Holmes -- everything ranging from books and magazines to busts and movie posters. Right next door, Gemma's best friend Jayne has a tea shop, Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room. Gemma loves everything about her new home, except maybe the shop cat, Moriarty, who doesn't seem to like her one bit. I am a BIG Sherlock Holmes fan, so I knew from the start that I would enjoy this book series. I am however struggling under the Mount Everest of TBR piles....and it took me awhile to dig down to this gem. I wanted to wait to read this one until I had time to savor and enjoy it, rather than reading quickly to move on to another book. Finally, with the second book coming out this month, I spent two lovely days reading this book. I'm glad I waited.....and curled up on the sofa with a nice cup of tea to start this series. The Basics: Gemma is a very observant person, and a bit.....impulsive. Both traits have gotten her into trouble in the past. This time, a tour group is visiting her store and the tea room next door. As they are shopping and picking out Sherlock goodies after having tea, Gemma notices a strange woman come into the shop. Later, she spies what appears to be a priceless Sherlock magazine from 1887 on the shelf -- it isn't anything she has in stock at the shop. In fact, a perfect copy of this particular issue is worth six figures.....a lot above the price range of items sold in the store. Gemma tracks down the strange woman, deducing what hotel she is staying in. Jayne and Gemma go there hoping to talk to her and return the priceless item, only to find the woman murdered in her room. Things go downhill from there....Gemma's inquisitive and observant nature takes over and she jumps into investigating the killing. While she does make progress, she also makes herself a suspect. When the body count rises, Gemma digs herself in deeper and deeper..... How can she discover the murderer without incriminating herself further? The game is afoot!! I love this book! As a big Sherlock fan, the theme made me extremely happy before I even cracked it open. I like the characters and I found the mystery engaging and fun. The side characters help round out the plot, and I even love the feisty Moriarty (who loves everyone but Gemma, apparently, much to her chagrin). I do have two things to say..... Jayne has the patience of a saint where Gemma is concerned. Oh dear lord, if I had a friend who got me in as much serious hot water as Gemma drags Jayne into.....I would be looking for a new friend. ha ha :) I kept thinking that every time Gemma went into investigation mode, dragging poor Jayne along for the ride. Definitely reminded me of a few cases where Dr. Watson had a less than stellar time as Sherlock's trusty sidekick. And, how can someone as observant and intelligent as Gemma do so many dumb things? She forgets to call an employee about working an extra shift for an event ..... leaving Jayne to fix her mistake. She makes herself a murder suspect by getting into situations (usually involving a dead body) that would have best been avoided. But......really.....despite finding myself talking to the character while reading ("Oh for heaven's sake Gemma...really???? Poor Jayne!") this quirk of hers is what makes this story so much fun to read. So, despite more than one facepalm moment, I enjoy Gemma as a main character and I will definitely read more of this series! The mystery is nicely paced with several viable suspects. The ending caught me by surprise....which I like! I'm very happy that I have book two, A Body on Baker Street, waiting in the wings for me to enjoy right away! :) Elementary, She Read is definitely a great start for this new series! On to book two! Vicki Delany also writes under the pseudonym Eva Gates. To find out more about the author and her books, check out her website: http://vickidelany.com/

  9. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    ***The Summer of Sherlock 2019*** I am not usually a fan of the cozy mystery--I tend towards the darker Scandinavian style detective story, rather than the sweetness & light. But I couldn’t put this particular cozy down! Delany is a good writer and she has crafted a fun, fast moving little story here. Gemma Doyle (a maybe relation to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) has taken on a Sherlock Holmes book store and gift emporium both to help her uncle and to support herself. She is rather logically driven ***The Summer of Sherlock 2019*** I am not usually a fan of the cozy mystery--I tend towards the darker Scandinavian style detective story, rather than the sweetness & light. But I couldn’t put this particular cozy down! Delany is a good writer and she has crafted a fun, fast moving little story here. Gemma Doyle (a maybe relation to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) has taken on a Sherlock Holmes book store and gift emporium both to help her uncle and to support herself. She is rather logically driven (rather like a certain detective we all know) and gets herself involved in an apparent murder in her small town. (It’s always in a small town, isn’t it?) There’s her best friend as her Watson-like sidekick, but there are also potential love interests, the former boyfriend and the rare book expert. Not to mention the trials of getting and retaining staff and finding sources of strawberries for the tea-room attached to the bookstore (run, of course, by the BFF). There’s enough complexity to make it interesting without bogging the story down in the details. There are a few spots where one has to consciously deploy the “willing suspension of disbelief,” but maybe that’s just me. However, I immediately requested the second book in the series from the public library, so the author is definitely doing things right!