Title: A Conspiracy in Belgravia
Author: Sherry Thomas
Publisher: Penguin Group
Genre: mystery, historical fiction
Source: borrowed from sister
Publication Date: 2017
In A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas, Charlotte Holmes has never been happier. Cast out by her family in disgrace and shunned by society, she is flourishing. Working under the guise of Sherlock Holmes, Charlotte solves cases for the public, aided by friend and benefactress, Mrs. Watson. Her latest case, however, takes her by surprise. Her dear friend, Lord Ingram’s wife hires Holmes to find her long-lost love, Myron Finch. Although Lady Ingram remains true to her husband, she and Finch meet once a year to gaze at each other across the park. This year, he didn’t come and isn’t answering her increasingly frequent newspaper ads begging him to contact her. Adding a further winkle to the situation is the fact that Myron Finch is Charlotte’s illegitimate brother, whom she’s never met.
While trying to solve the case, Charlotte is met with a surprising proposal, a mysterious stranger woos her sister Livia, and a body turns up where its not expected. There are codes, puzzles, and poisoning… just another day in the life of Sherlock Holmes.
I highly enjoyed A Conspiracy in Belgravia. The characters continue to charm the pants off of me. Charlotte is smart, funny, arch, and sensual. The way she enjoys food makes me hungry. It’s also a delightful departure from the usual portrayal of an ascetic Sherlock Holmes. Her reaction to he proposal was very good; she doesn’t want to get married, doesn’t want to lose her freedom, but is concerned for he sisters and considered it for their case. Based on what was set up in the first book, this was very in characters.
Speaking of sisters, I love Livia. Her anxiety and neuroticism is so relatable. I could feel her frustration and pain at her own anxiety and inability to mix easily with society. I also highly enjoyed seeing her connect with someone she ends up liking romantically. She’s in her late twenties and tired of being looked over by Society, and suddenly, she’s being singled out by someone who want to connect with her over a passion of hers. And I loved how the suggestion Charlotte made at the end A Study in Scarlet Women, that she write the Sherlock Holmes stories, comes to fruition in this one. Once again, writing is something I connect with her over.
The mystery of this book was interesting. It starts as a simple missing person and then branches out into a tangle mess of intrigue and conspiracy. However, unless you have a very good memory or have just read A Study in Scarlet Women, A Conspiracy in Belgravia can be very hard to understand. It relies on you remembering minor characters and the entire resolution of the first book, and I was so very confused through a lot of this. Once I went back and reread the previous book, this one made much more sense, but it’s twisted and hard to follow. So, fair warning.
However, even with the confusion, this was a very enjoyable book. The characters and relationships are strong and I love how they’ve grown and deepened from the first book. I enjoyed the mysteries that happen and the intrigue, and thought it was well-paced and plotted.
Would I Recommend It?
If you like mysteries, Sherlock Holmes pastiches, and interesting women characters, you should definitely read A Conspiracy in Belgravia.