This is a series that I am so glad I decided to try again. When I read the first book, I couldn’t even finish it. I struggled to get into the series and the first book. I DNF about 20% of the way through and felt incredibly sad about it because by all accounts this was a series that I should have loved.
I kept seeing the books coming out and so many people raving about them that I kept wondering if I just was missing something and maybe needed to give it another go. But I held off because it’s hard to change my mind once I hav DNF a book.
But eventually I picked up one of the third book in the series and thought it was better than I remembered and then I picked up the fourth book and was once again pleasantly surprised so when this one came up for review I decided to go for it.
Inspector Treadles, Charlotte Holmes’s friend and collaborator, has been found locked in a room with two dead men, both of whom worked with his wife at the great manufacturing enterprise she has recently inherited.
Rumors fly. Had Inspector Treadles killed the men because they had opposed his wife’s initiatives at every turn? Had he killed in a fit of jealous rage, because he suspected Mrs. Treadles of harboring deeper feelings for one of the men? To make matters worse, he refuses to speak on his own behalf, despite the overwhelming evidence against him.
Charlotte finds herself in a case strewn with lies and secrets. But which lies are to cover up small sins, and which secrets would flay open a past better left forgotten? Not to mention, how can she concentrate on these murders, when Lord Ingram, her oldest friend and sometime lover, at last dangles before her the one thing she has always wanted? (summary from Goodreads)
I think I need to go back and read the first couple of books in this series after skipping around in it. While I generally have felt comfortable with the previous books having not read the first couple, I do think as the series continues that I would like a better grasp of Charlotte’s character and what her motives are sometimes. Having missed the first couple of books, I don’t know that it impacts the mystery contained in the books but more that it impacts the characters and their relationships and motives. I did think that the main characters had great chemistry and I am looking forward to more!
Lord Ingram and Charlotte have a complex relationship and I think that having the understanding and the nuances of their relationship early on would help me as a reader so for that reason I think I am going to go back and read the other books in the series before I read the next one.
The mystery held my interest and I loved how it all came together in the end, not to mention watching our characters go through the clues and try to decipher motives and how everything fit together. I think Thomas has a great mind for mysteries and murder but when you add a Sherlock Holmes element to the mysteries, it needs to be done right and I think that Thomas does a wonderful job maintaining the integrity of Holmes’s character and his mind for puzzles in Charlotte.
This one was a difficult one for me to review because I enjoyed it quite a bit but I also felt a little less invested in the characters based on the fact that I am not fully caught up in this series. However, the author does a decent job getting readers up to speed but at this point in the series I think it is safe to say that the author assumes that readers are probably fans of the series and have an idea of the characters and their history. I ended up going with 3.5 stars, it was a great book with a fun mystery but I think I need more back story on the characters. Had I fully understood their relationships and past then I might have bumped it up but I also feel like I need the full experience at this point.
Book Info and Rating
Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: October 6th 2020 by Berkley Books
ISBN0451492498 (ISBN13: 9780451492494)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genre: Historical mystery, detective novel, historical fiction