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Thank you for the recommendation, Library Queen! This was an unexpectedly delightful cozy read. It follows the fairly standard cozy tropes as far as the mystery and plot go (Downside: bumbling, small-town police who target the heroine for No Apparent Reason. Upside: lots of hot men floating around for No Apparent Reason.) But the heroine, Gemma, proved fairly original and it helps a lot. Sure, she has a Standard Cozy Heroine Job (small business owner.) And she has the standard Cozy Heroine Relat Thank you for the recommendation, Library Queen! This was an unexpectedly delightful cozy read. It follows the fairly standard cozy tropes as far as the mystery and plot go (Downside: bumbling, small-town police who target the heroine for No Apparent Reason. Upside: lots of hot men floating around for No Apparent Reason.) But the heroine, Gemma, proved fairly original and it helps a lot. Sure, she has a Standard Cozy Heroine Job (small business owner.) And she has the standard Cozy Heroine Relatives (aka the Quirky Uncle.) And the standard Cozy Heroine Best Friend... But otherwise, I did find her rather refreshing. She has a photographic memory, general social cluelessness, and might even fall on the autistic scale; it makes her charming. It was easy to believe she would notice the details she notices or act in the impulsive ways she acts. And it fits that she's the pseudo-Holmes of the story. The bookshop felt a little on the nose at times with all the name dropping but it also just added to the fun. I cannot wait to read more of this series!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jody McGrath

    I really enjoyed this book. While Gemma's character had some of the traits of Sherlock Holmes, she also was a loving, caring woman. She wasn't the robot that Sherlock is sometimes portrayed to be. While the robot thing works well on the screen, it is hard to connect with that person in a novel. I think that is why the original Holmes books were shown through Watson's eyes. No need to do that with this book though. Although reserved, Gemma has a lively personality that a lot of introverts can rel I really enjoyed this book. While Gemma's character had some of the traits of Sherlock Holmes, she also was a loving, caring woman. She wasn't the robot that Sherlock is sometimes portrayed to be. While the robot thing works well on the screen, it is hard to connect with that person in a novel. I think that is why the original Holmes books were shown through Watson's eyes. No need to do that with this book though. Although reserved, Gemma has a lively personality that a lot of introverts can relate to. Her relationship with Jayne was cleverly written and touching at the same time. The mystery in Elementary, She Read, was very good. It was layered with a few twists. I never came close to guessing the end although there were some clues. I loved how the end played out. I won't put any spoilers in, but it wasn't any of the cliched tropes at all. I would recommend this book to mystery lovers, cozy lovers, and fans of Sherlock Holmes. *I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and have given an honest review*

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    Elementary She Read was a fun, fast paced, cozy mystery, just what I was looking for! I don’t usually read this genre so I just went with what sounded interesting and I wasn’t disappointed. The setting is Cape Cope in a quirky, touristy area where Gemma Doyle,formerly of London, is co owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop is connected through a doorway to the cafe next to it where her friend and co owner Jayne serves up fresh pastry and does a proper English tea. One mornin Elementary She Read was a fun, fast paced, cozy mystery, just what I was looking for! I don’t usually read this genre so I just went with what sounded interesting and I wasn’t disappointed. The setting is Cape Cope in a quirky, touristy area where Gemma Doyle,formerly of London, is co owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop is connected through a doorway to the cafe next to it where her friend and co owner Jayne serves up fresh pastry and does a proper English tea. One morning a bus drops off a group tour of around 20+ women who flood both of the shops and keeps Gemma busy, but she is always aware of everyone and everything in her shop. After the crowd leaves she finds a magazine hidden in the shelves of books which may or may not be worth lots of money. The mystery takes off from here with a dead body, lots of suspects and a clever plot which will keep you guessing. Gemma is such a likable character and exhibits many of the original Sherlock’s attributes of keen observation, intelligence and skills of deduction. Her friend Jayne is a great sidekick. There are many other reviews that will give away more of the plot but I’d rather you read it for yourself. If you are looking for a literate cozy mystery and have a love of Sherlock, you will definitely enjoy this book. The author has done a wonderful job of researching Conan Doyle and I learned a lot about the original Sherlock series which I have not read. I have enjoyed the TV series most recently on PBS which is so well done. This is the second in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series and I will look forward to book number three. I would love to get to know Uncle Arthur, he sounds like quite an interesting character! I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and Netgalley.