A Conspiracy in Belgravia

Berkley. (Lady Sherlock, Bk. 2). Sept. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780425281413. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780698196360. MYS
OrangeReviewStarCharlotte Holmes has found a steady rhythm to her life, now able to use her brain to help others away from the condemnation of her family. Sharing a home with Mrs. Watson allows her to continue the ruse of having a brother, Sherlock, who can investigate everyday problems rather than solely major underworld activity. But the arrival of Lady Ingram under an assumed name throws a kink into the works: though married to Charlotte's particular friend Lord Ingram, she is seeking the whereabouts of former paramour Myron Finch, who just happens to be Charlotte's illegitimate half-brother. This second series entry (after A Study in Scarlet Women) reintroduces characters from the first book and tightens the already sticky web of intrigue in which "Sherlock" is embroiled, and the only recourse is to follow the author's devilishly clever maze of ciphers and criminality. Thomas (My Beautiful Enemy) maintains the shadowy Victorian setting as she advances her marvelous take on the Holmes canon.
VERDICT The unexpected cliff-hanger will have readers (even astute ones) gasping (and grinning) in recognition. A must for mystery/Sherlock fans and readers who love excellent puzzles. [See 14 Award-Worthy Mysteries, 3/23/17.]
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