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MURDER ON COLD STREET by Sherry Thomas Kirkus Star


by Sherry Thomas

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-451-49249-4
Publisher: Berkley

Alongside brief pauses for cake, kisses, and intimate confessions, Charlotte Holmes uses her considerable mind to solve two murders and save an innocent man.

Having barely recovered from a heist in France, told in The Art of Theft (2019), private detective Charlotte Holmes is asked to assist Inspector Treadles, an acquaintance from Scotland Yard who has been arrested for killing two men. His wife, Alice, is terrified for his life but hiding something, he himself is keeping mum, and the evidence looks damning. As the clock ticks, Holmes must swiftly track the preceding events, assisted by her old friend and recent lover Lord Ingram; her companion, Mrs. Watson; and Mrs. Watson's niece. The novel is sure-footed, its puzzle the most tightly structured and enjoyable of the whodunits in Thomas’ series about the gender-swapped sleuth. As the group questions witnesses and ferrets out motives of potential suspects, the narrative changes rapidly from scene to scene around wintry London and from memory to memory. The telling shifts of speakers’ bodies punctuate conversations, distilling emotions and speech into physicality. The novel also amplifies the series’ theme of the assaults and challenges women face in a world that disadvantages them personally and professionally. More notably, it foregrounds the actions of numerous women to do so. Each is richly drawn, with her own way of resisting societal limitations regarding sex, ethnicity, and class. Holmes herself is as adept at crime-solving as ever, but when it comes to erotic love, she is still considering the ramifications of getting what she has desired for years.

With an increasingly beloved detective crew, this Victorian mystery offers thrills and sharp insights into human behavior.