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    ELEMENTARY, SHE READ (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #1) In this brand new series which is a cozy mystery Gemma Doyle and her Great Uncle Arthur own a bookstore that is also a gift shop specializing in Sherlock Holmes books and gifts. Emma's best friend Jane who runs the adjoining coffee shop and bakery called Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room, owns half of the Tearoom business. One day a busload of bridge players takes a tour to visit their business. In the same time frame Gemma notices a woman come in ELEMENTARY, SHE READ (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #1) In this brand new series which is a cozy mystery Gemma Doyle and her Great Uncle Arthur own a bookstore that is also a gift shop specializing in Sherlock Holmes books and gifts. Emma's best friend Jane who runs the adjoining coffee shop and bakery called Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room, owns half of the Tearoom business. One day a busload of bridge players takes a tour to visit their business. In the same time frame Gemma notices a woman come in with a white plastic shopping bag. While Emma is fixing the books on the bookshelf she finds a valuable magazine hidden between the books. It is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first installment published. (no relation) Emma and Jayne go to the woman's hotel to try and return the magazine to the mysterious women and they find a dead body. They call the police and report it and soon Emma is the number one suspect. Emma is very observant and uses deduction to guess a lot of clues to various things. The book is really a good mystery and the writing and characterizations are well done. I particularly liked the character of Jayne. Emma is pretty good as well. There are a lot more things that happens as this story progresses. You learn all that I have wrote in the first few chapters. Emma tries to clear her name but refuses to back off from investigating on her own. There is no graphic violence but plenty of action taking place in a Cape Cod town. This was a highly enjoyable read with the gentleness of a small town with people going about their business. Five Stars. Highly recommended. It is not overly long, it can be read pretty fast. Enjoy!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)

    Elementary She Read by Vicki Delany will appeal to the bookworm as well as the cozy mystery fan! Gemma Doyle is very much like the Sherlock to whom her bookstore pays homage. Sharp powers of observation, keen deductive reasoning, and a lack of tact in delivering them, etc. But you forgive what could be annoying because she’s such a hoot. She’s unintentionally funny and awkward, and you just want to hug her. Though, I don’t think that would go over especially well. The back-and-forth between Gemma Elementary She Read by Vicki Delany will appeal to the bookworm as well as the cozy mystery fan! Gemma Doyle is very much like the Sherlock to whom her bookstore pays homage. Sharp powers of observation, keen deductive reasoning, and a lack of tact in delivering them, etc. But you forgive what could be annoying because she’s such a hoot. She’s unintentionally funny and awkward, and you just want to hug her. Though, I don’t think that would go over especially well. The back-and-forth between Gemma and her best friend (and business partner) Jayne is stellar and lots of fun. Particularly when it comes to Gemma’s British English and Jayne’s corrections and/or translations for the Americans of West London, Massachusetts. Bottom Line: Elementary She Read is a cozy mystery with all the token elements – but in this case, under Vicki Delany’s supervision, they don’t feel token. They all come together naturally and with wit to form a great story that will have you smiling. The mystery is intriguing and the characters are engaging. I’m ready for the next book! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.) see my review at Reading Is My SuperPower

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Elementary, She Read is the 1st book in a new series. Many have written short synopsis of the plot so I will relate my thoughts on what I thought about the book. It appears to be a popular new start to the series due to the reviews. For me, it was just an ok read. I had trouble staying interested in the book. It was a little too descriptive for me and the plot didn't hold my interest. I don't think I am a fan of Sherlock Holmes either but didn't think that should make a different as many cozies Elementary, She Read is the 1st book in a new series. Many have written short synopsis of the plot so I will relate my thoughts on what I thought about the book. It appears to be a popular new start to the series due to the reviews. For me, it was just an ok read. I had trouble staying interested in the book. It was a little too descriptive for me and the plot didn't hold my interest. I don't think I am a fan of Sherlock Holmes either but didn't think that should make a different as many cozies have themes I am not into but I still enjoy the series. What I did like was the idea of a book store attached to a tea shop/bakery. I liked the friendship of the two friends Gemma and Jayne. I actually liked Jayne better than Gemma who is the main character. As readers we all like different books and series and I can see many liked this book. It was just not for me.