Review: The Art of Theft (Lady Sherlock #4) by Sherry Thomas

Do you ever just come across a book that by all accounts you should absolutely love, and then you just don’t? Well that’s what happened to me with the Lady Sherlock series. 

I picked up the first book fully ready to be hooked and in love with this series only to feel let down and disappointed. I don’t even think I finished the first book and I didn’t pick up any of the others in the series.

I was heart broken and as the years have gone on, I keep thinking I should pick this series up again because it should be a series that I love. Sassy heroines, Victorian England, murder mysteries. I should be all over this series. But I kept my distance, too fearful that I wouldn’t like it.

Then I was pitched the fourth book in the series and I was once again faced with the debate—-do I pass or not? I almost passed because I was too afraid I wouldn’t like it but again, it’s a series that I should love and I was frankly too upset about that to pass on this one. So I decided to give Lady Sherlock another try.

Summary

As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes has solved murders and found missing individuals. But she has never stolen a priceless artwork—or rather, made away with the secrets hidden behind a much-coveted canvas.

But Mrs. Watson is desperate to help her old friend recover those secrets and Charlotte finds herself involved in a fever-paced scheme to infiltrate a glamorous Yuletide ball where the painting is one handshake away from being sold and the secrets a bare breath from exposure.

Her dear friend Lord Ingram, her sister Livia, Livia’s admirer Stephen Marbleton—everyone pitches in to help and everyone has a grand time. But nothing about this adventure is what it seems and disaster is biding time on the grounds of a glittering French chateau, waiting only for Charlotte to make a single mistake (summary from Goodreads)

Review

So I tried to in to this one with my mind open. This is a ‘gender bender’ type book where Sherlock Holmes is actually a woman, and I thought that was an exciting twist right off the bat. Though I did know that from my first attempt with the first book, but I think it’s worth noting for new readers. Having Sherlock Holmes actually be a woman rather than a man right away puts readers in a familiar yet different position with this detective.

I haven’t gone back and read the other books, mostly because I felt like my opinion of this book was already clouded by my attempt at the first book and I didn’t want to complicate it further. I did feel slightly confused by all the characters and how they knew each other and what sort of history they had, but that confusion only happened at the beginning. Not that the author clarified anything necessarily, it was more that the central mystery part took over and I became wrapped up in that rather than some of the character relations. So reading the other books will certainly help and would have made the beginning a little easier to follow, but in the end the mystery was the focus and I didn’t feel terribly lost in this one as the story went on.

As with many historical mysteries, there is often a secondary romantic plot line and this book does include a little romance and I rather enjoyed that part of the book. I know that Thomas has written romance novels as well and that reflects in this romantic plot line as Charlotte and Lord Ingram as they have great chemistry, however I was hoping their romantic plot would advance a little more in this one but perhaps there have been leaps and bounds in the previous books and this one was meant to slow it down? I am not sure since I haven’t read the others, but for me there was undeniable chemistry between them but I kept hoping for more by the end.

This book series seems to be one that people either love or just don’t. I was firmly in the ‘don’t’ camp, but after this book, I have warmed to the idea of picking it up again. There are plenty of people who loved this one and while I might not have loved it, I did like it and enjoyed picking up this series again to give it another try. Would I read the other books in the series or future books? Absolutely! I am actually going to go back and read the first one and see if I like it better this time around!

Book Info and Rating

Paperback, 297 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Berkley
ISBN 0451492471 (ISBN13: 9780451492470)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley Publishing, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genre: historical fiction, mystery

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