Note: Top Shelf Text was provided with a copy of this text by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!
If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be? Mine would, without a doubt, be mystery. I love reading mysteries set in all different places and time periods, but Victorian England is high on my list for favorite settings. Some behind the scenes secrets about how I get my advanced copies: sometimes, publishers offer a book to you and you get to accept or decline. Other times...you stalk the publisher until they agree to send you a book that is already on your wish list. With A Conspiracy in Belgravia, I practically begged the team at Berkley to send me the book, and was over the moon when it arrived on my doorstep! I read the first book in this series, A Study in Scarlet Women, earlier this summer and absolutely loved it. (In this post, I compared it to another popular mystery series.) I got a lot of feedback from readers who said they also loved the first in this series, so I couldn't wait to share more about this one with you. As with the first, the thing that I loved most about this book was how it pulled me in. By the end of the first chapter, I was fully immersed in Victorian London and steeped in the drama of Charlotte's exile from proper society and the suspense of her newest mystery to solve. With so many of my recent reads falling into heavier categories, this was the perfect escapist book for me!
In A Conspiracy in Belgravia, Charlotte Holmes is still living in London and running her consulting detective business -- though she's still working behind the curtain with her ailing brother as a cover. Things get complicated, though, when she receives a client request from a lady in her former social circle -- and who wouldn't be pleased to find out that Sherlock is really Charlotte. For fear of spoiling one or more of the wonderfully plotted twists in this story, I can't say more here. I can tell you, however, that the ending of this novel left me stunned. After reading the first book, I raved a lot about my love for the characters and the way that Sherry Thomas plays with the Holmes canon, and while those opinions still stand (and are even strengthened) with this second installment, I loved this one even more for the plot. And as in the first book, the tensions between Charlotte and her dashing, devoted but complicated love interest only grow. I cannot wait to follow this series in the future.
Bottom-Line Rating: 5/5
Title: A Conspiracy in Belgravia (Lady Sherlock #2)
Author: Sherry Thomas
Publisher: Berkley Books
Price: $9 on Amazon
Source: Berkley Books