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    Cozy mysteries aren't usually my style, but as a fan of Sherlock Holmes I really got a kick out of Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany. I've never read the author before, but I know that I'll need to come back for the sequel to this series opener, Body on Baker Street. What really makes this mystery for me is the cast of characters, Gemma herself being my favorite but her friend Jayne is also pretty great as well. If you love a good mystery and the great detective, you're going to have to pick Cozy mysteries aren't usually my style, but as a fan of Sherlock Holmes I really got a kick out of Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany. I've never read the author before, but I know that I'll need to come back for the sequel to this series opener, Body on Baker Street. What really makes this mystery for me is the cast of characters, Gemma herself being my favorite but her friend Jayne is also pretty great as well. If you love a good mystery and the great detective, you're going to have to pick this up.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

    I loved this one! Gemma Doyle runs a small bookstore that specialized in Sherlock Holmes books, DVDS, and memorabilia. She splits the space with her best friend's tea shop and bakery. During a busy rush, she finds out someone has hidden a valuable magazine among her regular cheapies. Knowing the value, she seeks out the woman who dropped it off to see what's up. Once there, she finds the woman - *gasp!* - murdered, and from there on gets sucked into a whopper of a mystery. Not only is she trying I loved this one! Gemma Doyle runs a small bookstore that specialized in Sherlock Holmes books, DVDS, and memorabilia. She splits the space with her best friend's tea shop and bakery. During a busy rush, she finds out someone has hidden a valuable magazine among her regular cheapies. Knowing the value, she seeks out the woman who dropped it off to see what's up. Once there, she finds the woman - *gasp!* - murdered, and from there on gets sucked into a whopper of a mystery. Not only is she trying to solve the crime to clear her name from a suspicious detective who clearly WANTS her to be guilty, but she soons discovers her own life may be in danger if she doesn't uncover the fiendish foe. Love the main character, who is so observant it's creepy and scares others off, much like the original Holmes - yet she's forgetful at hell and is absent minded. Not to mention that while she runs a Sherlock themed shop, she's not even a rabid fan of the author and inherited it. Her fun friend Jayne who runs the tea shop next door is a delightful sidekick - especially the twisted way she gears toward deadbeat boyfriends that drives the MC bonkers. A few funny happenings there with the deadbeat artist hanging around. Throw in oddball characters and characterization wins. The setting is such fun, even if you're not a Sherlock groupie. Gemma is a clear reader, so she has special reserved reading nooks in the store and at home. The shop has a neighborhood cat who runs the place and loves all guests and patrons - with the exception of Gemma, who gets clawed. The tea shop is fun since it makes me crave scones and strawberry pastries, and unlike some cozies and books it takes the tea seriously. No simple bags, but complex blends and steeping know-how. What sets this apart is it's an actual, bona-fide mystery. Instead of accidental discoveries adding up to coincidental plotting, Gemma uses her brain to evaluate and take apart every angle. She spends much time investigating and revealing her thoughts and observations to the reader mentally in first person point of view. This walk through the crime, suspects and scenes is one of the most impressive I've seen with a mystery, even compared to non-cozies and straight detective procedurals. Her mind is impressive, even if she's forgetful, and this isn't a mystery that takes you by surprise. I didn't guess the culprit for the author kept them carefully concealed. Kudos because it wasn't impossible to guess if you'd had a mind to. Despite the fact that Gemma stayed on top of her game throughout, even she didn't guess the villain in time before a final confrontation. Saves may be a little coincidental, but that's okay. Fun pacing, excellent characters, and a nifty writing style made this one a delight to breeze through. I'll definitely check out more of the series when it continues. Probably my favorite mystery so far this year.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    A cozy mystery located in the small town of West London. At first, I had trouble understanding if the bookshop was in England or the United States. I felt the characters were well developed. Once I was into the story the characters caught my attention and I read until I finished the book. Gemma' attitude annoyed me. Gemma Doyle co-owns and manage a bookshop offering all kinds of merchandise about Conan Doyle and his works of Sherlock Holmes. Gemma and her best friend, Jayne become involved in a m A cozy mystery located in the small town of West London. At first, I had trouble understanding if the bookshop was in England or the United States. I felt the characters were well developed. Once I was into the story the characters caught my attention and I read until I finished the book. Gemma' attitude annoyed me. Gemma Doyle co-owns and manage a bookshop offering all kinds of merchandise about Conan Doyle and his works of Sherlock Holmes. Gemma and her best friend, Jayne become involved in a mystery when they find an early addition of a Sherlock Holmes story hidden in the bookstore. Gemma and Jayne trying to return to the person who left it finds a murdered woman. The homicide detectives turn out to be an