MYSTERY

The Art of Theft

Berkley. (Lady Sherlock, Bk. 4). Oct. 2019. 304p. ISBN 9780451492470. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780451492487. M
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The fourth novel in Thomas’s stunning “Lady Sherlock” series (after The Hollow of Fear) may be enjoyed on its own, though it assumes a familiarity with characters and their backstories from the first three books that might cause the various subplots here to be confusing to newcomers. The main story line sees Charlotte Holmes, who solves mysteries as a fictional cousin to “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” and her companions plot to steal a painting. A dear friend of Mrs. Watson’s is being blackmailed and must trade the painting in exchange for some indiscreet letters. Although none are expert thieves, Charlotte and her allies attempt to lift the artwork from a French chateau during a fancy Yuletide ball. Charlotte uses her keen wits and involves friends and family in her plans to derail the blackmail and retrieve the letters.
VERDICT RITA Award–winning author Thomas (The Burning Sky) weaves a masterly plot with a hint of romance and plenty of brilliance on the part of her Holmesian heroine to craft a thoroughly delightful Sherlockian novel. Well done!

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