Review: The Art of Theft

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Art of TheftThe Art of Theft (Lady Sherlock, #4) by Sherry Thomas
Series: Lady Sherlock #4
Published by Berkley on October 15, 2019
Genres: Historical, Mystery
Pages: 336
Goodreads
four-half-stars

 

FINAL DECISION: This book leans towards adventure more than cerebral mystery, but it works very well. I especially enjoyed those surrounding Sherlock Holmes joining together as a group to investigate. Grounded nicely in character and emotion, I enjoyed the progression of the various characters stories.

THE STORY: Following the intensely personal events of THE HOLLOW OF FEAR, this book turns to the supporting characters in the series who have bigger roles here and their history and relationships are explored more. It is Mrs. Watson who desperately needs the help of Sherlock Holmes and the cast of characters to help an old friend. The group end up traveling to France to steal a piece of art.

OPINION: After the intensity of the prior book being focused on Charlotte and Lord Ingram, this book primarily focuses on others in Sherlock’s orbit. There is much progression here character wise. (We do also get some of the emotional aftermath between Charlotte and Ash).

This book goes in a new direction with more of a heist book than a thoughtful mystery. I enjoyed both the mystery and the character moments in this book. As with all the books in this series, this feels original and interesting. Charlotte is a singular character — my favorite adaption of the Sherlock Holmes character.

Every moment feels fresh and interesting. I love the characters and I want to know how they are going to solve the mystery that comes before Charlotte. This book is very much a collaborate effort between the various characters and while Charlotte is definitely the lead, this one feels more like a group effort. There are more characters who rise to importance and their stories are intriguing as more secrets are revealed.

With plenty of exciting adventures, this one kept me turning pages until the end. (And what an ending…now I have to wait a year for the next in the series, oh no!)

WORTH MENTIONING: As with other books in this series, the main story here is completed, but the book ends on a cliffhanger for the next in the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE ART OF THEFT is the fourth book in the Lady Sherlock series. While the mystery here is self-contained, the characters and the overarching stories make this deeply connected with the other books in the series. I believe a reader should start at the beginning, otherwise, there is much to the mystery that will be unanswerable.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

 

four-half-stars

Review: The Widow of Rose House

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Widow of Rose HouseThe Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on October 8, 2019
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 352
Goodreads
four-stars

 

FINAL DECISION: Enjoyable historical romance combined with a ghost story. While the book had some parts that dragged, overall, I thought this was a good story with interesting characters. I wanted to read more of the Moore family.

THE STORY: Alva Webster returns to New York after the death of her estranged husband as the notorious widow. She intends to build a life for herself by renovating a dilapidated house and using it as the subject of a book. But when her plans are derailed by tales of ghosts that haunt the house, she ends up working with Samuel Moore, a scientist and inventor, who takes up investigating what is haunting the house. Samuel also is intrigued by Alva even as she wants to avoid any entanglements. As the two get closer and search for the secrets of Alva’s house, Alva’s own secret past threatens her plans for the future.

OPINION: This book is an interesting combination of a Gilded Age historical romance, a mystery, and a ghost book with the attendant thriller and suspense aspects. I thought the combination of these genres worked really well. I never felt that the story was out of balance. I enjoyed all aspects of the story.

I liked the relationship between Alva and Samuel. Alva has been grievously injured by her marriage and she treats Samuel pretty poorly because of it. Indeed, if I have a complaint, it is that Samuel is way too accommodating to Alva. She leads Samuel on knowing his feelings for her. I also thought that her insistence on handling her past problems herself was pretty idiotic. The inability to ask for help is not strength but a weakness.

But apart from that, I really loved when Alva and Samuel’s relationship was working. He is adorable and there was such fun and sweetness in their interactions.

The book had some really interesting parts. I thought that parts were repetitive and the book dragged somewhat when Alva is dealing with her past. But the parts with Alva and Samuel together were lovely. I also thought that the ghost portions themselves were suspenseful and scary without being too graphic. The portions of Samuel and Alva doing investigations of the origins of the ghosts in the house also introduced readers to a variety of well drawn characters.

And ultimately, it was the strength of the characterizations which made this book for me. I not only really enjoyed Alva and Samuel, but also Samuel’s family and other more minor characters that help with the investigation.

I thought the ghost story portion was well done and certainly was rooted in real trials of the time.

WORTH MENTIONING: I really want to read the stories of the other Moore siblings (including Henry).

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE WIDOW OF ROSE HOUSE is a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

 

four-stars