old boyfriend of Gemma and woman who does not like Gemma. There are several twists and turns in the book. The ending is a surprise. I recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a free copy from Crooked Lane Books for an honest review. I would like to thank them for this opportunity to read and review the book. The opinions expressed are my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    Elementary, She Read: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery by [Delany, Vicki] Elementary She Read A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery by Vicki Delany is a wonderful beginning to a new series. I totally enjoyed this book. As a big Sherlock Holmes fan I was skeptical whether or not I would like this book but was pleasantly surprised how good it was. Gemma Doyle runs the Sherlock Book Shop and Emporium in West London on Cape Cod 222 Baker Street (don't you just love the address) and her friend Jayne is Elementary, She Read: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery by [Delany, Vicki] Elementary She Read A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery by Vicki Delany is a wonderful beginning to a new series. I totally enjoyed this book. As a big Sherlock Holmes fan I was skeptical whether or not I would like this book but was pleasantly surprised how good it was. Gemma Doyle runs the Sherlock Book Shop and Emporium in West London on Cape Cod 222 Baker Street (don't you just love the address) and her friend Jayne is part owner with her in Mrs. Hudson's Tea Shop. When a woman hides what might be a priceless magazine with Sherlock's first story in it the fun begins. When Gemma finds it and talks Jayne into going with her to talk to the woman they find her dead and the mystery is on. Can Gemma find the killer and clear her name before she becomes a victim or be arrested by the cranky Det. Estrada or her ex boyfriend Det. Ryan Ashburton has to arrest her for the murder? This is a fantastic, exceptional cozy mystery. Gemma is smart, intuitive, clever, very observant and a very motivated woman who sometimes gets in over her head because of all these characteristics. Jayne is level headed, smart, very honest and a good friend. Gemma is the Sherlock to Jaynes Dr Watson. The whole time I read this I kept thinking Gemma is so much like Sherlock and Jayne Dr. Watson and it made it fun. The mystery is unique and I love the way that the book keeps weaving in facts about Sherlock and the items that collectors look for as well as the obsession people have with all things Sherlock still. The murders, the mystery of the magazine, and just the shop itself makes up a very interesting book. There are so many ways this mystery could resolve and yet just when you think you have it figured out a wrench, so to speak, is thrown into the cog of your reasoning. I like a book that you can't figure out who the culprit is right off the bat, but that when it is ended you are surprised yet delighted at the outcome. This book is just that. Besides the wonderful setting of Cape Cod, the teashop and bookstore the characters combine to make this an excellent book. I think Gemma could be someone I would love to hang out with. She is so observant, that sometimes it really gets her into trouble. She says in the book, "I'm so clever I chased away the man who loved me, and my best friend's starting to find me exasperating to be around." Her character and all her quirkiness is what really helps this to be an exceptional book. Jayne is just naive and honest enough that her and Gemma are opposites yet they make up a good combination and team. This just makes the book flow.What would a book be without a cantankerous policeman to be out to get Gemma and Det. Estrada fits the bill. She is someone you love to hate and makes for a perfect nemesis for Gemma. I can see them butt heads in the books to come. Det Ryan Ashburton the long lost love of Gemma adds an extra dimension to the mystery and book. I am hoping that they will pursue a new relationship in books to come too. So in recap, you have a great mystery, a unique awesome setting, romance, many suspects and a quirky reason for murder and a surprise ending. It adds up to a book you can't put down. This is going to be a new favorite series for me and I can not wait for the next one to come out. If you read only one new series this year I hope you read this book and series, I don't think you will be disappointed. If you want to learn more about this book and author you can check out her website at http://vickidelany.com/ I received this book from the author and publisher for my honest opinion and review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Novella

    Okay, so I re-arranged the books in my library by category, now I'm on this quest to read the library/bookshop books on my shelf that have been sitting there. Starting with this one I have to admit that my first thought was it looks pretentious. The only thing I found slightly that way was the occasional name dropping of other authors or actors. But, being a bookshop the sounded more like recommendations. Nothing of the sort with Gemma. She is a serious businesswoman taking over her uncle's boo Okay, so I re-arranged the books in my library by category, now I'm on this quest to read the library/bookshop books on my shelf that have been sitting there. Starting with this one I have to admit that my first thought was it looks pretentious. The only thing I found slightly that way was the occasional name dropping of other authors or actors. But, being a bookshop the sounded more like recommendations. Nothing of the sort with Gemma. She is a serious