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A Scandal in Scarlet: 04/30/19

A Scandal in Scarlet

A Scandal in Scarlet by Vicki Delany is the fourth of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mysteries. Gemma Doyle and her dog Violet notice that the Scarlet House museum has caught fire one night when they are out walking. To fix the museum and replace the destroyed furniture, an auction will be held at the book store and tea shop. Before the auction can even begin, board member Kathy Lamb is found strangled.

Gemma's uncle offers a signed Sherlock Holmes story. There are lots of valuable things and the whole thing has Gemma on edge. I'd say this is the first book where she's not just a female Sherlock Holmes. Yes, she still infers lots of usual information through observation but she's not as unnaturally good at it as she has been.

All the clues point to the murder being tied up with the fire at the museum. Is it retaliation for the fire? Is it something bigger than includes the fire? It's more red herring rich than the previous book.

This book was a departure from the previous ones. It's less Sherlock Holmes centered, beyond the conveniently named house and the inclusion of the Uncle's donation. The solution is also after all the subterfuge is cleared away, a very straightforward one.

The fifth book will be There's a Murder Afoot which comes out January 7, 2020.

Four stars

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