The Game is Afoot, Watson! Sophia Rose Reviews “Lady Sherlock #3”

The Hollow of Fear

#3 Lady Sherlock
by Sherry Thomas
Historical Mystery
Penguin Random House | Berkley
Formats available:  Paperback, Electronic, Audio
Pub Date: 10.2.18| 336 pages

REVIEWER: Sophia Rose

E-arc provided by publisher through Net Galley for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, returns in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of A Conspiracy in Belgravia and A Study in Scarlet Women, an NPR Best Book of 2016.

Under the cover of “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes puts her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. Aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, Charlotte draws those in need to her and makes it her business to know what other people don’t.

Moriarty’s shadow looms large. First, Charlotte’s half brother disappears. Then, Lady Ingram, the estranged wife of Charlotte’s close friend Lord Ingram, turns up dead on his estate. And all signs point to Lord Ingram as the murderer.

With Scotland Yard closing in, Charlotte goes under disguise to seek out the truth. But uncovering the truth could mean getting too close to Lord Ingram–and a number of malevolent forces…


After the sensational twists at the end of the last installment, I was left reeling and then, impatient, to see what happened next in this fabulous gender-bending retelling of the Sherlock Holmes adventures.

The Lady Sherlock series is meant to be read in order and wouldn’t do well picked up out of order.  I will try to avoid series spoilers for potential readers which will keep my thoughts on this one rather vague.

So, Charlotte unearths secrets with far reaching effects in the last book.  One secret affects her own family and another is devastating for Lord Ingram.  Both of their family secrets were kept out of Society’s gossiping grasp, but events out of their control might still expose everything including the fact that Charlotte isn’t just a fallen woman, but is masquerading as the most brilliant detecting mind in London, Sherlock Holmes.

Each story, brings these eccentric, but also historically accurate characters and background to vivid life.  Charlotte Holmes with a brilliant mind and no ability to survive in the stifling social world, is faced with the most desperate case of her life when her friend, and potentially something more, Lord Ingram is the chief suspect in his wife’s murder.  Everyone knows they were estranged, but someone has cunningly framed him in neatly so that facts of innocence are hard to find.  Holmes is terrified and off her sweets which terrifies everyone else around her.  She sets things in motion that dazzle the reader by the end of the book when everything made a brilliant sense.  In the meantime, old-fashioned detective work doggedly leads them forward even as a chief inspector of the CID is determined to collar Lord Ingram for the crime to advance his notoriety and his career.

Behind the mystery, continues some ongoing threads that carry over through the series.  Four people are narrating the story and each have their own story threads:  Lord Ingram who realized too late that the eccentric genius girl he pushed away in his youth for the poise and beauty he thought he wanted may never be able to feel let alone share his love.  Charlotte’s sister who is loyal to Charlotte and has her own secret love with a dangerous man.  A lowly Scotland Yard detective who is struggling to reconcile his hero is really a woman and his own wife has set aside typical womanly things to lead a company.  And, of course, Charlotte Holmes, herself, who sees the world so much differently than everyone else.

I love this series for the clever mysteries, but most of all the character development.  The author writes eccentric people, but doesn’t stray from historical accuracy (if living in Holmes’ world can be described this way) for the time to do it.  I enjoy how it all fits together so well.

All in all, I was thrilled to read this one and now am left impatient for the next book.  Those who love Sherlock Holmes or historical mysteries in general should definitely give these a try.

I rec’d this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.



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