businesswoman taking over her uncle's bookshop. We all have our weaknesses and strong points and Gemma's is she happens to be endowed with a unique sense of observation, more so than the usual person. She looks at this as almost a hindrance when it certainly causes her to get into trouble and be criticized but she can't help but notice things. I enjoyed how she made observations and felt like it added another layer to the descriptions of people and places. The plot is well-conceived, I like how it all unraveled at the end and think Gemma was smart in figuring it out. I thought it was clever the beginning is not what it seems and unfortunately to no avail for the character. One of the detectives had it out for Gemma and I was rooting for her to prove her innocence! I wasn't so much surprised at who did it but who saved Gemma. Friendship is always there. The ending was one on one suspenseful and I could picture how Gemma felt. This was well written has a good feel. You gotta love the part when Gemma's dog wanted to play with the killer. This was an overall fun read. Clean, no foul language, nothing offensive looking forward with expectations of the next book in this series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Micky Cox

    Gemma Doyle is a reincarnated version of Sherlock Holmes. She is hyper observant, honest to the point of rudeness and can't not solve a mystery presented in front of her. Ironically her uncle and she own a Sherlock Holmes bookstore and memorabilia shop as well as co-own the adjacent tea shop with her best friend, Jayne. Jayne is very Watson like in that she is a reluctant co-investigator, can't lie to save her life and is extremely sociable. The author did a nice job of weaving the mystery while Gemma Doyle is a reincarnated version of Sherlock Holmes. She is hyper observant, honest to the point of rudeness and can't not solve a mystery presented in front of her. Ironically her uncle and she own a Sherlock Holmes bookstore and memorabilia shop as well as co-own the adjacent tea shop with her best friend, Jayne. Jayne is very Watson like in that she is a reluctant co-investigator, can't lie to save her life and is extremely sociable. The author did a nice job of weaving the mystery while laying out the history of the relationships between the characters and building their unique personalities. The mystery is quite well developed with a slight twist, I saw it coming, but didn't see exactly how the actual killer connected. It was interesting the way the author laid it out and connected everything together. This is the first book with these characters so I'm looking forward to how the characters and storylines develop in the future!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    3 1/2 stars. Gemma owns a Sherlock Holmes themed emporium in West London in Cape Cod. When a priceless magazine is found on one of her shelves she is pretty sure who left it. When she goes to find the woman, she finds her dead body. Gemma finds herself om the list of suspects and is determined to clear her name. This series is walking an interesting line. Gemma is hyper observant, ala Holms. And she could be really annoying but her personality saves her. She seems to be unaware that her observati 3 1/2 stars. Gemma owns a Sherlock Holmes themed emporium in West London in Cape Cod. When a priceless magazine is found on one of her shelves she is pretty sure who left it. When she goes to find the woman, she finds her dead body. Gemma finds herself om the list of suspects and is determined to clear her name. This series is walking an interesting line. Gemma is hyper observant, ala Holms. And she could be really annoying but her personality saves her. She seems to be unaware that her observations are unique. She is funny. And although her powers of observation are awesome, her deductive powers are a bit off. The other characters in the book are also well defined and they help keep Gemma from being too smart for her own good. There a a lot of explanation of the mystery at the end, but other than that I really liked to book a lot.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    I'm not a crazy Holmes fan, but started on the Basil Rathbone movies then read all of the A.C. Doyle's original works along with a few of the Mary Russell and watch Elementary and Sherlock. This book fits in nicely, Gemma is very much like the observant Holmes and her deductions drive much of the story forward , Jayne plays her Watson role very well without any bumbling or doctoring replacing that with baking. I'll read the next one in this series. I'm not a crazy Holmes fan, but started on the Basil Rathbone movies then read all of the A.C. Doyle's original works along with a few of the Mary Russell and watch Elementary and Sherlock. This book fits in nicely, Gemma is very much like the observant Holmes and her deductions drive much of the story forward , Jayne plays her Watson role very well without any bumbling or doctoring replacing that with baking. I'll read the next one in this series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    My favorite first book of the New Year! Didn't want to put it down.. Loved the characters and the setting.. I admit, I am not that "into" the Sherlock theme but that really didn't matter. The writing and dialogue are wonderful.. Can't wait to read the next one in the series.. My favorite first book of the New Year! Didn't want to put it down.. Loved the characters and the setting.. I admit, I am not that "into" the Sherlock theme but that really didn't matter. The writing and dialogue are wonderful.. Can't wait to read the next one in the series..

  25. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Very enjoyable first entry in the series. I liked Gemma and the other characters. The Cape Cod setting and Sherlock Holmes bookstore were fun and the mystery kept me guessing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)

    Gemma Doyle moved from England to West London, Mass. to help her great uncle Arthur. His in his nineties and is not one to settle down but he couldn't help buying a building when it was on Baker Street because he is a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. It wasn't doing very good because he was just selling the Sherlock Holmes cannons, but when Gemma came she realized that it would make more money if she stocked all the retellings and even books in that era as well as memorabilia. She didn't have to like a Gemma Doyle moved from England to West London, Mass. to help her great uncle Arthur. His in his nineties and is not one to settle down but he couldn't help buying a building when it was on Baker Street because he is a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. It wasn't doing very good because he was just selling the Sherlock Holmes cannons, but when Gemma came she realized that it would make more money if she stocked all the retellings and even books in that era as well as memorabilia. She didn't have to like all that goofy stuff to know it would sell. Gemma runs that store and is also partners with her friend who runs the store next door called Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room. Her uncle Arthur is hardly ever home as the travel bug is in his veins so he leaves the running of the store to Gemma. Gemma has an eye for details and can tell when things are out of place in her store and she found a magazine that looked a lot like a rare magazine that could be worth a lot of money. When she finds the owner, she finds her dead and herself as the murder suspect. Gemma and her Sherlock like abilities is not always a good thing because she seemed to know way too much about what happened and doesn't know when to shut up. :) The detectives on the case are Ryan, whom Gemma has a past with, and Louise, who takes an immediate disliking to Gemma which doesn't do her any good because Ryan gets taken off the case for knowing Gemma. While Louise is determined to make a case against Gemma, she must do her best to find the killer.  I really liked Gemma and her gift for details, it also cracked me up because she kept digging herself a hole. Her friend Jayne would be like shut up...lol. I liked all the side characters and I have a feeling it's going to be fun seeing what will happen with Gemma as the series progresses.  The author pulled one over on me and I was totally surprised by who the murderer was though I feel like I should have known...lol. Great mystery! 

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    This is the first in a new series and I enjoyed getting to know Gemma Doyle and her friend Jayne. Gemma manages the Sherlock Emporium in Cape Cod. It is a Sherlock Holmes themed book and souvenir shop. The store is owned by Gemma's great-uncle Arthur Doyle, who believes he is a distant relative of the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Gemma moved to the United States from England after ending her marriage and to help her uncle. Her best friend, Jayne, runs a tea room right next door. Gemma is known This is the first in a new series and I enjoyed getting to know Gemma Doyle and her friend Jayne. Gemma manages the Sherlock Emporium in Cape Cod. It is a Sherlock Holmes themed book and souvenir shop. The store is owned by Gemma's great-uncle Arthur Doyle, who believes he is a distant relative of the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Gemma moved to the United States from England after ending her marriage and to help her uncle. Her best friend, Jayne, runs a tea room right next door. Gemma is known for her keen sense of observation and deduction and this is what pulls her into the mystery. When Gemma finds a valuable magazine hidden in her shop she uses her talents to figure out who left it there. When they try to talk to the woman, they find her dead in her hotel room. Of course Gemma becomes the prime suspect, as she has the magazine and found the body. Things are further complicated when her ex-boyfriend shows up as the lead investigator of the case. The story had a lot of Sherlock Holmes trivia, but this did not overpower the mystery. It was nice getting to know some of the characters in the town and I hope we see more of them in future books. The police were not as free with information as I have seen in other cozies, which was a nice change. Gemma and Jayne play off each other well. It looks like Gemma and Ryan may be rekindling their romance in future books, but only time will tell. I had no idea who the perpetrator was in this story until it was revealed at the end, but it was a fitting ending. I think this is a nice beginning to a new cozy mystery series and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tari

    I had only read the 3rd in this series so I definitely had to go to the beginning and see how it all started. Gemma is really very impressive with her observation skills, something that not a lot of people possess and I wish that the one police officer, Louise Estrada, would be nicer to her or at least I wish she'd treat her with a little more dignity than she does. Estrada's partner, Ryan Ashburton, used to be involved with Gemma (would be interesting to read a prequel about that and when she v I had only read the 3rd in this series so I definitely had to go to the beginning and see how it all started. Gemma is really very impressive with her observation skills, something that not a lot of people possess and I wish that the one police officer, Louise Estrada, would be nicer to her or at least I wish she'd treat her with a little more dignity than she does. Estrada's partner, Ryan Ashburton, used to be involved with Gemma (would be interesting to read a prequel about that and when she very first came to the US) and I always figure Estrada is either jealous of that or that he got lead detective over her. In this first case, Gemma found an old and valuable-looking Sherlock magazine in her store but when she and Jayne, her best friend, tried to return it to the woman, they found she was dead in her hotel room. Gemma of course is looked at as the prime and only suspect, especially in Estrada's eyes. With her keen observation skills, Gemma is well suited for investigating and she figures if she's going to prove herself innocent she'd better get started. Another body was found, Gemma felt like she was being followed and never mind that her house was broken into early on. Along with her sidekick Jayne and her date Robbie, Gemma managed to crack this case. I definitely didn't see the killer coming, what a good plot twist. Gemma is a little bit different than the usual sleuths in cozies seeing how she's more formal and not really humorous but I still like her. She's a fiercely loyal friend to have and she's very intelligent. Jayne is really lucky to have a friend like that--and Gemma is lucky to have Jayne, her business partner and tea shop owner, for a friend as well. Some things weren't always as they seemed in this book and I really enjoyed following the story and finding out how all the pieces fit together. I'm hoping that in the future, Gemma and Ryan might be able to get back together and that Estrada will get over her not-very-niceness to Gemma. I'll be moving along to the next book in the series in hopes of finishing before the 4th one comes out.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Janet Robel

    I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Lots of fun! If you're a Sherlock Holmes fan, you will enjoy this one. Gemma and Jayne are good characters for an amateur sleuth setting. Gemma is always getting in trouble with the police, but this case may need a mystery lover to help solve this whodunit. I'm definitely on board with reading the next book because I want to know more about uncle Arthur, and hope we'll see more of him in upcoming books instead of I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Lots of fun! If you're a Sherlock Holmes fan, you will enjoy this one. Gemma and Jayne are good characters for an amateur sleuth setting. Gemma is always getting in trouble with the police, but this case may need a mystery lover to help solve this whodunit. I'm definitely on board with reading the next book because I want to know more about uncle Arthur, and hope we'll see more of him in upcoming books instead of the glimpses we get in this one. I think it will be interesting if he gets a more prominent role in one of the books.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I seem to be on an odd trend with books: ones I think I should love don't grab me, and books I feel I should dislike are very enjoyable. This book fell into the latter category, and was a very nice pleasant surprise. Gemma Doyle [apparently a very distant relation to Arthur Conan], transplanted Englishwoman, living in smalltown West London, [which is on Cape Cod] is a highly annoying individual to many of the people she interacts with. She notices, remembers, and feels compelled to tell/correct p I seem to be on an odd trend with books: ones I think I should love don't grab me, and books I feel I should dislike are very enjoyable. This book fell into the latter category, and was a very nice pleasant surprise. Gemma Doyle [apparently a very distant relation to Arthur Conan], transplanted Englishwoman, living in smalltown West London, [which is on Cape Cod] is a highly annoying individual to many of the people she interacts with. She notices, remembers, and feels compelled to tell/correct people on every little minute detail of, well, pretty much everything. Although she runs the Sherlock Holmes bookstore and emporium, she's not a Sherlockian, and she is obsessive about things being in their correct places at all times [somewhat of a lost cause in any retail establishment] and doesn't particularly enjoy dealing with the members of the public who make up her clientele. She does her own thing, in her own way, and doesn't care a single fig for what anyone else thinks about her or her ways. In a small town where tourist dollars are the main income for the stores on the main street where Gemma's store is located, this does not make her popular. When she gets mixed up in not one, but two murders, well, she's even less of the popular girl. I should have been irritated to high heaven by Gemma and her cluelessness, her lack of accepted social skills, her complete ignorance of how her opinions and knowledge are likely to be received, and her not caring in any way how others see her. I should have been, but I wasn't. The author does a good job of explaining Gemma's underlying personality to us, and showing us her humanity in spite of her quirks, and that somehow made her likable for me. Understanding some of the background of Gemma's life, and that she has suffered consequences because of who she is made her far more sympathetic than she might otherwise have been. The subtle but striking resemblance Gemma has to another English, social-skills-lacking-but-brilliant detective, may, just may have helped me to like Gemma more than I might otherwise have done. Whether you care for Gemma's style or not, it's hard to fault her for being the smartest person in the room and for using her smarts to figure out what is going on. Fortunately, most of the people in Gemma's life are more socially-functional, and they make up for, and smooth out Gemma's rough edges in many situations. I liked the cast of supporting characters here as much as I did Gemma. The mystery itself, I thought was quite well done. I never try to figure out the murderer in advance, and I was genuinely surprised when the killer was unmasked here, although looking back, I think that sufficient clues were given for those who like to do that to have determined the killer on their own if they are very astute. I like the town, the setup, and all the characters here, right down to the shop cat, and Gemma's dog Violet. I listened to this on audio book and the narrator was excellent so that just added to my enjoyment of the story. I would definitely read future installments of this series. If the quality is maintained like this first book, this could become a new favourite series for me.

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